NEW DELHI: Vishwaroop, the Hindi version of actor-director Kamal Haasan’s controversial film Vishwaroopam, released peacefully on February 1 to an average response, which was likely to pick up over the weekend.
The movie, the original Tamil and Telugu version of which is currently banned in Tamil Nadu, released without any hassles in Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan, while in Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai, security was beefed up at cinema halls for the release over fear of protests.
Vishwaroopam is under the scanner of 24 Muslim organisations, which objected to certain scenes of the film as derogatory to their community.
However, the situation seems to have sparked increased interest in the movie in north India.
In Delhi, the response was okay, but the collections are expected to increase during the weekend, says Anant Verma, director and business head, DT Cinemas.
“Whoever has seen the movie has liked it — be it people from south India or north India. The publicity that the movie has got is working in favour of the movie. We are expecting a hike (in collections) over the weekend,” Verma told IANS.
He says no security issues have been reported at any of his halls here so far, and “everything is under control”.
Written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan, the INRs95 crore thriller was scheduled to release in Tamil and Telugu on January 25. A day earlier, the Tamil Nadu government imposed a two-week ban on the film.
In Jaipur, the film got a peaceful opening and there were are no protests, said police officials.
However, the situation was different in Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh.
Small theatres in Mumbai are said to be full, but multiplexes lack audience for Vishwaroop.
“Small theatres, which have an occupancy of 150 seats are almost full, but in big theatres, which have an occupancy of 1,000 seats have hardly any audiences,” Manoj M Desai, executive director of G7 Multiplex, told IANS.
“I feel there is so much police protection that the audience feels ‘why to take a risk’. Police security is more than the audience at many places,” said Desai.
In Uttar Pradesh, the film is being screened in five multiplexes and two single-screen theatres, officials told IANS. Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan and his brother Chandra Haasan are trying to reach a solution to end the ban on Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu, which has led to their incurring losses of INRs30 to 60 crore.