After having been facing lurching and aberrant reception across and beyond the borders over Muthiah Muralidharan's biopic '800', the makers of the movie have now opened up and issued a statement in a bid to mitigate the outrage and trouble brewing around the biopic and around Vijay Sethupathi, who is acting as the legendary spinner in the movie, that picturizes the life story of Muthiah Muralidharan.
Ever since the announcement made that Vijay Sethupathi would be acting in the movie in the lead role of reprising the spinner, the actor has been surfaced with fierce demands and troubles after the fans and the Tamil people have been urging him to drop the biopic of Muralidharan, who has apparently supported Sinhala leaders Rajapaksas who had executed genocide against the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka during the final stage of the civil war in 2009.
As the genocide had killed lakhs of Tamil people and displaced thousands who were scattered across the borders and still waiting for justice, Muralidharan, post his retirement from cricket, had turned as an ardent supporter of Rajapaksas and the spinner had backed the Sinhala leaders during the general and presidential elections in the island nation. The spinner had drawn massive flak and objection from Tamil people for supporting Rajapaksas despite being a Tamil migrant.
When the announcement of the biopic was made, it was widely speculated that Vijay Sethupathi would be acting in the movie and the actor had received the demands to drop the movie. However, later the actor himself confirmed that he would be acting in the movie and playing the role of Muthiah Muralidharan, and said that he has been honored to be a part of the landmark project. However, the actor has been surfaced with the tensions and outrage from the Tamil fans and fraternities asking the actor to drop the biopic.
On Tuesday, the makers had released the first motion poster of the movie which further fueled the outrage. Ever since the poster was released, the hashtags #ShameOnVijaySethupathi and #BoycottVijaySethupathi have been trending on Twitter as the users have strongly been castigating the actor against acting in the movie. With such an unanticipated reception and growing unrest for the movie, the moviemakers had released the statement to mitigate the outrage.
The moviemakers had clarified that the movie is purely a sports biography and it has been getting politicized. The biopic was jointly produced by Movie Train Motion Picture and Dar Pictures and the Dar Pictures had issued the statement of asserting that the movie will not hurt the sentiments of anyone and will not carry visuals degrading the Sri Lankan Tamil Community.
In its statement, Dar Motion Pictures said, "It came to our notice that our film '800', the biopic of Muthiah Muralidharan featuring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead, is being politicized in many ways. However, we want to clarify that 800 is purely a sports biography film about the legendary cricketer Muthiah Muralidharan. We, as the producers, assure that this film will not showcase any scenes that would belittle the struggles of Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka or hurt their sentiments in any way".
The production house further stated that "On a positive note, the film will engage the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and will be providing the artists and technicians with a platform to showcase their talents on a global stage". The clarification comes when Tweeple have been holding a virtual outrage against Vijay Sethupathi to drop the biopic. However, the actor is still yet to give his response to address the demands.
The biopic film has been titled as '800' to mark the number of wickets taken by Muralidharan in the test cricket. Directed by MS Sripathy, the biopic will be covering the struggles faced by the spinner and how he rose to popularity and become one of the legendary cricketers in history.