Sarkar, the Indian Tamil-language action film, which is pulling in big crowds in theatres, has been mired in controversy from the day of its release. After receiving widespread backlash from the ruling AIADMK government, the Sarkar makers, have under immense pressure, decided to remove some controversial scenes, which allegedly shown former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in a poor light.
Therefore, the AR Murugadoss flick, starring actor Vijay in key role will now be screened with a five-second video cut and audio muted at three points following raging protests and vandalism by AIADMK supporters.
The first cut in Sarkar dropped the 5-second-long visuals of people throwing freebies like mixie and grinder in fire, reducing the movie duration from 164 minutes 46 seconds to 164 minutes 41 seconds.
The second cut was about muting the name 'Komala' aka 'Komalavalli' in the movie. The name was even removed from its "corresponding subtitles", wherever it appears. Komalavaalli, which as used for a negative character in the movie, is the original name of late AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa or popularly known as Amma.
The third and fourth cut involved muting and removing subtitles with the dialogues - "Podhuppaniththurai" and "56 varushan" or 56 years wherever they occur. "Podhuppaniththurai" roughly stands for Public Works department which allegedly hurt the public sentiments in the movie.
However, the edited version has been approved by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the movie will now be shown with a U/A certification in the theatres. With this, the ruling party has declared that the "issue has come to an end" and that it would not stage any more protests against the film.
Sarkar, produced by Sun Pictures ran into trouble after AIADMK cadres, following its release on Tuesday staged protests outside theaters in Madurai, Chennai and Coimbatore, demanding the arrest of director Murugadoss. The Madras High Court, however, had issued a restraining order against his arrest after he sought an anticipatory bail in the case.
"If censor board has certified the film why is there interference from the government," asked the court, adding that the director cannot be arrested till November 27.
Sarkar, which hit the theatres on November 6, has reportedly had a very good opening, ringing in cash at the box office.