Saturday, 27 October 2018

Quick Read: Are we really ready to watch early morning show for director?

This age of cinema is all about early morning openings on FDFS. Earlier it was a privilege only for mega stars like Rajini, Vijay, and Ajith. Later, Siva Karthikeyan, Simbu, and Dhanush joined the club - fyi, the recent addition is Vijay Deverakonda. In the due course of time, every other big budget flick started to hit screens with an early morning opening, and unlike other movies they weren't like targetting the box office believing on the star-value but money-value - Baahubali-2 comes under this category. This early morning custom started to grow apparently making it a routine, like once in every 15 days occurrence - in last three months there were at least six movies opened in early mornings.

Photo: AFP

At this juncture, I can see a lot of film freaks and critics going crazy about this culture that is booming - that includes me too. But, going a level up with their craziness, there were reviews of some of them praising filmmakers like Vetri Maaran and Mani Ratnam for being the pioneers among directors in bringing 'their' fans to theatres in the wee hours of a day.

I agree movies like Chekka Chivantha Vaanam and Vada Chennai were setting high expectations and having mass openings. But, crediting directors for that is unagreeable. I bet one can't imagine an early morning show for CCV if its cast was without Vijay Sethupathi or Simbu. Same is for Vada Chennai without Dhanush.

It is not that I'm speaking for the side of star-value, but I'm pointing to the fact that production houses and cinema halls here aren't ready to take risks. They still don't have gained the confidence that one would wake up so early to watch a movie for a director.

Let us speak reality. Will a theatre owner be ready to screen a Vetri Maaran film like Visaaranai(just in case it is happening in the future), that didn't have a face value? Even Kaatru Veliyidai of Mani Ratnam was coming out in a time when early morning shows were already popular. But the movie had only 8 am opening show, despite having an established actor like Karthi in the cast.

In that case, I would call CS Amudhan, the actual pioneer among filmmakers, in this context. His Tamizh Padam 2, that didn't have a star-valued actor in the lead, and it was not a big budget movie either, opened at 5 am. It was all because of the trust and impact Tamizh Padam created eight years ago, the credit of completely belongs to Amudhan. So TP2's opening was definitely because of its director.

With this, I can say, maybe, it'll happen for the upcoming movies of Vetri Maaran or Mani Ratnam and other possible ones like Shankar, Pa Ranjith, Karthik Subbaraj, Gautam Menon, Selva Raghavan etc. Be it anyone, but, Amudhan is the silent trend setter and showed a way for them all.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, October 27, 2018.