Tag Archives: Cinema

Vishal, producer’s council and YouTube reviews

The recently concluded producer’s council elections in Kollywood was laced with lots of controversies. Like the Nadigar Sangam elections actor Vishal was in the midst of the action surrounding the election. This article is not about the elections and let me conclude by saying that Vishal was elected as the president at the end of it all. The topic I wanted to touch was the press conference the new members of the council had after the win. Vishal who is the president requested the online reviewers to postpone their reviews by few days to help the movie industry.

It was an odd request to be frank. In this day and age, asking few YouTube reviewers to postpone their reviews isn’t going to stop people from voicing their opinions on social media. If Vishal and the new members think that things can be returned back to the olden days with the reviews being postponed, they are living in a dreamland. Let us for example take 90’s as a case study. I am not a movie historian and don’t have statistics but from my experience (Since that’s the decade I am more aware of), there weren’t so many movies releasing every week. We used to wait for big festivals like Pongal, Tamil New Year and Diwali to see big star movies. Only during such big festivals we used to see multiple movies release at one go. Now coming back to the current decade, there are 3-4 movies release every week. It is even hard to keep track of what the movies are and who is acting in it.

The producer’s council should first regulate the amount of movies being made and make sure that the movie they are producing has decent content. Releasing 200+ movies in a year is not going to help the industry. Some movies which release are so amateurish that it is hard to sit through. New producers wanting to enter the industry need to be educated as to how to choose a script before investing a huge sum of money. It is always easy place a blame on a soft target such as YouTube reviewers and call them as a reason for decreasing audience in the theatres but the truth is far from it.

Reviews are personal opinions, people are free to express their opinion in any platform they want. They are the people who go and spend money to watch the film. It’s not like all films are ripped apart, movies like Managaram, 8 thottakal, Bahubali, Aandavan Kattalai, Power Pandi, Pizza, NPNK etc. all got overwhelmingly positive responses from the reviewers. This is the age of good content and if the industry is producing mediocre content, they cannot cry about decreasing audience. I am not talking about piracy here, which is for a completely different topic. People are going to look for review before watching films and that is going to continue. No one is going to stop that. Taking a family of four to the theatre is an expensive ordeal. People would want to make sure that the expense is worthwhile. When we go to a store, the first thing we do before buying a product is to look for reviews. If majority of the users of the product have given positive reviews people purchase that product. In the age of digital media, you are never going to fight that.

If the content is good most of the reviews are going to be favourable. People do look at multiple reviews before making a call and if a movie is good not everyone is going to bad mouth a film. The producers need to get together and think about what they are producing and what content is being screened to the public. If you want people to watch films, reduce the number of movies being produced, produce good content, educate new producers to invest smartly and give the films enough time to publicize their content before release. These would some of the solutions to get the audience to the theatres. By asking reviewers to postpone their reviews, you are basically saying that even if the movie is bad, since we invested, let the people spend the money like they did in the 80’s and 90’s before they found out that the content was horrible. Sorry Vishal, that is not a solution and audience are never going to fall for that.

Shahrukh detained at the airport is not a National calamity

I posted this 3 years back and it seems like this issue has resurfaced again. It is funny how our celebrities can do anything to be in the news.

My Thoughts

No news has grabbed the headlines in the past few days more than Shahrukh’s detention at the US airport. Even swine flu had to take a back seat on the Indian media. Was the Indian superstar making a huge deal of the incident to promote his upcoming movie which is based on the same theme? May be, but Shahrukh has denied such claims. Yeah it was bad that Shahrukh was detained at the Airport for couple of hours but it’s not a National disaster. It was funny when a famous Bollywood actress claimed that Shahrukh is a “World” figure and should not have gone through such treatment.

The above statement is all that is wrong in India. If she had said something like any Indian should not be subjected to such treatment based on his religion or race, I would have had more respect for her sentiments but that was…

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Great year for Tamil cinema

This is not something we get to write that often. The Indian film industry is synonymous with Bollywood aka Hindi film industry and South films hardly get the recognition. 2011 in a way broke that trend and it will be fair to say that Southern Industries ruled this year. Not only did the south films (Malayalam and Tamil) dominate the National awards earlier this year but the Bollywood box office was dominated by southern remakes. It was a year when the Southern Industries got their day under the sun in India.

As far as Tamil cinema goes it was yet another great year. It was the continuation of the good work which started in 2010 and carried over to 2011. The year 2011 is when the Tamil cinema broke the language barriers and reached to nook and corner of the vast country. The year which began with Tamil cinema dominating the national awards along with Malayalam making it a very southern awards, ended with Dhanush’ s “Kolaveri Di” winning CNN international song of the year.

Dhanush was the year’s biggest star and he was part of couple of good movies this year. The biggest success of Tamil cinema this year has been the success of small movies such as “Engeyum Eppothum”. A movie which was Fox Star’s foray into Tamil cinema, sans top stars and with a new director at the helm was a super hit. Appreciation of good scripts and attempts by the audience has always been the success of Tamil cinema which was again in view in 2011.

This year had releases from Suriya, Dhanush, Ajith, Vikram and Vijay. This year also saw Ajith take over a bad guy role and pulling it off with great panache. Vijay shifted his path from masala genre and signed movies with big directors. Suriya and Dhanush once again confirmed their status as good actors. This year also marked some path breaking movies such as “Aaranya Kaandam”. A movie which received praise from all quarters was a great addition to the gangster genre. The movie did rounds in the International film festivals and won some awards.

Even though some great movies were made this year and some remakes were extremely successful in other languages, this year belonged to Kolaveri Di. The song broke the language barrier to be accepted by all the music lovers.

