Even as Tamil movie star Ajith's Pongal release Thunivu is running to packed houses across Tamil Nadu and is inching towards the coveted Rs 200 crore club in terms of worldwide box office collections, some netizens have been slamming the movie for its portrayal of mutual funds.
In the movie it's shown that the vigilante protagonist goes after a bank owner who lures customers into investing in mutual funds that invest in eight illegal companies and the scam is worth Rs 25,000 crore.
While the movie is getting praise for its slick Hollywood-like visuals and Ajith's 'badass' outing, netizens are complaining on Twitter that director H Vinoth Kumar should have done some basic research while trying to unearth a supposed mutual fund scam in the movie. People said it's virtually impossible for any mutual fund to have exposure to have the same set of companies.
Netizens say movies like Thunivu will show mutual funds in bad light and the whole campaign of "Mutual Funds Sahi Hai" falls flat on its face if a mass medium like cinema vilifies them as a ponzi scheme.
"Never thought #Vinoth would come up with worst research background for #thunivu especially on mutual fund investment. Mutual Funds are less risky due to their diversified portfolio," complained a Twitter user.
Another Twitter user quipped that the "uninformed portrayal" of mutual funds in Thunivu will upend Sebi's efforts to improve investor awareness.
"A mutual fund cannot take any exposure to privately places and unlisted securities issued by the sponsor of the mutual fund or their group companies. In case of listed securities of the sponsor and their group companies, the investment cannot exceeed 25% of the scheme's portfolio," state Sebi's rules.
"Thunivu portrays mutual funds, a well-regulated and trusted investment option, like unregulated chit funds and gold savings schemes," said a newspaper editorial recently.
"Thunivu was good but showing mutual funds as a scam was a little overboard," said another moviegoer on Twitter.
People slammed the director for taking too many cinematic liberties while ignoring the real-world implications.
"Stats say, around 60% of the people in the USA invest in Mutual funds while it's just 5% of the Indian population who invest in MF. And hence a big film like #Thunivu carrying deviating messages on MF would have a negative impact," said another Twitter user.
In the first 9 days of its release, the movie did good business at the ticket windows. Ajith Kumar's Thunivu clashed with Thalapathy Vijay's Varisu at the box office. Thunivu marks Ajith Kumar's third collaboration with director H Vinoth and producer Boney Kapoor.
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