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Friday Release 'Vishwaroop': Is Kamal Haasan's film really anti-Islam?


Updated: January 31, 2013, 6:19 PM IST
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Friday Release 'Vishwaroop': Is Kamal Haasan's film really anti-Islam?
Haasan's latest offering, the now controversial 'Vishwaroop' ('Vishwaroopam' in Tamil) is primarily a spy thriller.

New Delhi: Kamal Haasan usually never disappoints. Each of his films are entertaining and thought provoking. His films, in the past, have raised important isssues, made the viewers think and given insight into the existing society.

Haasan's latest offering, the now controversial 'Vishwaroop' (or 'Vishwaroopam' in Tamil) is primarily a spy thriller. Set in New York, the film is set in America where the Al-Qaida is plotting to blow up almost half of New York.

Apart from having a stellar star cast- Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Jaideep Ahlawat and Shekhar Kapur- the film boasts of a story written by Kamal Haasan. Now, Haasan in the past has written some immensely debatable but poignant stories which culminated into films like 'Hey Ram', 'Anbe Sivan' to name a few. Although, in the past few weeks, the film's release has been marred by controversy over the fact that film is anti-Islamic, the writer, director and co-producer of the film, Kamal Haasan refuses the allegations. While promoting his film in December 2012, Haasan had said, "My film is neither about terrorism nor Islam. It won't even hurt any community for that matter. The story traverses through the adversities of war, and, therefore it may appear as though it's about terrorism, but it's not."

South actor and National Award winner Prakash Raj, while talking to CNN-IBN had said that Haasan is known to be a very secular person and questioning an artist's work and marring it with political controversy was not the right thing to do. Ever since the controversy and subsequent ban on the film occurred, Haasan has been reiterating the fact that how his film was not anti any religion. But, perhaps succumbing to pressure, the actor eventually caved in and agreed to cut some scenes which were termed as 'objectionable' by some Muslim groups.

As the tussle to release the film( Vishwaroop has now being banned in Uttar Pradesh by the ruling party) continues, the film's agenda to perhaps entertain and make the audience think about the prevailing trends in the society gets marred.

History also stands witness to the fact that whenever a film has been banned or plagued by controversy, the curiosity to watch the film by the viewers has multiplied manifold. Besides, Haasan's enormous fan base will ensure that the film is viewed. Because, in the past Haasan's films 'Hey Ram' and 'Dasavathaaram' have also faced criticism for its content and its belief on certain religious groups and yet, each of these films have been lauded by critics and viewed by cine goers.

While one has to wait and watch 'Vishwaroop' to know if the film actually offends Muslims or for that matter any other community, the recent controversy around the film has ensured it will get a good opening on the day of its release.

First Published: January 31, 2013, 6:19 PM IST
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