In Tamil YouTube channel Fully Filmy’s new video, the Vijay-starrer Mersal is reviewed with a difference: politicians replace the audience and lead actor Vijay becomes Joseph Vijay.
Mersal has been directed by Atlee and edited by Antony Ruben. “So the director is a Hindu and the editor is a Christian. No surprises if many temple scenes have been cut in the film,” a politician says, referring to Bharatiya Janata Party leader H Raja’s calling out of the actor’s religion.
The video counters the backlash from politicians by pointing out all the significant issues that they should rather be focusing on. “Where were you when journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house?” reviewer Kishen Das asks in the video.
The BJP’s Tamil Nadu state president has asked for a scene critical of the Goods and Services Tax to be removed from Mersal. This was followed by doctors from the Indian Medical Association in Tamil Nadu sharing pirated links of the film on social media. A public interest litigation has been filed against Mersal, asking for its censor certificate to be revoked because it dares to criticise the government’s policies.
Comedy channel Put Chutney also weighed in on the freedom of expression debate through an angry monologue, whose upshot is, “Please do not stamp our artistes with your manipulative tag of religion and caste.”