'Madras Café, a movie set in the backdrop of the Lankan insurgency of the 1990s has found place at a movie hall in Colombo, while in Tamil Nadu, no theatre is willing to screen the same – not even after the reported assurance from the Police Commissioner of Chennai.
A spokesperson for Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the producers of Madras Café, told City Express that the movie was released in Colombo after a cinema regulatory body there suggested a minor 10-second cut. But he did not reveal what it was about. “There were no apprehensions over Madras Café’s release. We secured its approval straightaway as it is neutral at all levels,” said the source. He, however, added that not a single theatre owner in the State was willing to screen the film as they were scared stiff over its repercussions.
“Theatre owners are worried that should the movie release, the halls would be vandalised. So they are not willing to take any risks. Our marketing personnel are in constant touch with them,” he added.
Madras Café was slated to release in 200 screens in TN and Kerala on Friday.
It now seems that the release of its Hindi and Tamil versions might be deferred to next week. Asserting that the movie was non-derogatory, he pointed out that the Hindi prints were certified U/A more than a month ago. The intent behind releasing it in Tamil, was to let people know more about the situation then.
All allegations leveled against the movie are baseless and specious arguments, he averred. “There is no reference to Malayalees as suggested by some groups,” he said. The movie’s overseas release, too, was marred with hostilities, ranging from bomb threats and opposition by outfits. Movie halls screening Madras Cafe in UK reportedly received bomb threats – pro-Tamil outfits had expressed displeasure at its screening in Singapore.