The Tamil film Draupathi , directed by film-maker Mohan and featuring actor Richard Rishi, has been mired in controversy from various groups after the release of its trailer a few days ago.
The film is believed to be a revenge story about a man who exposes and takes on a ‘fake marriage’ racket. It is supposedly based on a 'fake marriage racket' run by four advocates who oversaw more than 3,500 such weddings in Tamil Nadu.
The film’s trailer has received a lot of flak for featuring a character that resembles Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder Thol. Thirumavalavan as the head of the ‘fake love’ racket and for featuring provocative dialogues against inter-caste marriage.
A supposedly criminal character in the film says that he has been taught by their leader to ‘Adanga Maru, Aththu Meeru’ — a political slogan used by Mr. Thirumavalavan.
Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam founder Kovai Ramakrishnan has called for a ban of the film for similar reasons. “The film appears to speak in favour of killing couples for falling in love with a member of another caste. It instigates violence against those that subscribe to anti-caste thought. The film also speaks against inter-caste marriage. The film is bound to create issues in the society if it releases,” he said.
Filmmaker Mohan, however, said the similarities between the character in the film and real-life politicians are entirely unintentional and that people in social media are making these connections of their own volition.
He said the film is based on an actual case of a ‘fake marriage’ racket unearthed few years ago. “This is based on an actual case of a fake marriage racket unearthed in 2013-2014. Around 3,500 marriages were performed by four lawyers. One of the characters in the film actually looks like one of the real-life lawyers involved in the case. The similarities end there. Those on social media are simply making connections where they do not exist,” he said.
Mr. Mohan also said any resemblance is entirely unintentional. “I cannot control what people say on social media. As far as I know, nobody has said anything about a ban. There is nothing in the film to be banned. The final post production work is underway,” he said.