Vijay-Atlee’s Mersal has faced several issues on its way to the big screen: a title row, a petition against excessive pricing, a strike and confusion about the censor certificate. But now the makers and Vijay’s fans can heave a sigh of relief as the Animal Welfare Board has finally given a no objection certificate. The CBFC had earlier said that the board could not certify the movie before it is cleared by the Animal Welfare Board of India, after reports suggested that the movie had gotten an U/A certificate.
The No objection certificate is necessary due to sequences in the movie which involves animals. The film now awaits Censor certification to release on Wednesday. Also advance booking for the movie is likely to start on Monday night, now that the movie has obtained the NOC.
Significantly, Vijay met the Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy on Sunday. However, reports said that the issues surrounding Mersal’s release were not discussed. One of the most awaited movies this year, Mersal’s box office might also be affected due to the local body entertainment taxes which were fixed at 8% for Tamil movies, thus increasing the ticket price considerably. The base rates of tickets were also hiked 25% by the government recently.
However, none of these issues have hampered the buzz or the expectations around the movie. Helmed by Atlee, the magnum opus has a solid star cast comprising SJ Suryah, Nithya Menen, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Kajal Aggarwal. Mersal is Vijay’s biggest release yet with the film being screened in more than 3000 screens. With music scored by AR Rahman, Mersal is also Sri Thenandal Films’ 100th project.