25 Jan – Highly anticipated Tamil movie "Vishwaroopam" starring Kamal Haasan is banned in Tamil Nadu, India due to issued court order over alleged portrayal of Muslims in a bad light, however after yesterday's successful opening day in Malaysia, future screenings of the movie are now indefinitely postponed.
Yesterday, Thursday, 25 January; the opening day of the Tamil "Mission Impossible" which saw most of its local shows sold out, cinemas were informed of the possibilities of it being postponed due to the aforementioned court order, which led the distributor in India to halt the issuing of the password access code which is needed to access the digital hard disk that stores the 2D version of the movie.
Should the ban in India had then affected our shores, many local cinemas which planned to screen the 2D version of the movie would've been unable to carry on with the screening.
Only limited locations playing the 35mm version of the movie which included most LFS Cinema locations, TGV Capsquare and Seremban, most MBO Cinemas with the exception of their Terminal 2 location, along with certain GSC cinemas, would have been amongst the only ones capable to screen the movie.
However today, Lotus Five Star Sdn. Bhd., the local distributor of the movie has confirmed that they are currently in meetings with the Indian distributor as it seems that now the ban might affect us after all.
As local cinemas have been advised to halt all shows until further notice, GSC has confirmed that refunds will be made available for the cancelled screenings within one week from the screening date with proof of purchase, while certain cinemas that have pre-booked sold out halls for today will be proceeding with the screening.
Many fear an ensuing ruckus similar to what happened when Rajinikanth's "Sivaji The Boss" was released back in June 2007. Movie fans who queued up for hours and were unable to get tickets to watch the movie on its opening day, caused damage to cinema property and had put on a fiasco at the Coliseum Cinema in KL and LFS Sri Intan in Klang.
The two week court order ban of "Vishwaroopam" in Tamil Nadu is the result of protests by a Muslim organisation which is said to be carried out to "maintain law and order" in the state. The Indian court will review the status of the movie once again on 28 January and thus the verdict for our local screenings will be decided as well.
The original plan to release the film on January 11 worldwide was also hit with controversy after cinema owners objected to the movie being made available first on India's Direct-to-Home platform before the cinemas.
New Update [25 Jan, 4pm]: Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) has issued an immediate order to postpone the movie at all cinemas. Investigations will be conducted as they had received official complaints regarding the movie's subject matter.