M.G.R. films with breezy storylines are preferred

Summer months are no longer considered lucrative only for new releases. The vacation is also the time when some of the evergreen classics are also re-released.

Topping the list of such re-releases are films of Sivaji Ganesan and M.G.R, which made waves several decades ago. Last summer saw multiplexes such as Mayajaal screening such classics for a month.

A couple of months ago, Sathyam Cinemas picked up 12 best films of the two legendary actors and screened them as part of its weekend special shows.

“They were an instant hit with the audience. We have plans to re-release a few more movies,” says Swaroop Reddy, Director, Sathyam Cinemas. Mr. Reddy is, however, sceptical about sustaining the interests of the audience.

“The novelty of a concept is lost when some events are conducted too often. We still have not zeroed in on any dates. But we hope to screen a few movies now and then,” he added.

When Kamala Theatre screened Adimai Pen last year for a week, 21 shows ran full house, overshadowing new releases during the time.

“It was overwhelming to see the audience response. The fans put up a huge poster of MGR, much bigger than what we see during the releases of the present-day top-slot actors' films. The fan following for yesteryear actors is still vibrant,” says C. T. Valliappan, Director of the theatre.

Copyright issues

Copyright issues involved in such films are a major hurdle for theatres to release these movies. “Once such issues are sorted out, we would definitely see a whole new market for the classics,” he says.

The response at Mayajaal was, however, below expectation. “We screened quite a number of films but did not get as much response as we expected. One reason may be that people do not travel so far to watch a classic that they could watch in the comfort of their home,” explained K. Meenakshisundaram, manager of the multiplex.

Multiplexes apart, a few single-screen theatres in the city and suburbs have such special shows of the classics, with digital soundtrack as a value-addition. Sources in the film industry said that M.G.R. films with breezy storylines are preferred to films with poignant storyline.

A few theatres have also begun to patronise movies of independent filmmakers.

Sathyam Cinemas, for instance, allot theatre for films by such filmmakers and those which will cater for a niche audience.

“Many theatres do not release such films as they are not sure of their success. We want to create the initial audience base for such filmmakers, who would then get a hold in the industry,” Mr. Reddy explains.