The New Year in Tamil Nadu actually begins in the middle of January – at the time of the Pongal, a festival when the rice crop is harvested and ceremoniously boiled in earthen pots. Tamil film producers use the few days of holiday during Pongal as an excellent opportunity to theatrically release their movies. This year, the festival falls on January 14, a Saturday, and several Tamil films are opening that weekend – hoping against hope to attract as many footfalls as possible.
But like an election where too many candidates in a single constituency can spoil the broth by splitting votes, it is quite likely that cinema audiences will also be divided in their loyalties. And, in a state like Tamil Nadu where actors are not just looked upon as stars but also demi-gods – and worshipped – movies with big names will exude such a magnetic appeal that others may well be left behind.
This week’s biggest blockbuster will be the Vijay-starrer, Bairavaa – which is to open on January12. That is if all goes well. Tamil Nadu has a history of moving courts to stall film releases. And Vijay has been an unfortunate victim of this.
Bairavaa will have Keerthi Suresh playing heroine to Vijay. We saw Suresh with Dhanush some time ago in Thodari – where she is the make-up girl for a star travelling by train from Delhi to Chennai. We also saw her as a doctor in Remo – where she is Sivakarthikeyan’s love interest.
Vijay’s last appearance was in the April 2016 Theri, where he a policeman, who has to go through fire to emerge. Bairavaa has been directed by Bharathan, but nobody knows what the plot is all about. Or, even what is Vijay’s role. Sometimes, these are well guarded secrets!
The other important Tamil film is Vijay Sethupathi’s Puriyaadha Puthir, which opens on January 13. Sethupathi is a very interesting actor, and one has seen him in movies, such as Iraivi, Aandavan Kattalai and Dharmadurai – essaying very different kinds of characters. Happily he is still an actor, and hopefully he will remain one. Puriyaadha Puthir is a psychological thriller helmed by Ranjit Jeyakodi.
The third movie is Parthipen’s Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga. With Shantanu and Parvathy Nair, the film has been touted as a comic thriller.
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