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December has always been a pretty dull and slow month as far as film buffs are concerned; at least down south. It is the time for the post-Diwali slump and the pre-Pongal lull. It is only very rarely that we get to see major releases during the final month of the year; the last couple of weeks always looking very deserted. There are a couple of industries in India; Bollywood and Malayalam, which reserve at least a couple of big ones for the Christmas weekend. But, the Tamil film industry has always been reluctant to open up during this period. It perhaps may have a lot to do with the fact that big flicks desire to get hold of the more festive Pongal week. The corresponding part of the year holds no great celebration in the North or Kerala which is why perhaps they give out their
  Kamal Haasan
big flicks for Christmas without holding them back for New Year.

Over the last couple of years, December has given the odd big release, but nothing big enough to buck the trend of the month being slow for theatrical business. Last year, we had Vettaikaran in December and before that one can recall Billa, released in 2007, being a major December release. But, that apart, there are not many movies that have good enough recall value which were released in December during the last decade or so.

2010 is all set to change that trend. Just look at the jostle for space in December. One can be forgiven for thinking that Diwali is yet to arrive. Yes, this Diwali had just one star offering (Uthamaputhiran). But, December is all set to upstage even Diwali, with a bevy of releases. Looks like the lack of star power for Diwali will be more than compensated by the spate in December. Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Suriya, Arya, Jeyam Ravi etc. are all lined up and waiting. It looks like Decemeber might end up having more than one big release a week.

The biggest of them all is without doubt Manmadhan Ambu (the title of the movie and the way it has been shown in trailers implies that it is not about the literal translation – ‘Cupid’s Arrow’, but rather about Man-Madhan and Ambu, the three characters. Well, a guess can be ventured at this stage; Kamal Haasan’s character is called Manohar or Manoj or any other name that begins with ‘Man’. Maddy plays Madan while Trisha is Ambu which might stand for Ambika or Ambujam etc... The title definitely is reminiscent of Michael Madana Kama Rajan which also came from Kamal’s pen). Then of course there is Vijay’s Kaavalan. Well, the star certainly needs a hit now and has teamed up with the man who gave him one of the biggest hits in his career – Friends. But, thick competition will not make it easy for Vijay to find the bull’s eye at the box office. Suriya’s Bollywood launch vehicle Raktha Charithra has reportedly moved on from the last week of November to the next month. It will be really interesting to watch how RGV (the master of intensity, strange camera angles, gangsters and close-ups) portrays Suriya. We will be in for a whole new experience with the star.

Arya will be looking to sign off 2010 on a very high note with Chikku Bukku. He has had a tremendous run so far with Madhrasapattinam and Boss Engira Bhaskaran being appreciated by all classes of audience. With Chikku Bukku he seems to be returning to the romantic young guy mould and going by the momentum that he holds at present, it is going to be hard to stop him. Meanwhile, Shreya too will be hoping that the movie brings a turnaround for her fortunes in Kollywood. Jeyam Ravi might just make his presence felt in December with Engeyum Kaadhal which also sees Prabhu Deva as director for the first time since the Villu debacle. And, there are also talks about the possibility of Dhanush making it two releases in as many months with Aadukalam being slated for release soon. Sun Pictures are not known to hang around too long and are also not wary of competition, especially with the kind of marketing force that they command. Yes, it is a genuine chance that Dhanush may find himself in a bit of a quandary with Aadukalam stopping the flow of Uthamaputhiran. That apart, the movie will be closely watched because of the promise that was shown by its director on his debut- Polladhavan. Can the Dhanush-Vettrimaran team create magic again?

Well, these are just the major flicks lined up. There might be quite a few more that are willing to hit screens during December. Well then, what is the reason for the exponential number of films queued up for the next month? Remember, it is not just December that is crowded; even November has been very active during and post-Diwali. The reason is perhaps too easy to fathom; Superstar. The virtual dominance held by Endhiran over the box office for a three week to one month period meant that many other movies had to wait for their chance to get into theaters without being run over. It is perhaps this backlog of releases during October that has caused the ‘December bottleneck of 2010’. Of course, we are not claiming that all movies listed above are sure shot December releases. Looking at the number and star power of the movies, it is quite likely that some of them may push towards Pongal which will possibly cause another bottleneck for the harvest festival. Tamil cinema at the moment is facing ‘problems of prosperity’. Let the good times continue.
Tags : Kamal Haasan, Suriya, Manmadhan Ambu , Arya, Chikku Bukku , Uthama Puthiran
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