Two good films – Giriraj’s Jatta and Mysskin’s Onayum Attukuttiyum – have received tepid response from audience

The fortunes of a filmmaker fluctuate every Friday one of his/her film is released, especially if they’re fledgling. ‘Jatta’ is Giri’s first release. Slickly told with fine performances ‘Jatta’ has received a lukewarm response. Now to dig into the reasons would be daunting and futile. Critics are gushing and those who have watched it have applauded but the returns are dismal. It was a strange sight for onlookers to see the cast stand in queue to buy tickets on the first day at Sapna theatre. It was a show of solidarity and encouragement. Giri has been there every single day and was elated when an auto driver watched it and brought his family the next day. “It’s a very interesting film,” says Pawan Kumar, Kannada cinema’s new blue-eyed boy. There’s still hope. Giri has finished shooting a major portion of ‘Mythri’ starring Mohanlal in an important role and Puneet playing himself. Mohanlal liked the script so much that he cancelled a Malayalam film to accommodate Giri. “I really liked the story and also his passion for cinema,” said Lal, when I met him. It’s an interesting take on juvenile delinquents. ‘Mythri could well be Giri’s ticket to the big times, but I’m sure credit for the success will be shared by the two stars. Then again only success sells in tinsel town.

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Mysskin is one of the most passionate filmmakers I’ve met. A voracious reader and a die-hard fan of Kurosawa his dedication towards his craft is remarkable. He literally undergoes the pangs of procreation while sealing out the outside world and writing, experiencing his characters emotional upheavals. After ‘Mugamudi’, a creative aberration and a box-office dud, the highly emotional director went into hibernation. Switching off his mobile phone Mysskin went back to the drawing board. Failure did not force him to seek stars but dig deep into his creative resources. With producers shying away Mysskin decided to produce the film himself. Hailed as probably the best thriller in the history of Tamil cinema, sadly ‘Onayum Attukuttiyum’ has had a tepid response at the elusive box-office. Lack of funds meant subdued promotional activities with the director himself visiting various towns and pasting posters. Knowing Mysskin it was more a plea than a publicity stunt. Will this dilute the gifted director’s passion towards his craft? He just needs a good producer with enough faith in his unquestionable abilities. Kamal has loved the film and has been raving about it. He did sign Mysskin for a film after watching ‘Nandalala’. It would be an exciting prospect if that collaboration is revived.

sshivu@yahoo.com