South cinema comprises of some of the best talents in the country and makes some wonderful movies and this year was really a testament to that fact. Hindi blockbusters like Bodyguard, ready, Singham and Force were all south remakes. The year 2012 promises to be a fine one for Tamil cinema and hopefully will have some great movies. As 2011 comes to an end, here is wishing a great 2012 for Tamil cinema and its audience.

Not everyone gets to follow their dreams

Ajith Kumar's decision to take a break from movies to concentrate on racing is a bold move

Actor Ajith Kumar recently decided to pursue his dream of racing and is currently participating in the Formula two world championship. He declared that he is going to take racing little bit more seriously starting this year. Well to be frank that’s a bold decision. We all know that he tried his hand few years back and met with some success in the same but was back with the movies after that. I was reading some comments by few readers on a popular website who were ridiculing his decision and wishing him a failure in his endeavor. This shows how grown up these people are. It’s easy to sit in front of a computer and type away on your keyboard and criticize someone’s effort to be different.

All of us know that moving out of your comfort zone is not that easy. Ajith Kumar is a super star in Tamil cinema. He has his own fan following and supporters. He is a big name in the industry, so it would have been easier for him just sit back and go through the motions like most of us do in our respective fields. But he has decided to be different and is following his passion for racing. How many of us have the guts to do the same? How many of us have the courage to come out of our cozy jobs to follow our interests and passion? The answer would be a grand zero.

But we will make fun of someone who does, as it’s easier to criticize somebody who dares to be different. We have certain happiness in declaring someone a failure without even appreciating the effort that individual has put in. We have been taught from our childhood that if someone doesn’t win in something he is a failure and we grandly follow that yardstick in every field. As far as I am concerned there are few things which go beyond success and winning.

Harsha Bhogle, one of the best sports presenters in the world was a graduate from the reputed Indian Institute of Management. He did not end up in a stereotypical management job as most of the guys doing MBA end up in; instead he followed his passion with sports journalism and presenting. He loved cricket and he followed his interests.

Not a lot of us get to follow our dreams and interests. We are stuck in a typical 9-5 job, uninterested but keep doing it for the sake of our family. When someone dares to be different, we need not encourage them but can be without ridiculing their efforts. Ajith is just an example I took to drive home the point. Anyone who can leave their comfort zone has to be extremely courageous. Ajith surely is doing that right now.

Congrats to him for following his dream and hope that he has a wonderful season in Formula two this year.

Shahrukh detained at the airport is not a National calamity

Shahrukh Khan was detained at the US Airport for 2 hrs for interrogation

Shahrukh Khan was detained at the US Airport for 2 hrs for interrogation

No news has grabbed the headlines in the past few days more than Shahrukh’s detention at the US airport. Even swine flu had to take a back seat on the Indian media. Was the Indian superstar making a huge deal of the incident to promote his upcoming movie which is based on the same theme? May be, but Shahrukh has denied such claims. Yeah it was bad that Shahrukh was detained at the Airport for couple of hours but it’s not a National disaster. It was funny when a famous Bollywood actress claimed that Shahrukh is a “World” figure and should not have gone through such treatment.

The above statement is all that is wrong in India. If she had said something like any Indian should not be subjected to such treatment based on his religion or race, I would have had more respect for her sentiments but that was not what she meant. There were lots of reactions from Bollywood after the incident which only showed arrogance on their part. I know that there are millions of Indians who go through such hell everyday around the world and none of us complain. Maybe we should, but who will listen? If I had been detained at the Airport for any reason, it would have been difficult for me to even get hold of our Indian consulate.

The VIP, VVIP, VVVVIP etc culture in India is sickening. In know that the Indians are now used to that culture but why do you expect the same treatment in a foreign country. The comparison with Brad Pitt was another dumb statement by yet another Bollywood bigwig. If the Indians treat Hollywood superstars differently then it’s our problem and the US immigration should not be blamed for that. The Indian security check is a joke and lots of Americans (not only Brad Pitt) are let through without even being checked. The problem with this incident is that no one has spoken on behalf of the entire Indian community who undergo such checks and interrogations every other day, it’s all about one superstar detained for 2 hours for the first time in his life.

Since becoming a superstar in Indian cinema, he was made to feel human for the first time which the star did not like. Now the stars should realize the predicament of common Indian who goes through such scrutiny everywhere in the world. If Dr. Abdul Kalam can be stopped at the Airport then why not Shahrukh? Is Shahrukh bigger than our former President? Our defense minister had to go through the same problems, so is our Bollywood superstar bigger than the above two National leaders? No he is not, at least not for me.

Yeah I know that this is not an ideal scenario and discrimination based on caste, Religion and race has to be questioned but why only when a high profile star is detained. What about the common Indian man? I guess it’s okay that our over the top superstar was brought down to earth for couple of hours, I don’t care if that happened. Nothing is going to change here. Even if the US immigration apologizes for their act, Indians are still going to face these checks, so why worry so much. The incident is done and dusted and Bollywood has to realize that this is not India and the immigration officers across the world don’t recognize Shahrukh Khan.

Raghuvaran – An actor with substance

Couple of days back there was a news flash which said actor Raghuvaran is no more. I was shocked at the news as there were no indication of his bad health. He was a fine actor with a wide variety of roles in Tamil cinema especially.

His best work includes movies like Puriyatha Puthir, Baasha, Mughavari, Run etc. He had his own style of acting and brought believability to the roles he played. Who can forget the role of a suspicious husband in Puriyatha Puthir or the Mark Anthony of Baasha. Whatever may be the character he played he always brought great value to the roles with his unique stlye of acting and dialogue delivery. His role as Madhavan’s brother-in-law in Run showed that he had great comic timing too and is one of my favorites of his performances.

He was and will remain one of the most versatile character artist in Tamil Cinema. He will be missed for sure.