Court defers 'Vishwaroopam' verdict until Tuesday

Chennai, Jan 28 (IANS) The verdict on the ban on "Vishwaroopam" has been deferred till Tuesday with the Madras High Court's Justice K. Venkatraman asking actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan to explore ways of a settlement with the Tamil Nadu government.

The judge watched the film at a private screening Jan 26. Haasan, 58, who was not present for the hearing Monday, is likely to meet government officials in the day.

The Tamil and Telugu versions were scheduled for Jan 25 release, but a day before the screenings the Tamil Nadu government imposed a two-week ban on the film after some Muslim groups complained that some scenes in the film portrayed the community in a bad light.

More on Vishwaroopam

On Jan 25, the Madras High Court restricted the film's release till Jan 28. A judge was to see the movie Jan 26, and pronounce on the movie's fate Monday.

"Vishwaroopam" released in places like Kerala, a few parts of Hyderabad and Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on the scheduled date, but soon after the first show, the screening was banned in these states too.

On Jan 26, the film was also banned in Malaysia, where it released Jan 24. It was banned after the Malaysian ministry intervened and requested the distributor to stop the screening of the film.

Following the ban in Tamil Nadu, actors such as superstar Rajinikanth, Ajith Kumar, Parthepan and filmmaker Bharathiraja along with producer Mukta Srinivasan opposed the measure, and urged members from Muslim organisations to allow peaceful release of the international espionage thriller.

Produced and directed by Kamal, "Vishwaroopam" features him in the title role. Other members of the cast include Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat.

Its Hindi version "Vishwaroop" is slated to release Feb 1.

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