Vadivelu's Tenaliraman with no cuts
In a hurried public announcement, representatives of several Telugu groups, led by Ramakrishna Tanguturi, Convenor of the All India Federation of Telugu Organizations, AGS Entertainment’s Director R Rangarajan and Vadivelu kept harping on the fact that the issue was “sorted out” and that the film will release on Friday.
Though both sides had a decided lack of bonhomie while making the announcement at a hotel in T Nagar, it is perhaps because of the uncertain nature of the compromise drawn up. After refusing to give in to the demands of the groups till they took the matter to court last week, AGS is believed to have reached out to them on Tuesday evening and worked out a solution, “We have raised objections to about 20 things. They (AGS) have said that they will go to the studio and mute most of these things in the film. They have also agreed to show us the film and work on any further objections that we may have,” said Ramakrishna. The production house, helmed by Kalpathi S Aghoram, had initially been hesitant to screen the film to these groups, but appears to have relented as the release is two days away.
Having invested a princely `18 crore in the period flick, having it delayed by even a week would have dented collections as there are Tamil films line up for release every weekend till May 9, when Rajini’s Kochadaiiyaan hits screens. AGS coming to an agreement may not have mattered as the petition from the groups that the film depicts Krishnadevaraya in a derogatory manner, was dismissed by the Madras High Court, an hour before they settled – placing the Telugu groups on not-so-firm ground. But still, as Rangarajan put it, “AGS is a company that is committed to making clean films that do not offend the sentiments of any race, creed, ethnicity or language. We have agreed to a disclaimer at the beginning that says that all characters in this film are imaginary and so there won’t need to be any cuts to the content.”
However, the reactions to the news are mixed at this stage – as Telugu groups are celebrating the compromise as a “major victory” for all the Telugu people in the world, members of the film fraternity have voiced opinions that the whole ‘compromise’ was just a way to “save face” for the protesting groups. This may be true as, controversy or not, ticket reservations for Vadivelu’s film began early on Wednesday.