Trade Winds Movies

Judgement day for ‘Nerkonda Paarvai’

Ajith and Vidya Balan in ‘Nerkonda Paarvai’

Ajith and Vidya Balan in ‘Nerkonda Paarvai’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Why the box-office performance of the film is crucial for both Ajith Kumar and Tamil cinema

Everyone is eagerly looking forward to Ajith Kumar-starrer Nerkonda Paarvai, the courtroom drama directed by H Vinoth and produced by Boney Kapoor. The film is an official remake of Hindi blockbuster Pink, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. In many ways, Nerkonda Paarvai can be seen as a relevant subject in Tamil Nadu, for it talks about the double standards of our society and takes on the patriarchal gaze with which women are looked upon.

A topical theme

The question among trade experts is, can a superstar like Ajith Kumar, known for his masala entertainers, convey an underlying message about patriarchy to the masses? The success of Nerkonda Paarvai will need to be measured in terms of its box-office numbers. Of course, there are reservations in the trade circle since it’s not your regular Ajith Kumar-starrer. For example, Ajith’s last release, Viswasam, grossed over ₹100 cr in Tamil Nadu. That’s why distributors are confident about Nerkonda Paarvai. The film is being marketed by noted distributors G Srinivasan of S Pictures and K Rajamannar of Kanthaswamy Arts Centre and Raahul, who was also the executive producer for Viswasam. Considering Ajith’s fanbase, the makers have tweaked the script to ‘suit’ the sensibilities of Tamil audiences. Nerkonda Paarvai has a runtime of 158 minutes, as opposed to its Hindi counterpart which had a runtime of 136 minutes. During promotions, director Vinoth said, “The real success of this film depends on its reach. That’s also the reason why the runtime of the Tamil version is 21 minutes more than the original and we have added Vidya Balan’s character, who makes a cameo.”

 

But the important question to prod is: Why do remakes need to have elements of commercial cinema? Trade expert Salim Mohammad says, “During the 1980s and ’90s, most of Rajinikanth’s movies like Thillu Mullu (Gol Maal), Billa (Don), Thee (Deewaar) to mention a few were remakes. These movies worked back in the day. But now, the remake trend has come down. The Tamil commercial formula is still looking at B and C markets and it is a different game in Hindi.”

The trade buzz

Experts also point out that Ajith’s Aegan (Main Hoon Na in Hindi) was not as successful as his other movies. They also suggest that the television channels in the North are interested in buying the rights of original films. In that sense, a Hindi remake in Tamil means that the dubbing prices will come down in Kerala, Karnataka and Telugu. Now, this has led to a situation where stars are wary of acting in remakes. Raahul, who is a part of the marketing team of Nerkonda Paarvai, says, “Ajith sir is outstanding in the movie and has played to his strengths. His fans will love it, especially the court scenes. How many people in Tamil Nadu would have watched Pink? We have managed to get the best screens and distributors have agreed on a minimum guarantee basis.” Boney Kapoor is confident about Nerkonda Paarvai and he even hosted a press show two days ahead of its release.

Trade analysts predict that Nerkonda Paarvai will be a hit, however, they are not expecting it to be something like Viswasam. A leading distributor from Coimbatore says, “I saw Nerkonda Paarvai and it’s one of Ajith sir’s best films. It addresses an important social cause and Vinoth has done a good job. But it would be foolish on my part to equate it with Viswasam, which released along with Petta on Pongal. Let us hope the movie brings back the family audiences to theatres.”

Meanwhile, a slew of Hindi films like Badla, Article 15 and Andhadhun are likely to be remade in Tamil. Which is why the box-office performance of Nerkonda Paarvai is vital, for it will determine the fate of remakes in Tamil cinema.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:41:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/judgement-day-for-nerkonda-paarvai/article28855669.ece

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