Telugu News

Ram Gopal Varma Cancels Protest Against CBFC’s Refusal To Watch NTR Biopic

A day after calling for a press conference to protest against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)’s refusal to watch his film Lakshmi’s NTR, director Ram Gopal Varma cancelled the meet. He said in a tweet that the “unfortunate misunderstanding between his office and the CBFC” had been sorted, and the body was now taking action “as per the laid down procedure.”

Varma had scheduled a press conference in the presence of his lawyer, to talk about the CBFC illegally trying to stop his film that was originally scheduled for a March 22 release. According to him, the body was overreaching its power by refusing to watch the movie and making assumptions about its content.

The CBFC had said that since the movie went against provisions of the model code of conduct ahead of elections, Varma’s application to view the film could not be processed till April 11 – the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls. The code of conduct mandated political parties and candidates to refrain from criticizing their opponents on unverified allegations.

The film follows the life of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao, and the changes in his political and personal life after his second marriage with Lakshmi Parvathi.

According to News18, TDP leaders had asked the Election Commission to prevent the movie from releasing in Andhra Pradesh. “Director Rama Gopal Varma has joined hands with the opposition YSR Congress Party. They are trying to dent Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s image weeks before polls. The movie will make an impact on voters so we have given a complaint to EC,” said Landka Dinakar, the spokesperson for the CM Chandrababu Naidu led TDP.

Ram Gopal Varma said in a tweet: “Election Commission derives its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution which empowers it to regulate the election process, the conduct of contesting candidates and political parties, and it has no jurisdiction on the exhibition of films #LakshmiNTR.”

He also said that the CBFC had no authority to postpone watching the film by citing the model of conduct. Doing so before viewing the film amounted to a blatant violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the constitution of India, said Varma.

Lakshmi’s NTR is the second biopic on the politician to come out this year. The film stars P Vijay Kumar as NTR, and Yagna Shetty as Lakshmi Parvathi. Earlier, director Krish’s two-part biopic on NTR released, but it was not received well.

Watch the trailer of Lakshmi’s NTR: