"No real creative freedom for filmmakers in India"... This acclaimed director responds after Nayanthara's Annapoorani removal from OTT!

(This article is authored by Alar)

Vetrimaaran, the acclaimed director of films like ‘Viduthalai’ and ‘Asuran’, has come out in support of the controversial film ‘Annapoorani’, which was recently removed from Netflix following protests from some Hindu groups. The film, starring Nayanthara, Jai, Sathyaraj, and Reddin Kingsley, is a story of a Brahmin girl who pursues her passion for cooking despite facing opposition from her conservative family.

Vetrimaaran, who is known for his hard-hitting and realistic films, said that there is no real creative freedom for filmmakers in India, even on OTT platforms. He said that the censor board should be the only authority to decide the fate of a film, and not any external pressure groups. He questioned the validity of the censor board’s certification if a film can be removed or banned after getting clearance from the board.

‘Annapoorani’ was released on Netflix on December 29, 2023, and received positive reviews from critics and audiences. However, it also faced backlash from some sections of the Hindu community, who accused the film of hurting their religious sentiments and promoting love jihad.

One of the most vocal critics of the film was Ramesh Solanki, a former Shiv Sena leader from Mumbai, who filed a complaint against the film at the Mumbai police station. He alleged that the film ‘Annapoorani’ was offensive to Hinduism and supported love jihad and he demanded that the film be banned and the makers be arrested.

Moreover, an FIR was also filed against the movie makers in Madhya Pradesh. The film’s removal from Netflix has sparked a debate on social media, with many people supporting the film and condemning the censorship, while others supporting the ban and praising the protesters.