Ahead of the theatrical release of Mersal, Ilayathalapathy Vijay met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami at his official residence in Chennai. The meeting assumes significance as Mersal has been facing problems in the run-up to its release. One of the important issues faced by Mersal makers is that the Censor board is yet to certify the film even as there are only three days left for the release.
The censor board officials have asked the filmmakers to produce the mandatory Non-Objection Certificate from AWBI (Animal Welfare Board of India) for using animals in the film. After evaluation, the censor board as awarded the film with U/A. However, they will issue the certificate only after the filmmakers fulfil the said requirement.
And many theaters in Tamil Nadu has not opened advance booking as the government has not passed the order on new movie ticket prices as yet. The government has increased the base price of movie tickets for the first time in 10 years even as it has announced 8 percent and 20 percent local body entertainment tax on Tamil and Non-Tamil films, respectively.
Earlier, the Edappadi Palaniswami-led government had fixed 10 percent as an additional tax over and above 28 percent GST for Tamil films. Following days of protests from the film fraternity and several rounds of negotiations, the government brought the tax rate to 8 percent.
Vijay was expected to have discussed a few pressing issues related to Mersal with the chief minister, to ensure a smooth release for his much-awaited film this Deepavali. However, Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur C. Raju has told the media that Mersal issues were not discussed during the meeting. He added Vijay met CM Edappadi to thank him for reducing the local entertainment tax.
Mersal is the most expensive film in the career of Vijay and it is set to release in theaterson October 18. The film is directed by Atlee, in which Vijay will play three different roles. While Nithya Menen, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Kajal Aggarwal play female leads.