‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ to ‘3’: Theatres flip into concert events as re-release pattern grips Tamil cinema


A dimly-lit theatre immediately drowned in gentle revealed a whole bunch of followers crowding the aisles. Chatter and hooting reverberated via the corridor because the movie paused, solely to replay a track that had simply made the viewers sing and dance at the hours of darkness. With the lights on, you could possibly see all of it — telephones recording the unruly viewers, buddies dancing in nostalgia, ladies singing on the prime of their lungs, a coy couple making eyes at one another. A celebration ensued.

‘Ava Enna’ (popularly referred to as ‘Anjala’) from actor Suriya’s 2008 movie Vaaranam Aayiram, a kuththu track a few heartbroken man singing out of regret and despair, had made audiences transfer their ft. The burden of the plot level light away for a short second, as individuals celebrated their reminiscences.

“Again once we made ‘Anjala,’ we did really feel that this was the type of track that might make individuals dance,” says director Gautham Vasudev Menon, whose Vaaranam Aayiram re-released just lately to a lot fanfare in Tamil Nadu, together with its Telugu dubbed model Surya S/O Krishnan in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “Harris (composer Harris Jayaraj) was intrigued with the descriptions of how I wished the track to be — I wished a folksy beat; the saavu melam one to be exact. I’m completely satisfied that we tried to do one thing totally different and that it has labored,” he provides.

Vaaranam Aayiram is one among the many many different Tamil movies —  like 3,Aalavandhan, Muthu, Baba, Siva Manasula Sakthi, Vallavan, Minnale, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, and Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu — that noticed a re-release in theatres within the final one yr. 4 of those are directed by Gautham, and he’s elated that audiences are selecting to re-live his movies greater than 15 years after they had been launched. “In the future, I received a name from somebody who requested me to rearrange some tickets for them. This was simply days earlier than the discharge of Leo, through which I acted, and so I assumed they had been speaking about Leo, but it surely turned out they wished tickets for Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya.” That their movies transcend time and keep related is what each filmmaker goals to realize, he provides.

Arunkumar Sekhar, a Chennai-based freelance author, caught a present of Vaaranam Aayiram just lately, and he’s in awe of the neighborhood expertise it gave him. “Laughing, singing and crying with everyone seems to be an expertise you don’t get if you watch a movie alone. Catching these movies on a big display screen evoked a number of reminiscences from the previous occasions which I cherish even now. It renews my hope that there shall be extra such motion pictures that we will look ahead to,” he says.

Sameera Reddy and Suriya in a nonetheless from ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’
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Particular Association

Re-releasing older movies in theatres just isn’t a brand new pattern; it’s a widespread observe on the birthdays of stars or when a movie achieves a landmark since its launch. Nonetheless, if extra of those re-released movies have been listed in your ticketing purposes within the final three months, there’s a totally different cause.

Because of the efforts of some theatres within the metropolis, a micro pattern boosted by social media customers has emerged. There are some very particular markings to this pattern — these are movies that focus on youth, and theatres are encouraging individuals to shoot movies on their cell phones and dance to marquee songs, a few of which get an encore, like at a live performance.

After seeing the fanfare that re-releases of movies like Vada Chennai and Vellai Illa Pattadhaari received on actor Dhanush’s birthday final yr, Vishnu Kamal, proprietor of Kamala Cinemas in Vadapalani, performed Vada Chennai as soon as once more in October within the weeks forward of Vijay’s Leo, which was boring as is the case earlier than any star movie’s launch. “It was additionally the movie’s fifth anniversary. However how would you invite individuals to look at a well-liked movie that had a profitable theatrical run, tv reruns and is obtainable on OTT? That’s after I considered decreasing the worth of the ticket to ₹49. And within the run that Vada Chennai had until the discharge of Leo, we bought 21,000 tickets.”

However that’s not all. As soon as once more when issues received quiet within the weeks following Leo, Vishnu determined to re-release 3 (Moonu) and actor Dhanush agreed regardless of the movie not doing properly after its unique launch in 2012. What actually made this a hit was not simply the choice to re-release Moonu however, as Vishnu recounts, when he instinctively determined to show his theatre corridor right into a mini-concert. “When ‘Kolaveri’ was taking part in, I assumed, ‘Everybody is aware of the lyrics to the track by coronary heart. Why not play it for a second time however dial down the quantity to allow them to sing?’ That was a tough name to make as a result of what in the event that they don’t find yourself singing with you? It labored. Folks began to publish movies on social media, and that’s when it began,” he shares.

