A sweeter Pongal for 2013


By Jigdesh


Pongal, thanksgiving to nature, is celebrated in this region as the most popular festival of the year. This quintessential Tamil festival would almost deem to be incomplete without a slew of new film releases. Last year, 2012, was rather sparse when compared to the barrage of releases this period usually hosts. The only noteworthy releases were the Shankar-Vijay frolic ‘Nanban’ and Arya-Madhavan bromance ‘Vettai’, both being unchallenged went on to taste success at the box office.

This year’s Pongal is bigger in so many different levels, in terms of number of releases, big names battling it out and also the variety on offer for the public. The big release this year is unquestionably Karthi’s highly publicized Alex Pandian. The film enjoys high budget status and contains star value that draws audience to the screens. The filmmakers will look to flood the region by showing strong presence in the theatres.

Vishal’s Samar is an equally grand film and is tipped to be a highly ambitious project by Director Thiru. With music by Yuvan Shankar Raja and with likes of Trisha, the film looks and sounds quite appealing. The makers of the film have rubbished all the speculations and rumors surrounding the film’s release by putting it out, as proposed, on Pongal.

Among the other films slated for the festival release is the comedy caper Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya, starring Santhanam and Powerstar. While Santhanam may not own the title of being a frontline hero, his sheer participation in a film brings crowds to the theatres to witness his comedy. With KLTA presenting him as one of the leads, and with Powerstar for company, housefull shows are guaranteed, one way or the other!

In complete contrast will be Vijay Adhiraj’s Puthagam. The popular TV star’s directional debut features a batch of youngsters such as Sathya, brother of Arya, Rakul Preeth Singh along with Sanjay Bharathi, son of veteran Santhana Bharathi, who will play the central characters. The film looks to be a youthful urban drama with something new to offer in terms of concept. It will be interesting to see how the makers will tackle the challenge of the lack of availability of screens with Alex Pandian and to a certain extent KLTA demanding greater occupancy.

Looking at the content of the releases, the audiences are surely spoilt for choice. Addressing the segment of unabashed commercial entertainers will be Karthi’s Alex Pandian which presents itself at possessing all the necessary formulae for a box office winner. Samar looks to be a film that’s an action-packed rollercoaster ride indulging the audience in a guessing game with a lot of twist and turns. KLTA offers nothing other than being a laugh riot, and with a cast that they possess, the audience really won’t be expecting more. Puthagam, may carry strains of formulaic cinema but seems to carry a different approach that should make it an interesting watch.

For fans of Tamil cinema the party only gets started with Pongal, as the following weeks will see more number of big banner releases, more star power and more variety. Only a few weeks after Pongal, we will get to see Kamal Haasan’s magnum opus Vishwaroopam, Mani Ratnam’s Kadal, Bala’s Paradesi, Pandiraj’s Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga, Vishal’s Samar and Madha Gaja Raja among other films that have impending releases since December.

All of these elements make this a great start to the New Year for the audience and hopefully for the industry too. This sort of abundance of films ready for release could also give 2013 a record number of releases by the end of the year.



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