CHENNAI: After a late night financial deal between the producers and financiers, the Kamal Haasan-starrer Uttama Villain finally hit the screens at 3 pm on Saturday. The delay in getting the green light pushed the noon show by three hours, which means the night shows would run into Sunday morning.
The movie was to be released on Saturday morning, after its Friday release got postponed. However, the theatres cancelled the morning and noon shows as well, much to the disappointment of the fans, as the message from Gemini DI, the lab that handled VFX for Uttama Villain, that dues have been cleared did not reach them.
The final clearance from Eros International to give Qube Digital Cinemas the go-ahead to send the digital keys (KDM) to all the theatres came only by 2.30 pm. By then, hundreds had crowded in theatres across the city for the noon shows. In most of the theatres, the show was allotted for matinee 5.45 pm, evening 9 pm and night 12 am.
Uttama Villain was in the eye of the storm after a financial dispute cropped up between the producers and financiers. After the much-hyped film, starring Kamal, Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar and K Balachander in a final performance, failed to release on Friday, fans were anxious about the possible Saturday release.
The issue was, however, resolved after R Sarath Kumar, president of the Tamil Nadu Nadigar Sangam, producer N Lingusamy, S Chandrahasan of Raaj Kamal Films International and N Subash Chandrabose of Thirrupathi Brothers, held talks with the financiers on Saturday, that lasted for hours. “All the issues were sorted out by 2 am. Though Kamal arrived from Dubai only at 10 pm, everyone waited and held discussions. Whatever financial worried they had have have now been set to rest. The movie will release at noon across Tamil Nadu and other places,” Kamal’s representative said earlier.
Speaking to mediapersons, Sarath Kumar said that the Nadigar Sangam will see to it that such rows do not happen before the release of any other movie in future. “Karthi’s film Komban also faced the same problem. Ban on any movie is not good for anyone in the cinema industry. The State government is not behind the ban of Uttama Villain, so people should not spread rumours. The movie got a tremendous opening overseas,” he added.
Lingusamy, film’s producer, apologised to disappointed fans of Kamal Haasan. “I know how it feels for a fan when he/she cannot watch the first show of their dream actor. My sincere apologies to them. We had passed the message to all theatres to run the noon shows, but somehow the message did not reach them on time,” he added.
foreign reviews hit local viewership
The industry was abuzz with claims that Uttama Villain had released in 400 screens in across Tamil Nadu and 1,500 worldwide. That turned out to be typical hyperbole as the TN figure stood at 300 screens, including UFO and PXD. Distributors attributed this to the fact that theatre owners had heard not-so-glowing reviews from fans abroad, who watched the movie on Friday, and spammed the social media with their ire. The length was trimmed by eight minutes from its original cut to run for 2 hours and 45 minutes despite Kamal’s representative initially stating that nearly 20 minutes of the film would be cut.