Tamil Nadu is awfully allergic to anything which remotely sounds or smells Sri Lanka. Actor Vijay's Kaththi (Knife) is the latest casualty. The movie is scheduled to open on October 22, which is Deepavali here in the state.
Early this morning, men allegedly from pro-Tamil groups vandalised one of Chennai's best known multiplex theatres, Satyam Cinemas. Trouble broke out just before the theatre had started its online reservations for the AR Murugadoss-helmed Kaththi, when the men broke glass panes and flung crude kerosene bombs inside the complex.
It is alleged that Kaththi's producers, Lyca, had close business links with the Sinhala Sri Lankan President, Rajapaksa. The minority Tamil race, under the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, demanding a separate homeland, had fought the majority Sinhala and its army.
Organisations sympathetic to Lankan Tamils had been demanding that all references to Lyca be deleted from the credits and publicity material.
Tamil Nadu has been extremely sympathetic to the Tamils in Sri Lanka - the language acting as bond. So, any film with even the remotest of Sri Lanka connection has not been able to run in the state. Madras Café, Inam and With You Without You have been some of the movies that were not allowed to release.
Incidentally, Kaththi is the second film of Vijay to have run into a storm. His earlier, Thalaivaa, could be released in Tamil Nadu only two weeks after it had opened in other states. Some Tamil Nadu theatres had got bomb threats.
In Kaththi, Vijay essays two roles with Samantha as the heroine.