Thesp-director-producer Kamal Haasan will start filming his “Sandiyar” (Fighter) in early July, after persuading community and government officials it will not spark communal caste clashes in south India.
He has offered to change the name and location, both to be announced, after talking with J. Jayalalitha, chief minister of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
“Sandiyar” is a true-life Romeo and Juliet story.Dr. K. Krishnaswamy, who belongs to a lower caste, had objected to the portrayal of his commu-nity and threatened to disrupt shooting — a threat he withdrew after hearing about the title change.
Jayalalitha, herself a one-time actress, refused protection for a crew that “purposely chooses a controversial topic.” The police said they couldn’t pro-tect the 200-member crew during the shoot.
Meanwhile descendants of the character on whom the movie is based are incensed by the objections. They claim that the clashes were not caste-based but rather part of the fight for independence from the British.