`Madras Cafe`: Uncertainty over film's release in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: The release of John Abraham-starrer ‘Madras Café’ Friday here appears unlikely as major multiplexes are yet to open bookings, citing the constant protest against the film for allegedly portraying LTTE cadre as terrorists as one of the reasons.

The film, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is slated to release nationwide Friday.

None of the major multiplexes here have opened reservations for ‘Madras Café’, which is set to release in Tamil as well along with its Hindi version.

"The decision to screen the film lies with each theatre. We haven`t come to a consensus on the release of the film. We fear the ongoing protest might aggravate if we screen the film tomorrow (Friday)," a representative of a multiplex said.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court Wednesday refused to stay the release of the film in the state.

It had observed that the Tamil version should not be released without an appropriate certificate after petitioner B. Stalin, an advocate, had filed a PIL seeking a ban on the film, alleging that it contained "objectionable content" and might lead to law and problems if released.

The case was posted on further hearing Sep 3.

On Thursday, The Tamil version of ‘Madras Café’ was granted a U/A certificate with no cuts for release in Tamil Nadu by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Confirming the same, a representative of the movie`s co-producers Viacom18 Motion Pictures, said: "The Tamil version of `Madras Cafe` has been passed with U/A certificate with no cuts. We have also sought police protection to ensure a smooth release of the film."

The film, co-produced by John, who is also playing the lead in it, came under the scanner after Tamil activists alleged that it portrays the LTTE cadres as terrorists.

After attending a special preview of the film Sunday, the objection against the film by the groups grew stronger.

Tamil filmmaker Seeman, head of Naam Tamizhar (We Tamils) group, said the film was "nauseatingly anti-Tamil".

In a related development, the Bharatiya Janata Party`s Tamil Nadu unit chief Pon Radhakrishnan said the movie should not be released in any part of the country.

Also featuring Nargis Fakhri, Rashi Khanna, Ajay Rathnam and Leena Maria Paul, ‘Madras Café’ is a fictional story inspired by true events.

It is set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war and also depicts the 1991 assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.