Deepavali and Tamil films have a relationship that has endured over six decades. Here are some festival releases that have earned money and fame for its makers.
Tamil film Parasakthi, released on October 17, 1952, on Deepavali, ran to packed houses, won critical acclaim, and made history. It gave the film world two superstars — actor Sivaji Ganesan and writer M. Karunanidhi. Sivaji Ganesan was the hero and Karunanidhi wrote the screenplay and dialogues. That set the trend of timing a film release with Deepavali. It was considered a good luck charm and it brought in the moolah for the producers, name and fame for the actors and directors. Even today, film makers strive to release their films on Deepavali. As Karthi’s All in All Azhagu Raja, Ajith’s Arambam, Vishal’s Pandiya Naadu gear up to cash in on the festive mood, some film lovers share their thoughts on films and Deepavali.
Artist V. Jeevananthan, author of Thiraiseelai
Actor Sivaji Ganesan’s two films Engirondha Vandhaal (a remake of the Hindi film Khilona) and Sorgam, released during Deepavali. Both became silver jubilee hits. The song ‘Ponmagal Vandhal’ from Sorgam became hugely popular. The song makes a re-entry as in a remix in Vijay’s film Azhagiya Tamil Magan, that has music by A.R. Rahman.
Kamal Hassan films such as Sigappu Rojakkal, Thappu Thaalangal, Manatharil Ithanai Nirangala, released on Deepavali and created waves. However, Rudraiyya’s Aval Appadithaan, starring Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan, did not enjoy the same luck even though it had a Deepavali release.
M. Subramaniam, President of Tamil Nadu Film Distributors Federation
Sivaji Ganesan’s two silver jubilee films Ooty Varai Uravu and Iru Malaragal released on Deepavali. His 100th film Navarathri in which he played nine different roles ran for more than 100 days. People thronged the theatre to watch his performance. MGR’s Enga Veetu Pillai, a festive release became a superhit. “During the last 60 years, every Deepavali has seen more than three film releases of which one of them makes history in collection. MGR and Sivaji Ganesan considered it prestigious to time the release of their films during Deepavali.” Kamal Hassan’s Nayagan is a Deepavali hit. One film that broke all records is Rajnikanth’s Muthu. It ran for 175 days and for the first time, it was released in 17 theatres in Coimbatore. It was rumoured that the superstar might enter politics and people came in droves to watch their star in action.
G. Ratnavel, Royal Theatre
Sivaji Ganesan’s Sivantha Mann ran for 100 days. “Bicycles would be parked for over a km to buy tickets. People came with families. Some films ran for a year.”