Thalaivaa banned in Tamil Nadu

Thalaivaa was scheduled to release last Friday (August 9, 2013) in Tamil Nadu.

He's believed to be the next Rajinikanth, but theatres in Tamil Nadu have refused to show actor Vijay's new film Thalaivaa, which was scheduled to release on Friday (August 9, 2013).

Threats from an unknown student group have warned of bomb attacks at theatres if the film is shown.

Movie review: Thalaivaa

Though it's not clear what their objection is, there are reports that it could be to a dialogue in the film seen to be a dig at the state government. The film was slated to be shown in more than five hundred theatres, but theatre owners are not willing to say anything on record.

Vijay's clarification that it's not a political film hasn't helped and fans are disappointed at missing the film. Saravanan, a fan of the actor, told NDTV, "It's a bit disappointing that it's a Tamil movie and we are not able to watch it in Tamil Nadu. But fans in other states and around the world are enjoying the movie." 

Another fan says "Lots of review updates on Facebook state the film is very good."

Gagging artistic freedom seems to be on the rise in Tamil Nadu. Not long ago, the state government had banned Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam following opposition from Muslim groups. Screening of the film was allowed only after cuts on objectionable portions. At one point, Kamal Haasan had even threatened to leave the country. 

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had said then "We would require around fifty thousand policemen to protect the five hundred plus theatres. We have just around nine thousand police left. It's not enough. Maintaining law and order doesn't mean allowing a situation to turn violent, allowing violence to take place and then trying to quell it".

The state police chief has denied reports that the police advised theatre owners against screening the film, but they are non-commital on providing security to theatres.

Fans are watching Thalaivaa outside Tamil Nadu and in other countries. The producers are worried that it will mean losing revenue to piracy. Many websites, they say, have already posted the film.

Vijay himself doesn't want to comment on the issue. Reports say he plans to meet Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.



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