* The release of Kamal Haasan’s film ‘Vishwaroopam’ has been put on hold in Bangalore.
*The police commissioner chose to personally watch the film to know the content first hand. Some theatres had screened the movie yesterday but screening was stopped in one theatre at the intermission – it is clear that the police would rather be safe than sorry.
(*)The mega-budget movie has stirred controversy with some groups protesting against the film’s portrayal of Muslims. They claim that the movie is anti- Muslim.
The protests that began in Tamil Nadu have spread to Bangalore and Hyderabad as well. On Saturday, Justice K Venkatraman of the Madras High Court watched the movie to check if it indeed shows Muslims in poor light as has been claimed by the protestors. The court’s verdict on whether the film can be screened in Tamil Nadu is expected on Monday.
Although the Central Board of Film Certification has cleared the Rs. 95-crore film, the Tamil Nadu government put its release on hold on January 23, citing law and order concerns.
Mr Haasan has described the ban as “cultural terrorism” and the movie as “Muslim-friendly.” The actor-director is presently in the US to promote the film.
Other milestone points:
For the first time ever in the history of Indian Cinema, Vishwaroopam in Tamil and Telugu and Vishwaroop in Hindi is being telecast through DTH as a premiere show, one day before the theatrical release. It is being telecast across all the six DTH platforms in India (Tata Sky, Airtel, Videocon, Reliance, Dish and Sun). Viewers can watch the movie by paying Rs 1000/- for the Tamil version and Rs 500/- for the Hindi and Telugu versions.
This is a revolutionary concept that has set off a raging debate in the film industry with the exhibitors supporting and opposing the move. Kamal Hasan promoted the concept and held discussions with various stake holders over the past few weeks resulting in the decks being cleared for a grand theatrical as well as DTH release. Dr Dasari’s Siri Media is releasing Vishwaroopam in Telugu and Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Films is releasing Vishwaroop in Hindi. Rajkamal films is releasing it across Tamil Nadu
There is an unprecedented buzz and excitement around Vishwaroopam/Vishwaroop jointly produced by PVP Cinema and Rajkamal Films International. It is going to be screened across more than 1000 screens across the country and targetting 3.5 crore subscriber base across the nation.
Kamal, 58, has written and directed Vishwaroopam, which stars himself alongside Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat. It is releasing Jan 11 next year.
Meanwhile, the actor will meet a group of producers to discuss and debate the trend.
Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus Vishwaroopam that was supposed to hit the screens on 11th January is postponed to 25th January after few positive discussions between Kamal Haasan and Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association (TNTOA).
It is learnt that the Universal Star and the Theatre Owners Association members had a meet previous night and this morning, and they have come to a mutual understanding to release Vishwaroopam in a good number of theaters on January 25. So, the postponement is likely to happen though an official announcement is to be made.
Directed by Kamal Haasan
Written by Kamal Haasan
Starring Kamal Haasan
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Cinematography Sanu Varghese
Editing by Mahesh Narayanan
Studio Raaj Kamal Films International
Distributed by PVP Films
25 January 2013 (Tamil)
1 February 2013 (Hindi)
Running time 147 minutes
Budget 95 crore (US$17.29 million)
An Afghani al-Qaeda jihadi Omar (Rahul Bose), his accomplice Salim (Jaideep Ahlawat) and their international terror network, plots to attack New York with a “Cesium-bomb”.Vishwanath alias Wiz (Kamal Haasan) is a Kathak teacher who runs his dance class in New Jersey.Wiz lives with his wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), a nuclear oncologist, in New York. Nirupama confides it’s a marriage of convenience that provided her a safe haven while she pursued her Ph.D in the U.S. The age gap between them notwithstanding, she is put off by Vishwanath’s effeminate traits & is attracted to her boss, Deepak(Samrat Chakrabarti). She smells something fishy about her husband and hires a private investigator to trail him.Moreover, she learns that Vishwanath is not a Hindu but a Muslim RAW agent and that he married her to investigate Deepak and his boss Omar in connection with a bomb blast in the heart of New York.His mission is to bust the ‘sleeper-cell’ of the jihadis in the US, which is planning to spread nuclear radiation by tying “capsules” on the pigeons in New York and also conduct serial blasts in the happening city.
In a sudden turn of events, the investigator gets killed by a member of a terrorist outfit. A visiting card on his purse gives away the names of Vishwanath and Nirupama and the terror group nabs the couple. The outfit operates from a warehouse and is headed by Omar.
Omar and Vishwanath have a past, one that takes the story back by almost a decade, to the al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. What follows is a maze of events that go back and forth in time, unravelling an international spy thriller.Jihadis scratch nuclear powder from an oncologist’s machines and store it for a bigger blast.
