Muttiah Muralitharan biopic 800 in trouble, makers say film will not show Eelam Tamils in bad light

Muttiah Muralitharan and Vijay Sethupathi

The producers of Vijay Sethupathi’s Muttiah Muralitharan biopic 800 issued a statement on Wednesday (October 15) claiming that the film is purely a sports biography film. Stating that the film is being politicised in many ways, they revealed that the “film will not showcase any scenes that would belittle the struggles of Eelam Tamils.” Further, the 800 team said that the film will provide job opportunities for the Tamil film community in Sri Lanka.

#ShameOnVijaySethupathi trended on Twitter for over 24 hours after the film’s motion poster was unveiled. Many pointed out that the film is about off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who hails from Sri Lanka, a country that oppressed Tamils and treated them as minorities.

The producers said that art is beyond boundaries and that it has the ability to unite people across the world.

The statement read, “It came to our notice that our film “800”, the biopic of Muthiah Muralidaran featuring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead, is being politicised in many ways. However, we want to clarify that 800 is a purely a sports biography film about the legendary cricketer Muthiah Muralidaran. The film is a journey about a man who hails from the Tamil migrant community, going on to become the highest wicket taker of all time.”

“The film does not make any political statement favouring any community. The film is intended to be an inspiration for the young generation to achieve their dreams irrespective of the difficulties they come across in their journey. We as the Producers assure that this film will not showcase any scenes that would belittle the struggles of Eelam Tamils in Srilanka or hurt their sentiments in any way,” they added.

Dar Motion Pictures, the production house, concluded the statement saying, “On a positive note, the film will engage the Tamil film community in Sri Lanka providing the artists and technicians a platform to showcase their talents on a global stage. Art is beyond boundaries; it unites people all across. Artists belong to the world. We wish to spread only positivity, love and hope.”

Directed by MS Sripathy, 800 is about the life and struggles of cricketing legend Muttiah Muralitharan. Vijay Sethupathi will play the cricketer and will begin shooting for the same sometime in early 2021.

The rest of the cast and crew will be finalised in the coming days. 800 will be shot in Sri Lanka, UK, Australia and India.

(Source: India Today)