CHENNAI: For a change, the words cinema and overdose are in the same sentence but have nothing to do with a suicidal actor. In what may perhaps be seen as a massive haemorrhage of Tamil film releases this year, 215 films hit the screens — the first time in the history of Tamil cinema that it has breached the double century mark. And according to Film News Anandan, the veteran who aggregates Kollywood releases every year, it’s all due to, “bad sense, family pressure and politics”.
It’s also 35 per cent more than the number of films that released the previous year (164). If you’re wondering when most of these movies hit theatres and who acted in them, here’s the answer: “Everyone in these movies is a newcomer. The father of the hero is usually the producer and he’s usually a man who knows the film won’t do well. So he’ll simply release the film in two suburban theatres running two shows and pay them off,” said a member of Tamil Nadu Film Director’s Association.
A director-producer himself, he related how he had held off release of one of his star-cast films for 3 months because he wanted a solo release, but settled for the release of two smaller films. “What Aascar Ravichandran is going through with Ai is a prime example. The movie should have released on Diwali, but he wants a safe date so that it will see a good run,” he said.
If this wasn’t bad enough, 144 films were censored in 2014, but are yet to release because of lack of enough screens.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the numbers could have been a lot higher, if not for the restraint of a few - apparently 144 films were censored through 2014, but are yet to release because there just aren’t enough screens out there.
“It’s a very unhealthy trend that so many films are releasing for the sake of it. No one can make a profit,” Keyar, one of the erstwhile movers and shakers of TPFC, told Express. Profitability may be the prime goal. But it’s fast becoming a fickle mistress when even mega budget films like Kochadaiiyaan and Kaththi could not enjoy solo releases - like the days of yore. “Big films lose a little money, but small films lose a lot of money. There are two producers who released their films running just the noon show in a theatre in Alandur, just so that they can contest union elections. Who will regulate things like that?” wondered Anandan.