Vijay Sethupathi criticised for Muthiah Muralidaran biopic 800; makers assure film will not 'belittle struggles of Eelam Tamils'

Though Sethupathi received praise for completely transforming into Muthiah Muralidaran for 800, he was also criticised for representing a country that has repressed the Tamil community for a long time.

FP Staff October 14, 2020 19:53:53 IST
Vijay Sethupathi criticised for Muthiah Muralidaran biopic 800; makers assure film will not 'belittle struggles of Eelam Tamils'

Vijay Sethupathi as Muthiah Muralidaran | Image from Twitter

Actor Vijay Sethupathi, will soon be seen as Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralidaran, in the biographical drama 800. The makers unveiled the first look motion poster on Tuesday, following which there is received backlash from a section of social media.

The clip focused on how Muralidaran grew up in the backdrop of the three decade long civil war in Sri Lanka. It also showed his talent and love for cricket, and the training he underwent to become the legend he now is, in spite of the sectarian violence ravaging the island nation. The title takes inspiration from the number of wickets Muralidaran has taken in his Test cricket career.

Though Sethupathi received praise for completely emulating Muralidaran's avatar, he was also criticised for representing a country that has repressed the Tamil community for a long time, says The Week#ShameOnVijaySethupathi is one of the hashtags trending in reaction to the biopic.

Production house DAR Motion Pictures released a statement, clarifying that 800 is "purely a sports biographical film" and it "does not make any political statements by favouring any community." The producers also assured that 800 will not "showcase any scenes that will belittle the struggles of Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka or hurt their sentiments."

Here is the statement

800 is directed by MS Sripathy, who has co-written the film alongside Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew. Muralidaran is also attached as producer via Movie Train Motion Pictures.

Variety writes that Rajisha Vijayan will play the cricketer's wife Madhimalar.

The film will be in Tamil language, but dubbed in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali and Sinhalese. The makers have also planned an English version with subtitles. 800 is expected to go on floors in 2021 and will be shot across India, Sri Lanka, the UK and Australia.

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