Nirupama is stunned to discover the true identity of her husband, his uncle (a cameo by Shekhar Kapur) and the young dancer Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah) at her husband’s dance school. Together, they try to counter the plans of Omar and his group that could destroy New York.
in wikipedia –
After finishing his Manmadan Ambu (2010), Kamal Haasan stated in November 2010 that he was working on the scriptment of his “pet project” titled Thalaivan Irukkiran, a film about an international community. Termed as a big budget multi-starrer film, it was expected to commence by March 2011, with a Hollywood studio reportedly coming forward to produce it.
However, in early 2011, sources claimed that Kamal shelved that project and agreed to star in a Selvaraghavan directorial, being impressed by the one-line story narrated to him. Reports further suggested that the film was based on the 2001 American psychological thriller Hannibal, with Kamal playing a cannibal,Closer to release, Kamal Haasan revealed that he had thought of the story seven years before production began and had to convince himself that the story could be made into a feature film.
The film was named Vishwaroopam, after several titles were considered,by late March and the shooting was planned to begin by mid-April and to be completed within 100 days. It was revealed that the film would be produced in three languages—Tamil, Telugu and Hindi—simultaneously. There will also be a dubbed Telugu version titled Vishwaroopam.
On 24 May 2011, it was announced that Selvaraghavan was ousted from the project, as he was busy finishing his project with his brother Dhanush. Kamal Hassan decided to direct the film himself in addition to writing the story, screenplay and dialogues.
The producing studio, Telephoto Films, had urged him to take up the project, planning for a release on 7 November 2011,. The film was then disclosed to be a spy thriller on the lines of the Mission Impossible series.
The film was being made as a bilingual and simultaneously shot in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages; all the actors had to learn their dialogues in both languages.
Sanu John Varghese made his debut as a cinematographer in Tamil after previously working in the Hindi film, Karthik Calling Karthik and the Malayalam film Elektra. Varghese had previously been a part of the team that Kamal Haasan had assembled for Marmayogi, which did not take off. Mahesh Narayanan, a leading Malayalam film editor, was signed up for the project after he had acquainted with Kamal Haasan for the pre-production works of the film Traffic, which the actor later opted out from. The team signed up N. G. Roshan as a make-up artiste after Kamal Haasan appreciated his work in the 2009 Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja, while Mahadevan Thampi was picked to be the still photographer after Kamal Haasan had worked with him for a day during his guest appearance in Four Friends.
By February 2011, newcomer Sonakshi Sinha was approached to play the lead female character, and was confirmed to play Haasan’s wife.Her salary for the film was touted to be 2 crore (US$364,000). However, with the film getting delayed, she opted out by July, due to conflicting dates with her Hindi assignments. Following Sinha’s exit, other leading Bollywood actresses, including Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, and Sonam Kapoor were considered. Vidya Balan was also approached by the makers, but she declined the offer, owing to her prior commitments. By mid-August, Sameera Reddy was reported to have been roped in for the role, while sources stated that Anushka Shetty was finalised soon after. In early November 2011, New York based model-actress Pooja Kumar was signed in for a role after she had been recommended to Kamal Haasan by his partner, Gouthami.The initial audition for Pooja Kumar was held over Skype, with Haasan noting that she had thought the film was initially based on cannibalism. Being a non-Tamil speaker her dialogues have been dubbed by actress Abhirami, although Pooja Kumar dubbed for herself in the film’s Hindi version. Telugu actress Lakshmi Manchu was offered a role in the film, but declined it due to date issues.
Shriya Saran was reported to play the second female lead in the film, with the actress dismissing the news several days later, citing that she had not even heard the script, following which Priya Anand was claimed to have bagged that role. This turned out to be false, with Kamal Haasan citing that he did not know who Priya Anand was. Isha Sharvani was meanwhile selected for a role, with reports suggesting that she would essay the character of Kamal Haasan’s sister in the film. However, Sharvani too opted out later, due to “inordinate delay in the start of the shoot”. By late August 2011, British model-turned-actress Amy Jackson was reported to have been added to the cast. During mid-October, singer-actress Andrea Jeremiah had been signed on for a pivotal role and paid an advance.
Rahul Bose was finalised to play the antagonist.
Later that month, actor-director Shekhar Kapur informed on Twitter that he would perform a cameo role, while Samrat Chakrabarti had also been selected for a supporting role. Jaideep Ahlawat disclosed in an interview that he would play an “out-and-out negative character” in the film. Zarina Wahab told in November 2011 that she shot for a small role in Vishwaroopam.In January 2012, Chitrangada Singh was offered a “very special role”, which the actress had to decline, since her dates clashed with Sudhir Mishra’s film.As Kamal Hassan is ardent reader of Richard Dawkins, he had named Miles Anderson as Dawkins in the movie.