In Kamala Cinemas, Moonu ran for over 50 days, promoting over 81,000 tickets, in line with Vishnu. The Instagram Reels of college-goers dancing in theatres made re-releases widespread throughout Tamil Nadu. Because it seems, that is additionally working properly as a enterprise technique for the makers, in line with producer Kalaipuli S Thanu, whose Aalavandhan and Baba had been digitally remastered and launched just lately. “Firstly, people who find themselves watching these movies are watching it on the massive display screen for the primary time, and they also get a recent expertise. Furthermore, these are digitally remastered variations and never the movie prints that had been utilized in these days.” With the ability to distribute extra prints per movie than when it was initially launched, and releasing utilizing the far-evolved distribution system additionally helps producers, he provides.

ALSO READ: Suresh Krissna: I hope Kamal Haasan’s ‘Aalavandhan’ gets the recognition it deserves now

This has altered the enterprise mannequin for theatres like Kamala Cinemas; what initially began as a strategy to fill screens when issues had been bleak has now change into a daily affair. Whether or not these movies can compete with new releases is subjective, however individuals are extra prepared to look at examined content material in theatres than new content material, says Ruban, the proprietor of GK Cinemas, Chennai.

What’s baffling is how at a time when theatres are struggling to tug crowds for movies that don’t assure a visually spectacular expertise, movies like Vaaranam Aayiram and Moonu , now categorised as ‘OTT movies,’ have been drawing crowds effortlessly. Does that imply individuals will go to theatres extra usually? Ruban doesn’t suppose so. “We have now had many huge star movies final yr which can be meant for the massive display screen. However even these movies aren’t essentially working. So a tectonic shift is occurring in the best way individuals devour movies.”

The explanation why these movies are working has much less to do with how new movies are working, says Gautham. “It’s extra about what these movies meant to individuals. And so, when it comes again even after a decade, they need to return to that house to re-live these moments.” Arunkumar concurs. “Films are like a time capsule; they’re a mirrored image of the time they had been made in, however some motion pictures stand the take a look at of time. Not solely do they provide the reminiscences of previous years, however present you the way timeless a few of these motion pictures are,” he says.

Nonetheless, this facet can also be a significant cause why you can’t be certain if this pattern is right here to remain. Ruban believes it’ll fade away, as a result of, just a few movies can be found on digital for a re-release, and out of them, solely a handful assure such an expertise. Moreover, not all producers are prepared to re-release or make investments to digitalise their movies.

Vishnu disagrees. Nonetheless, he admits that the unavailability of digital variations is an obstacle. “So many individuals need to watch Ghilli, Sachein or Poove Unakkaga however none of them are re-mastered digitally.” Therefore, that is doable just for these movies that got here out after 2007 or 2008, when digital cameras took over movie cameras, or if the movies’ digital variations can be found. “Additional, the producers ought to conform to a re-release,” says Vishnu.

Shruti Haasan and Dhanush in a still from ‘3 (Moonu)‘

Shruti Haasan and Dhanush in a nonetheless from ‘3 (Moonu)‘
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Particular Association

As Ruban and Vishnu level out, even when they’re accessible digitally, not each movie brings in giant audiences. “Solely 4 or 5 movies have labored properly in these re-releases, like Pudhupettai, Aayirathil Oruvan, Moonu and Vaaranam Aayiram; of those, the primary two are movies that didn’t do properly initially and later gained reputation,” Ruban explains. As Vishnu says, movies like Vaaranam Aayiram,Moonu, and Siva Manasula Sakthi draw college-goers and younger {couples}. However what number of such movies can get re-released, wonders Ruban. Theatre homeowners additionally can’t do a lot if even the three to 4 different movies that adhere to all these parameters don’t get re-released because the producers don’t appear to be or are unable to spend money on digital remastering of their movies.

However say the sport retains going, what sort of movies would work properly if re-released? Whereas Ruban chooses Kamal Haasan, Arjun starrer Kuruthipunal, Vishnu needs to see Rajinikanth movies like Maappillai, Padayappa, Annamalai and Arunachalam on his display screen. “We have now requested Pink Large Films to present us Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, and naturally, we’re ready for Thanu sir to re-release Sachein,” says Vishnu, including that the official re-release of Sillunu Oru Kaadhal may flip all heads quickly.

Gautham needs his 2003 motion thriller Khakha Khakha will get a re-release, and producer Thanu is all recreation for it. “Khakha Khakha and Sachein will certainly see a re-release this yr. Even Kandukondein Kandukondein has an opportunity of seeing a re-release sometime,” says the producer, including that Shivaji Ganesan’s Uthama Puthiran and MG Ramachandran’s Nadodi Mannan are movies he personally needs to see on the massive display screen once more.

Trisha and Vijay Sethupati in a still from 96

Trisha and Vijay Sethupati in a nonetheless from 96
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Particular Association

Whether or not this pattern is right here to remain or not, solely time will inform. For now, let’s trip the tide and be careful for evergreen hits to grace the silver display screen once more. The month of affection will see a city-wide re-release of Premam and 96, including to the record of basic romantic movies like Vinnaithandi Varuvaayaa which have been working for some time now. Witness the romance that’s cinema with a date down reminiscence lane.

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