John Abraham: ‘Madras Café’ is not controversial

Updated 22 August 2013
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John Abraham: ‘Madras Café’ is not controversial

Indian film actor John Abraham’s newest political thriller “Madras Café” is mired in controversies even before its release on Aug. 23. The actor, however, says a lot of brainstorming went into the making of the movie and that he is happy with the result.
Abraham doesn’t think “Madras Café” is controversial because “this story is thoroughly researched from authentic sources. It cannot hurt the sentiments of Sri Lanka or Tamil Nadu, or in fact of anyone who sees the film. It is surely inspired by true events but it doesn’t mean it should be banned or face controversies.”
“Madras Café is close to my heart. It is a tense political thriller against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war of the 1980’s. July 2013 marked the 30 year anniversary of the conflict, which finally ended in 2009 with the military defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Madras Café provides a timely reminder of the gruesome conflict that claimed thousands of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim lives and left millions of people displaced and desolate. The war’s impact was felt across the world with both Eastern and Western nations involved in the negotiations for a resolution,” said Abraham.
The actor plays the role of Captain Vikram Singh, a successful Para Military Officer recruited by the RAW’s (India’s external security agency) Indian head Robin Dutt (RD) — with the mandate to execute certain covert intelligence operations in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and conduct peaceful provincial council elections.
Abraham said actress Nargis plays a bold role in the movie. “She is a journalist named Jaya. Vikram and Jaya together go about finding the truth amongst a complex web of lies and deceit, and begin telling the world their incredible story,” he said.
Commenting on remarks likening his look in the movie to Tom Hank’s look in “Cast Away,” he said: “Deciding on my look for the movie was quite challenging. It took lot of brain storming and we finalized this messy look, which apparently you think is inspired by Tom, but actually it’s not.”
Asked if the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa secretly financed Madras Café, the actor said: “This is a false statement. Viacom 18 is the official producer of Madras Café.”


Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

Updated 20 September 2019

Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

  • In a previous speech lambasting the Catholic clergy, a fly kept buzzing around him and landed on his forehead
  • While attacking the political opposiion during an election campaign, a big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just keeps getting bugged during his public speeches.
A noisy gecko was the latest wildlife contributor to an address by Duterte, interrupting the leader on Thursday evening just as he launched another tirade at human rights groups critical of his bloody war on drugs.
The reptile’s persistence caused laugher in the crowd of mostly soldiers, causing Duterte stop mid-sentence, turn to his left and pause for a while to see what the off-camera commotion was.
“You brought a gecko here?” he asked an official sitting behind him, drawing laughs.
Geckos are common across Southeast Asia. The small lizard-like reptiles are known for their ability to produce various loud sounds, from barks to chirps, to communicate or when threatened.
While activists accuse Duterte of cowing his opponents into silence, reptiles and insects have no qualms about pestering him during his often hours-long, televised addresses.
A big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt during a speech in May when he was lambasting an opposition party ahead of a national election. He joked the cockroach was its supporter.
Two months later, a fly kept buzzing around him and landing on his forehead, just as he was berating his rivals in the Catholic clergy. He said in jest that the fly was acting on their orders.