The film’s shooting was supposed to take off on 20 April, but became delayed, since the US Consulate had refused Visas to the cast and crew. The team decided to relocate to Canada, postponing filming to June.The shooting began for the film in Chennai in August 2011 and locations filmed at included Haasan’s office in October 2011, when Isha Sharvani was also a part of the shoot. The film briskly progressed in late 2011, with scenes involving Samrat Chakrabarti filmed in November of the same year. Sets resembling Afghanistan were created in Chennai, with many foreigners from Russia, Iran and Africa playing American soldiers, while Haasan wore an Afghan look.In November 2011, the team also pursued schedules in Amman and Petra in Jordan with Rahul Bose’s scenes being canned. Haasan learnt Kathak from Birju Maharaj for an important portion in the film.
Due to delays, casting took a relatively long period of time, with several of the original cast dropping out of the project. Vishwaroopam was shot extensively overseas in countries like the United States and Canada. Domestic locations included Chennai and Mumbai.Kamal Haasan went to USA on 15 December 2011 for completing a schedule.The main outdoor shoots were shot in New York as the lead character is based there, and the production team also matched New York with the Grand Rapids in Michigan. Re-recording and dubbing work began in Mumbai in late February 2012, with Haasan arranging a dialogue coach in Tamil and Hindi to get the artistes’ dubbing in place, with Atul Tiwari supervising the Hindi dialogues.
The climax scenes featuring an aerial fight choreographed by Hollywood stuntman Lee Whittaker was filmed at Chandivali Studio in Andheri, Mumbai in early March 2012 with Haasan and Rahul Bose.The film was shot in digital format, after several false starts Haasan’s previous projects. Speaking about it, he said “The fact that cinema is going digital is the biggest technological change today. We have to accept it, as it is happening globally and it will happen in Tamil Nadu too.”
Gouthami designed the costumes for the film. A research had to be carried out on the American army’s hierarchy for the costumes. N. G. Roshan, who had previously worked in notable Malayalam films, took charge of the make-up for the film. The villain had to undergo a heavy use of prosthetic make-up. A scene involving a war explosion had to show an injured jaw for him. Further, the artists appearing as war victims had blood and other forms of injuries applied on their bodies. The Jaika stunt team, that was also involved in Ajith Kumar’s Billa II then, worked on the action sequences. Haasan’s younger daughter Akshara Haasan joined the crew as an assistant director. Kunal Rajan was roped in as a sound designer and the stunt crew for the film were imported in from Thailand.
Main article: Vishwaroopam (soundtrack)
Initially, Yuvan Shankar Raja was reported to compose the film’s musical score. However, Kamal signed in the musical trio Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy to compose music for the trilingual, making it his second collaboration with them after Aalavandhan.Lyricist Vairamuthu took charge of the lyrics of the songs in the film, after Kamal Haasan had approached him and narrated the entire plot, to which he immediately agreed to work upon. Javed Akhtar has penned lyrics for the Hindi version, while Ramajogayya Shastry has done the lyrics for the dubbed Telugu version. The audio was released on 7 December 2012. The Telugu version of the audio was released on 30 December at Hyderabad.
The makers planned the high-budget production to premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. A special screening of the film was arranged for Hollywood-based producer Barrie M. Osborne and make-up artist Michael Westmore. Before release, it was reported to have been split into two parts, with each one having a separate release.
The first look poster and a teaser of the film were released on May Day 2012 as part of the film’s marketing process. The poster consisted of Kamal Haasan wearing a green khaki jacket, with a flying pigeon and a skyline of a city consisting of several skyscrapers in the background.
Snippets from the film were unveiled during the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend and awards in Singapore in June 2012, as the actor-director screened excerpts from the film, attracting critical acclaim. He also went on to reveal the synopsis of the film, mentioning that a sequel was already planned and several sequences had already been shot featuring Andrea Jeremiah in a more prominent role. A one minute trailer was released at the award ceremony, which saw Kamal Haasan and Andrea take part in a press conference. The film’s Tamil version was given a U/A (Parental Guidance) certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification with minor cuts, while the Hindi version Vishwaroop, got an “A” (Adults Only) certificate with no cuts. However, it was later announced that the Hindi version went through minor cuts to receive the U/A certificate. A third theatrical trailer (in Auro 3D) was released on 7 November, coinciding with Haasan’s birthday. It included a webcast of Kamal’s speech via Skype. The film is releasing in 3,000 prints worldwide. While the movie would release in theatres on 25 January 2013, Vishwaroopam DTH release will be on 2 February 2013 via 6 DTH players – Tata Sky, Airtel, Sun, Dish, Videocon & Reliance. The Hindi version is scheduled to be released on 1 February 2013.
Vishwaroopam was scheduled to release in about 500 screens in Tamil Nadu.After initial delay,Vishwaroopam was cleared for screening in 12 theatres across Bangalore city from Sunday,January 27,2013.