Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam finally opened Thursday in 500 theatres across Tamil Nadu to full houses, as expected. The actor-filmmaker says the espionage thriller opened without any incident and I feel vindicated.
"There was not a murmur of unrest let alone protest, anywhere in Tamil Nadu. Fans from both the communities, Hindu and Muslim, had assured me there would be absolute peace. Sure enough, the film opened today without any incident. I feel vindicated," said Kamal.
The Rs.95 action-thriller was originally slated to come out Jan 25, but its release was banned by the Tamil Nadu government after some Muslim organisations protested against the film, saying some scenes in the film would hurt the sentiments of the community.
After talks and discussions, the ban was lifted from the film and it came out Thursday.
Significantly, pirated copies of Vishwaroopam are out in Chennai, but no one's buying that.
"My audiences know how important the success of Vishwaroopam is for my future. They have decided to boycott the pirates because they know my survival depends entirely on the success of this film. So no pirated copies of the film are being bought," Kamal said.
"For my fans. Vishwaroopam is much more than a film. It's a mission. Likewise my colleagues from the Tamil film industry have pledged to see the film twice, once for the pleasure of it and then once because they want to ensure it's a blockbuster."
Starring Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat, the film sees Kamal in the title role.
Kamal had a very successful screening of the film for his colleagues Wednesday evening where some of the august gathering compared Kamal Haasan's crossover from a Kathak dancer to a fighter-hero, to Superman's makeover from Clark Kent to the flying super-hero.
The irrepressible actor chuckled, "But it's not really Superman in 'Vishwaroopam'. I had very practical problem with making my character doing a Superman. Where in today's era of cellphones would Superman change his costume? There are no phone booths any more for Superman to change into Clark Kent, and vice versa."
On a more serious note, Kamal said: "I've gone back much further than Superman for inspiration for my duel character of the effeminate dancer turned hero in Vishwaroopam. The character comes from the Tamil version of the Mahabharat."