NEW (2004 - TAMIL)
Starring - S.J.Suryah, Simran, Devayani, Kiran Rathod, Brahmanandam, Nasser, Manivannan, Karunas & others.
Director - S.J.Suryah
Music Director - A.R.Rahman
This was another movie which was dragged into controversy in the most unique possible ways. New is the unofficial remake of Tom Hanks starrer Big (1988) where an 8 year old turns into a 28 year old, ofcourse in Big it was magic but in New it was the experiment of a scientist. The movie was simultaneously made in Telugu starring Mahesh Babu & Ameesha Patel, titled Naani which went onto become a disaster at the box office whereas New was a runaway hit in Tamil, thanks to hit music & the pre-release buzz. S.J.Suryah being the director of both the versions chose to make his acting debut as a lead star in New when Ajith Kumar had refused to act in the film.
The main complaint against the film came from the women activists who objected the sex scenes in the film. Unlike Big, S.J.Suryah furthermore explored the story by making the hero & heroine get married followed by their first night scene. Well it was his creative thought to evoke laughter in that scene where a 28 year old guy with the mindset of an 8 year old has no idea about what he's supposed to do. This was much needed to the script as it demanded & especially the climax where the 8 year old meets his new born baby after being congratulated by the nurse at the hospital was indeed a creative scene. Yes, it sounds ridiculous but I should reveal the fact that the experiment that made the 8 year old boy into a 28 year old boy will fail mid-way through the film & the side effects result in the hero being himself i.e. 8 year old from morning 6 to evening 6 & turn into a 28 year old from evening 6 till morning 6, which was a concept previously untouched by any of the filmmakers who chose to remake Big including Bollywood's Aao Wish Karen starring Aftab Shivdasani.
The next objection came for the role of Kiran Rathod who played a short role of a neighbour woman married to much older guy, the entire episode was filled with sexual innuendos infact the entire episode & the character was written like that. This role in Telugu was played by Ramya Krishnan & owing to the negativity the Tamil version was receiving, every scene featuring Ramya Krishnan was deleted. This was the first time an A.R.Rahman was criticized to the core & the Tamil Censor Board didn't permit S.J.Suryah to use that song anywhere. The song was didn't get past the censor test. But the scenes featuring Kiran Rathod were so much criticized that women activities didn't stop until the ban of the film.
Criminal case was lodged against S.J.Suryah & he was arrested on 22nd Aug 2005 (a good one year after the release of the film) before being released without any charges.The Tamil version was given an A certificate, before the protests got intensified & the movie got itself a ban, the movie had done enough business to comfortably achieve the Hit status. And this continued in 2006 too where again a criminal case was registered against S.J.Suryah for using the stills from the movie especially the one where S.J.Suryah is lying on Simran's cleavage. And S.J.Suryah was again arrested only to be released without charges. The reason why it's hard to find the pics of this movie in the internet.
That "controversial" still was in the same lines as the one they used for Naani, the telugu version of New.
And the Telugu audience didn't criticize anything related to this but the same in Tamil which was still shot with less to no exposing was subjected to ban. The below image is again from Naani featuring Ameesha Patel.
Below are the video links of various controversial scenes from the movie Naani.
The scene where Simran tries to seduce S.J.Suryah to test his character.
The same scene in Telugu featuring Mahesh Babu & Ameesha Patel.
The infamous first night scene in both Tamil & Telugu versions.
The scene featuring Kiran Rathod in the Tamil version.
The same scene featuring Ramya Krishna in the Telugu version. (This scene was not shown in theaters due to the cesorship, it's available only now on internet & home video)
Bonus - The item song from the Telugu version. The same song in Tamil is the reason why the film was banned, the song in Tamil was never released & A.R.Rahman too had got his share of criticism for it. The Telugu version is available on internet, previously even it was not permitted to be shown in the theaters.
And since I am not able to get the Tamil version's climax, here sharing the climax of Telugu version to show the movie was not bad intentioned nor did it fail in giving healthy entertainment. This climax proves the creativity of the writer & the director where the 8 year old hero meets his new born son.