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Thalaivi: Madras HC Dismisses Jayalalithaa’s Niece’s Plea to Ban the Film’s Release

The Madras High Court on Friday quashed the lawsuit filed by Deepa Jayakumar, the niece of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, seeking a ban on the release of the upcoming multilingual biopic of Jayalalithaa Thalaivi


In December 2019, Deepa sought a stay on her aunt’s biopics- feature film Thalaivi directed by AL Vijay and web series Queen directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon– alleging that they would misrepresent Jayalalithaa and breach the privacy of her and her aunt. 

Justices R Subbiah and Sathi Kumar Sukumara on Friday dismissed her plea and said that a deceased person’s right to privacy cannot be inherited.

Deepa had stated in her plea that she was unaware of the film’s story, script, screenplay and dialogue and feared that they might depict her and Jayalalithaa in their own version; which might affect the privacy of their families, The News Minute reported

According to the report, Vijay’s counsel said that Thalaivi was based on the book with the same title authored by Vaasanthi. They further added that the details of Jayalalithaa’s public life were available on media and that the makers have shown her in a good light. The director’s counsel told the court that it can’t allow a private screening for her as the Central Board of Film Certification had already certified it.

Thalaivi stars Kangana Ranaut and Aravind Swami in pivotal roles.

The court, however, said that since the biopic was yet to be released, Deepa could file a lawsuit for damages after it releases. Since Queen, starring Ramya Krishnan in the lead, had premiered on a streaming platform and has since been viewed by several people, banning its telecast cannot be granted now, the court said as reported by Bar and Bench  

Earlier, Thalaivi ran into trouble when a lawyer asked the Election Commission of India to restrain the display of any “publicity material” ahead of the legislative Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.

Thalaivi was due to release in theatres on April 23. However, the makers announced that the release has been postponed due to the alarming rise of Covid-19 cases in the country.


“Since the film has been made in multiple languages, we would like to release it in all languages on the same day. But with an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, subsequent precautions and lockdowns, even though our film is ready for release on 23rd April, we want to extend all the support towards the government rules and regulations and have decided to postpone the release of Thalaivi,” the makers said in the statement.

The makers have not yet announced a new release date.

The film is produced by Vibri Media along with Karma Media and Entertainment and Zee Studios. The film also features Madhoo, Nassar, Bhagyashree, Samuthirakani, among others. Thalaivi was simultaneously shot in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.