Actor Dhanush’s directorial debut – Power Paandi – has undergone a name change, and is now Pa Pandi. The title has been changed to claim tax exemption awarded only to films with Tamil titles.
The lead actor Rajkiran’s name in the film is Paandian Pazhanisami, which complements the title change. Dhanush, in a cameo, plays the younger Paandian.
On July 21, 2011, a guideline was laid down by the AIADMK government stating that besides the Tamil title, the film must adhere to four other qualifying norms: A ‘U’ certificate; the story should promote Tamil language and culture; dialogue in the film should be in Tamil except in scenes which warrant use of other languages; and violence and obscenity should not find a place beyond the ‘tolerable limit’. The government faced severe criticism from filmmakers who were denied tax exemption for their films.
Kamal Haasan’s Paapanasam (2015) and Vijay’s Puli (2015) did not receive tax exemption despite adhering to the norms. The reasons cited for Paapanasam included ‘showing the police force in unflattering light’ as well as ‘a criminal seeking redemption through a holy dip instead of turning himself in’. Puli was not spared either, because it promoted ‘superstitious beliefs‘.
Thus far, Pa Pandi is scheduled for an April 14 release. The film also stars Chaya Singh, Revathi, Prasanna, Madonna Sebastian, Dhivyadarshini and Gautham Menon. The film’s new trailer was released last weekend.