CHENNAI: Ace director Mani Ratnam’s Kadal (The Sea) seems to be sinking at the box office, faced with heavy competition from Kamal Hassan’s Viswaroopam.
Adding to trouble caused by a fight between distributors and exhibitors, the film now also faces legal hurdles being set up by religious organisations.
If it was Muslim organisations that fought against Viswaroopam, it is Christian associations that are objecting to Kadal, which features life of fisher folk from that community who live on Tamil Nadu’s coast.
Basically the film tells a love story, but the organisations find certain things that offend Christians.
Two Christian outfits have approached courts seeking a ban on the film. Arjun, Aravind Swamy, Gautham Karthik and Tulasi Nair play lead roles in the film praised for its visual magnificence and exquisite music provided by AR Rahman. The film has not fared well at the box office.
While some critics say its script is not powerful enough to pull crowds, some blame it on the cast.
It should, however, be noted that a Mani Ratnam film is never at risk just because of its cast.
Arvind Swamy was no celebrity when he was cast in Roja and Bombay.
A section of film distributors staged a protest in front of Mani Ratnam’s house in Chennai on Sunday alleging that they had suffered huge losses screening the movie.
They alleged that Kadal had only collected around 30 per cent of their investment.
It is known that distributors advance a substantial part of a film’s cost if the director or lead actors are having high market value.
The distributors want Mani Ratnam to compensate the loss.
Mani Ratnam, however, insisted that his Madras Talkies was not responsible for the losses.
In a press release, he said “Madras Talkies had sold their film Kadal (Tamil and dubbed Telugu versions) to Gemini Industries and Imaging Ltd in March 2012 itself on MG basis.
“Madras Talkies has had no other dealing with anyone else for the distribution of their film nor has been party to any contracts Gemini might have entered into in this regard.”
Mani Ratnam is known to have earlier paid compensation for such losses.