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Home > Movies > Southern Spice

Sivaji mania grips Kerala too

Vijay | May 23, 2007 20:18 IST

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With three more weeks for Sivaji to hit theatres, the mania has now spread to neighbouring Kerala. Speculation is rife in this state, always a strong market for Tamil cinema, about everything from the plot of the film to Rajnikanth's role.

"Tamil films have a spectacular market here and the films of some of the big stars from that state command better reception at the box-office than the other stars here," says an industry insider.

Grapevine has it that the distribution rights of Sivaji have fetched Rs 3 crores in Kerala. Do note that the figure corresponds to the production budgets of the costliest Malayalam films!

"There is no denying the fact that some fabulous experiments are happening in Tamil ,and there is no need for a regional bias when it comes to good cinema," says Johny Antony, director of films like Thuruppugulan, CID Moosa, Kochi Rajavu and Inspector Garud.

"I just can't wait to see Sivaji and I am even excited about Rajnikanth's project after this one, as Shankar brings out the ultimate in every hero. I really believe only Rajnikanth can break the myth that actors fade away trying to outdo what they have done in a Shankar film," he adds.

Pradeep Nair, award winning director of the film Oridam, thinks mainly the young crowd are attracted to the various themes offered by Tamil films. "Also the movies are generally satisfying the viewers with fights, songs and colourful visuals. Besides the existing stars, new talents are coming up Tamil films," he says.

"The theatres are doing brisk business with Tamil and even Hindi films these days."

Mani K R, a distributor who released the Jeyam Ravi-Bhavana starrer Deepavali in Kerala recently, says, "Sivaji is expected to do better business than some of the Malayalam films released during Vishu. There is a certain group of loyal viewers here, which now include youngsters as well," he adds.

A prominent director from Kerala jokes that from the business angle, theatres are justified if they go for other language films apart from Malayalam ones.

Johny Antony has the last word, frankly stating that "it's perfectly okay if the viewer prefers a well crafted Tamil film over a lousy Malayalam film."