Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday cleared the decks for releasing a web series Queen and a biopic Thalaivi, based on the life of late actress-turned-politician Jayalalithaa. However, he imposed conditions mandating the makers of the two screen projects to carry disclaimers.
Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy rejected a plea by J Deepa, the niece of former AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, to restrain the directors and producers of the two projects from releasing the web series and film. She contended they had not sought the express consent of Jayalalithaa’s family members for the projects.
Acclaimed Tamil film director Gautham Vasudev Menon, known for his cop-oriented films, has helmed Queen, which has leading south Indian star Ramya Krishnan (Rajamatha of Bahubaali fame) portraying a central role of Sakthi Seshadri, a character with strong resemblance to Jayalalithaa. The web series is due to premier on MX Player on Friday.
In Thalaivi, directed by A L Vijay, Bollywood heroine Kangana Ranaut is playing the lead. Her first look posters released recently bore loose resemblance to Jayalalithaa, when she had taken over as Chief Minister for the first time in 1991.
During the arguments, the counsel for the producer of Thalaivi had argued that the movie was based on a similarly titled book by one Ajayan Bala alias B Balaji, which portrayed the late leader in “good light”. The counsel said Deepa had no locus standi to seek a restraining order since “she was a complete stranger to Jayalalithaa’s life who came into prominence only after her death.”
As for Queen, its counsel said the web series was shot based on a work of fiction “inspired by the life” of Jayalalithaa.