Will Suriya’s ‘Etharkkum Thunindhavan’ Have a Smooth Release In Theatres?

What is the controversy between Suriya and PMK after Jai Bhim?

Ever since the pandemic hit, right from Sudha Kongara’s Soorai Pottru and TJ Gnanavel’s Jai Bhim to legal drama Ponmagal Vandhal and family drama Udanpirappe featuring Jyothika – films that Suriya, either starred or produced under his banner 2D Entertainment have seen a direct OTT (Over The Top platform ) release. This decision irked theatre owners and the distributors alike in Tamil Nadu who voiced their opinions out at that time. However Suriya’s next film Etharkkum Thunindhavan backed by Sun Pictures, co-starring Priyanka Arul Mohan, Vinay, Sathyaraj and directed by Pandiraj of Pasanga fame, is all set for a grand release on 10 March. The plot of the film revolves around the crimes against women and the trailer promises that Etharkkum Thunindhavan will be a family entertainer.

Speaking to The Quint, the president of Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association, Subramaniyam, who had expressed his displeasure with Suriya’s direct OTT releases in the past, stated that the situation back then was heated and totally different. He further added, “We do understand that OTTs are separate platforms that are only a part of the cinema industry. We have no objection if films are released in OTT after a decent theatrical run”.

Just when the amicable relationship between Suriya and the theatre owners association seemed to revive, as part of the row over the controversial portrayal of Vanniyars in recently-released Suriya-starrer Jai Bhim, the Cuddalore district secretary of the PMK’s (Pattali Makkal Katchi) student union, Vijayvarman has written a letter to the TN Theatre Owners’ Association in the district. The letter asks them not to screen the actor’s films seeking an unconditional apology for hurting the sentiments of the community. He further added that Jai Bhim shows Vanniyars in bad light as violent people and thereby creates a communal disharmony between the Vanniyar and Irular communities.

Amidst the standoff between PMK and Suriya, which has been going on since the release of the actor’s film Jai Bhim, will Etharkum Thunindhavan hit theatres on 10 March sticking to its current plan? While the final decision lies with the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association who are in talks with relevant stakeholders, we will have to wait and watch.

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