Abishek Raaja



First Day First Show- The magical morning ! , Jigarthanda, Kollywood


Ever since Dadasaheb Phalke made Raja Harischandra in 1913, the major intention on making films was to tell mythological stories, highlight the suppressed, etch the emotions and probably entertain. 
When countries like Iran that talk of women empowerment, Korea on anti-social elements, South America on poverty dwelling lives using films, we the Indians have devised an "Escape route" amidst the busy freedom struggle to get gravitated by scurrility. It was either to lean towards the complete opposite of the real life we lived or all our dream sequences made as a story enacted by known faces. Films were all based on this, by this and of this. We wanted somebody to take control of our ignorance on screen. Angry young man fighting evil, winning the love more than a square of meal for a day, compromised facts and mindless cheap comedy has pretty much been the forte, story tellers have played around. Anything that spoke realism was less received by the Tamil Nadu people's sensitive minds and heart.
From hero-worshiping to dedicated fan associations to exclusive FB pages to whiling away time, energy, source and money on fan rivalry, the ones who've managed to make money, power and fame continue to, when we end up where we've always been. Films are the heightened art form that almost edutained us in the late 70's. Stories with heroes in it were replaced by stories just made for the specific hero. My friend boasted of all the extra features his mobile phone had but didn't have balance to make an emergency phone call. Cinema has come to the very pathetic state in which the whole intention of telling a story is lost. 
After the highly successful Pizza, software engineer turned Karthik Subbaraj makes a musical gangster story revolving around a set of characters in the glorified village, Madurai. The particular has been short listed by Forbes for the 5 must watch movies of the year. The director has earned his own set of fans right from his short film days. This is just his second complete feature film, but things were all fair and fine till the film was postponed for random reasons on a regular basis. After clearing airs on creative differences during the censorship and being a Korean rip off, the film Jigarthanda holds a peculiar record of having changed the release date in their posters ever. Coming to the actual intention, there are deserving stories already made as films waiting for a release. With the industry right now only driven by absolute capitalism, independent film makers will soon be long lost history making documentaries at their own cost. 
Viswaroopam 1, Thalaiva and Thirumanam Enum Nikkah are classic examples that were deprived of proper release dates. Since produced by huge players, these films have managed to reach the theaters. We might have to re-phrase the "Freedom of expression of speech" with a disclaimer saying, “Conditions Apply”. 
Sarathkumar's Jaggubhai had a URL release instead of a theatrical release. Viswaroopam generated revenues for travel agencies when we had gone to the neighbouring state to watch Ulaganayagan on screen. Thalaiva got delayed by 11 days. Thirumanam Enum Nikkah just recently got a life. Madha Gaja Raja is still in the edit suit. Jigarthanda still a suspicion till the first day first show. 
Computing close to 165 films a year, Kollywood amounts to a decent bunch of the GDP and provides bread and better for millions. When heartfelt creations from directors like Karthik Subbaraj, part of the ‘New wave Tamil cinema’, inspiring film aspirants getting stalled for no concrete reason, how can the sacred art form owned by the greatest contributors once be compromised for a single person or an entity? 
Pan Indian actor Siddarth went on a tweeting spree for Jigarthanda's release. The highly anticipated film getting delayed by a week missing out on a solo release weekend also disrupting other films eyeing for a solo release is a disastrous turnout. The director’s struggle to start a film from scratch, get it released and then go by a list of reviews deciding the fate of his movie, these initial hiccups calmly faced by Karthik is a lesson to all the young directors out there.  
Let all your passion and love for the industry go down the drain. Cinema is just a gamble played by the rich. Jigarthanda is just a recent example. 
Hope it to be the last as well.   
Written by Abishek Raaja

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