Despite the court order for a stay on director John Paulraj’s Agni Devi, the film released in theatres today. The stay was issued by a sub-ordinate court in Coimbatore on March 22, in response to actor Bobby Simha’s complaint stating that the movie was shot with his body double, and that he had quit the film after five days of shoot due to creative differences with the director.
The lawyer handling the case, G Vijay Kumar, told Silverscreen that a contempt of court application has now been filed against the film’s release in theatres. “The release is a violation of the court order,” he said.
Meanwhile, it is being speculated that the TFPC has issued a red card to Bobby Simha for failing to appear for the investigation on the Agni Devi issue. It is also alleged that the police complaint is false and intentional.
Sources : TFPC has put Red card for actor #BobbySimha as he failed to appear for investigation continuously regarding #AgniDevi issue. The police complaint he made against #AgniDevi appears to be false and intentional.
— Heytamilcinema (@Heytamilcinema) March 21, 2019
A member of the producers’ council TFPC confirmed to Silverscreen that talks were on, but said no official announcement could be made regarding this. “The film has been running in theatres. But, we don’t have a count of the number of screens yet.”
Both Bobby Simha and director Paulraj have been unavailable for comment.
In his complaint filed with the Nandambakkam police in Chennai, Bobby Simha had stated that most of the scenes in the film were shot with a body double and VFX, without his consent. Following this, the police booked director Paulraj under four sections of the IPC, including forgery of documents and criminal breach of trust.
Simha issued a statement, and later took the case to a sub-ordinate court in Coimbatore.
On March 20, the court ordered a temporary stay on the release of Agni Devi. Lawyer Vijay Kumar said, “The court has ordered to maintain status quo, with instructions to not release the picture as of now. An advocate commissioner has been appointed to file a report regarding computer graphics and other complaints raised. Only after the report is submitted can a decision be taken.”
He added that the next hearing may happen on March 26 or 27, and the film cannot release until then. Meanwhile, a recent report by TNIE quoted director John Paulraj denying all of Simha’s allegations, and saying the movie was completed with the existing shots.
The movie was initially titled Agni vs Devi, and posters and trailers released under this name. In January, the title was changed to Agni Devi and a second trailer released. Bobby Simha and Madhubala star in the lead as Agni and Devi.
The film is inspired by a novel written by Rajesh Kumar, and the story revolves around the fight between Agni and Devi. Madhubala plays the antagonist – minister Shakuntala Devi. Remya Nambeesan and Satish are part of the cast. Music for the movie is by Dhruvangal Pathinaaru fame Jakes Bejoy.
Watch the second trailer here: