Vishwaroopam release in TN, theatres jam packed

Vishwaroopam

The screening of spy-thriller 'Vishwaroopam' will finally take place in Tamil Nadu today, after a tumultuous two weeks of court cases and stay orders.

Fans of actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan can be seen dancing outside the theatres in Chennai to celebrate the release of the movie on Friday. They also garlanded the cutouts of the actor.

People started gathering outside cinema halls in Chennai in large numbers to watch the first show of Vishwaroopam.

The movie was originally set to release on January 25 got the go ahead for release after actor-filmmaker Haasan agreed to remove seven scenes that offended Mulsim groups.

Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Government withdrew petition from the High Court, thus paving the way for screening of ''Vishwaroopam'' in the state after Haasan reached a settlement with protesting Muslim groups.

The Madras High Court had banned the Tamil version of the film in southern Tamil Nadu state after the state government appealed, fearing law and order problems.

The controversy surrounding the film was the latest in a string of recent clashes over freedom of expression in India.

Earlier, Haasan, who acted and directed the movie, said the matter has been "settled amicably" with Muslim groups after he agreed to cut certain scenes from the film, including words from the holy Koran.

"Vishwaroopam", which opened in cinemas on Friday (January 25), was mired in controversy with some Muslim groups protesting over its alleged depiction of the community in a negative light.

The filmmakers said the delay could cost them between $5.6 million and $14.8 million in losses - depending on whether they are granted permission to screen the movie at all or not.

Vishwaroopam had received a strong criticism from various religious groups for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments. However, Kamal Haasan received a support from various celebrities from bollywood as well.

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