The release of Bejoy Nambiar's bilingual film Solo, starring Dulquer Salmaan and a host of other stars, was highly anticipated in Kerala as well as Tamil Nadu.
However, the Tamil version of the film was allowed to run for only one day because of the Tamil Film Producers' Council's decision to stall all new Tamil releases till the time the government addressed their concerns about ticket pricing and local body taxes.
Now, there's yet another obstacle in front of the team. Though the Malayalam version of Solo released in more than 200 screens in Kerala and also had an international release, the climax of one of the four stories in the anthology has reportedly won disfavour with the audience.
The World of Rudra segment, which is the last in the four stories, packs in a twist in the tale which has reportedly made the audience uncomfortable, with many resorting to booing. Interestingly, the 'twist' is not really unheard of. We've seen it in Jagratha, the 1989 sequel to Oru CBI Diary Kurippu which starred Mammootty in the lead role.
In the film, the 'twist' is the motive for the murder whereas in Solo, it is the reason for the couple (Dulquer and Neha) to fall apart.
Following the audience's reaction, the climax of the fourth story was reportedly changed without consulting Bejoy Nambiar by producer Abraham Mathew. The director tweeted that he stands by the film he made.
For all those asking about the changed ending. It has been done without my knowledge and consent.Good or Bad I stand by the film I made.â€” Bejoy Nambiar (@nambiarbejoy) October 8, 2017
He further added that the Tamil version, when it has a re-release, will go out with the same climax as the producer of the Tamil film, Anil Jain, was a "rockstar".
SOLO - Tamil version if given a chance to release once the strike is over will release AS IS ! @aniljain13 is a rockstar of a producerâ€” Bejoy Nambiar (@nambiarbejoy) October 8, 2017
Responding to the controversy and negative reactions around the film, Dulquer Salmaan took to Facebook to appeal to people not to 'kill' Solo. In an emotional note, he wrote that the scene where the 'twist' is revealed was not "unintentionally funny" as many have said it is but that the team had always interpreted it to be humorous.
"Dark comedies are meant to be awkward. Always have been. That was our intention. So mocking it, booing in theatres, spreading negativity and hate and degrading the film because you didnâ€™t get it, just kills the film. It breaks our hearts, breaks our spirit, and kills the courage you gave me all along," he wrote.
The actor said that he sought to star in "different" films and that he wants people to give the film a shot with "an open mind".