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As if the constant buzz of movie releases is not enough, Tamil film industry was brimming with activities during Diwali time. For one, the two releases turned the pre-release expectations upside down. 7aum Arivu received mixed reviews while Velayudham was unapologetically commercial, as is expected. Other things caught attention like box office collection reports creating flutters in social networking sites. Read on to know what I thought of these.

The show of solidarity:

Ilayaraja and Vairamuthu might not be in talking terms for about 25 years with each other but when the former suffered a personal tragedy – loss of his wife Jeeva – the latter visited his former friend’s house to express solidarity and pay his final respects. The last film they worked was Kadalora Kavithaigal, which released in 1986. And the day which was even written off has finally happened.  Let us hope that they join hands again, easing out their differences and work together to create some amazing songs.

7aum Arivu & Velayudham

7aum Arivu was released with lots of expectations. Although it bagged lots of mixed reviews, it is not a movie to just write off in a sentence especially for the staggering effort invested.  The first 30 minute passage about Bodhidharma was mind-blowing. I think Surya has done a great job in pulling this off.  Udaynidhi, Surya, Ravi K Chandran and Harris Jayaraj - with this combo, Murugadoss could have come out with any idea and made a good film. Hats off to him to go with this script and I also liked Udayanidhi’s trust in his team. And an important thing to note here is the way Murgadoss touched upon the subject Eelam.  This has generated a great response among Tamilians all around the globe.  

A usual Vijay masala flick, with an equal mix of commercial ingredients. Velayudham will certainly entertain you a lot, if you afford to relax on logic. Vijay comes up with a staggering performance in all departments including comedy, fight and emotion. Director Raja has done a good job, but sir you could have focused on logic a bit more which would have made the movie a bigger hit than this.  And Santhanam: wow what a comedy sequence. One could not control their laughter when his family tries to steal a diamond.

Diwali releases trigger fake box office reports?

Both Velayudham and 7am Arivu enjoyed good opening. Vijay and Surya fans had lots of arguments in social networking sites about the race. But few reports (or rumors?) claimed that both movies have made enough money in first five days by easily overtaking Endhiran and Mankatha.

But how credible is this? Facebook Ajith fans community came up with few questions and here they are:

1. Size of the market - Both Endhiran and Mankatha made 35 and 30 crores respectively in 5 days (estimates). Both ran houseful shows in most possible screens in domestic and international markets. How it is possible for the market to become 250% large overnight?
2. Duration of collection - Superhit movies with record breaking opening  like Mankatha took almost 40 days to collect 80 crores in box office. How it is possible for Diwali movies combined to collect the amounts within just 5 days

Valid questions, yeah?

Can marketing alone save a film?

We have been discussing this but how much has been written about this? Now let’s consider this.  Let us take a film which is very poor in all standards and a choose person who is best in marketing and provide him money which is 10 times bigger than the actual production cost. The best thing he can do is to bring people to cinema halls, but he cannot make people say good things about it. As they say, content will remain the king. Marketing can just boost up a bit but cannot change the movie’s fate. There are films which were termed as hit just by marketing success, but they will fade soon.  

2011 is not over for Tamil cinema by any means we have some exciting combinations post Diwali with Dhanush and Selva in Mayakam Enna, Dharani and Simbhu in Osthi, Madhavan/Arya with Lingusamy in Vettai and Vikarm with Suseenthiran.  As like everyone, I am more excited to watch these combinations work well too. 

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