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The battle for release is on in Kollywood

Will the clamour for release dates ever ease in Tamil cinema?

The Kollywood release pipeline is choked due to too many films trying for the same weekend. A bitter battle has broken out after Vijay Antony tried to squeeze in the release of his Thimiru Pudichavan along with Jyotika’s Kaatrin Mozhi, Udhaya’s Utharavu Maharaja and Vidaarth’s Chithiram Pesuthadi 2 for November 16. Vijay Antony’s Thimiru Pudichavan was initially supposed to release along with Vijay’s Sarkar but could not make it at the last moment due to a lack of screens.

In fact, theatres across Tamil Nadu preferred Sarkar as a solo release and nearly 800 of the 1,000-plus screens gave it prime showcasing, leaving Thimiru Pudichavan high and dry. Vijay Antony then decided to release his film on this Friday, which is 10 days after the release of Sarkar. But that has not gone down well with the producers and actors of the other films scheduled for this Friday. Their concern is that a Vijay Antony film, which has some sort of an opening, will eat into their theatre bookings.

The TFPC has made it clear that a release date will be fixed by their Release Regulation committee. Normally, they accommodate one big or medium movie with two or three small films. In this case, Thimiru Pudichavan had already been given the Deepavali date, but its makers postponed its release. TFPC rules state that they will have to go back to the queue and wait for a new release date!

All this led to the postponement of Nakkhul’s Sei, which was supposed to release this Friday. A peeved Nakkhul said, “It is unfair on Thimiru Pudichavan’s part to push in at the last minute as we will end up losing the screens we had booked for Sei. An example must be made here as one of us is suffering for the mistake of another person. I have nothing against Vijay Antony but rules and regulations have to be maintained by TFPC for smooth running of Tamil cinema.”

Sources close to Vijay Antony say that Thimiru Pudichavan was censored ahead of Kaatrin Mozhi but could not get screens during Deepavali. They are now going ahead with the release of the film on November 16 as the Telugu dubbed version is slated to release on same day. The producers of the film feel that, at the end of the day, they have to settle their financiers without burning their hand. In case if the film is delayed further, their interest rate will increase and film will not be financially viable. And looking ahead, they don’t have any other date as Rajinikanth’s 2.0 is slated for a big wide release on November 29.

It is unlikely that TFPC can issue a red card against any film as it will be challenged in courts. The maximum they can do is to request the producers to follow the rules laid out by the association. Many small producers feel that the big ones get away scot free. In the coming months too, there are many big films clogging the release pipeline, with all of them trying for prime showcasing in theatres.

The month of December will see things heating up in Kollywood. At least six big films (Jayam Ravi’s Adanga Maru, Vijay Sethupathi’s Seethakathi, Dhanush’s Maari 2, Karthi’s Dev, Jiiva’s Gorilla, Dhruv Vikram’s debut launch film Varma) are vying with each other, trying for the December 14/21 release date. And then, there’s Aishwarya Rajesh’s Kanaa, due on December 21, which has Sivakarthikeyan playing an extended cameo. If these films miss these dates, they have tougher competition in January for Pongal... from Rajinikanth’s Petta, Ajith’s Viswasam, Simbu’s Vandha Rajava Dhaan Varuven. Whichever way you look, it is going to be tough for the TFPC to regulate releases at a time when free market policy rules the tinsel world.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 3:03:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/release-tension-in-kollywood-the-latest-story/article25491961.ece

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