Virumaandi cleared by Censors
Hassan's film 'Virumaandi' has cleared the final hurdle - the Censors. A beaming
Kamal, talking to newspersons in Chennai January 2, 2004, declared that the
Censors had cleared the film, with an 'A' certificate.
The shooting of the film was
earlier dogged by controversy following the objections of some political parties
like the 'Puthiya Tamizhagam', particularly to the title, 'Sandiyar'. After a
meeting with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa he dropped 'Sandiyar'. The film has
been renamed 'Virumaandi'.
Kamal made light of the
controversies, the agitations and the cloud of doubts which hovered over the
making of the film, saying, "All that is behind us. Why should we continue
to harp on it? I am happy with the title Virumaandi."
On whether the Puthiya Tamizham
will accept the film, he said everyone, including the PT, will accept the film.
There was nothing derogatory about anyone or any caste in the film. "I am
sure they will also like it," he added. Replying to another question, he
said, "The controversy or the threatened agitation by some people had only
caused me hurt, not anger."
the censorship of the film, he said, "I will say they have been generous
though they have made some cuts and given the film an 'A' certificate. The
freedom available to writers like Jayakanthan and Rajnarain are not available to
film-makers. However, I don't want to enter into a debate on this. I have no
complaints against the Censors, given the fact that films have to be censored in
India according to certain traditions and guidelines. In that sense, they have
valid reasons to make the cuts. Although it must be understood that use of
certain abusive words at times is required to bring out the nativity and an
accurate reflection of certain situations. In this age, when children are
exposed to sex and violence through satellite television, it was not a big
issue. However, I accept the decision of the Censors with all humility,"
film is slated for release on Pongal Day, January 14. The date for the release
of the film in Andhra Pradesh was being finalised. Dubbing work is still on, he
Kamal is not just playing the
lead role of Virumaandi but has also undertaken the responsibility of script,
direction, production. He also has a role as a lyricist along with Ilayaraja and
Kavignar Muthulingam, and choreographer with Raghuram.
The major highlights of the
film are the realistic portrayal and dialogue delivery of the cast, reflecting
the nativity of the land and its dialects, the brilliant music by Ilayaraja
("the maestro would probably not have worked so much for any other
film") and the jallikattu scenes. "The bulls bought by us have turned
so affectionate that we don't feel like selling them. They are now at Sivaji
Ganesan's house," said Kamal.
the inspiration for the story of the film, Kamal said he was inspired from time
to time by the glimpses of several villages around Madurai right from his early
days . "In fact, when I re-visited some villages after several years, I
have found they have changed. Can't recognise them now. In fact, they are
studies in contrast - you have farmers, people travelling on bicyles and yet
talking on cellphones (using ear-pieces), at the same time using modern farming
methods as also adhering to traditions. All these are also shown in the
is also planning a premiere in the US, partly to project his film there and more
importantly to leverage plans for overseas distribution. His own production
unit, Raajkamal Films International, is also looking at the possibility of
handling the overseas distribution of this film, and may be other films too.
"We would like to undertake distribution. We are working on the possibility
but nothing has been finalised yet."
Yet, for all the hype over the
film and the excitement and sense of anticipation in his unit, Kamal, in
characteristic style, is working on three new films. "I am already working
on them but I don't want to talk about them till the release of Virumaandi."
On the year that has gone by and his struggles year-round, Kamal said,
"People should say Virumaandi was made in the year 2003."