Sridevi’s Puli growls to top

Star’s regional cinema comeback adds to calendar chaos as filmmakers consider clashes of dates

It isn’t just coincidence that the Tamil/Telugu word Puli means tiger in English! Puli is proving to be quite a bully at the box-office. This Gandhi Jayanti, the spectacular Tamil fantasy-adventure which is being seen as a scintillating successor to the maha-blockbuster Baahubali, has sprung out of nowhere to confront Prabhudheva’s Akshay Kumar comedy Singh Is Bling.

Period film lovers never had it so good in India. After Baahubali, which continues to break box office records across the country in various languages, it is now the turn of the Tamil film Puli (Tiger) which features Vijay in the title role.

Additionally the presence of Sridevi in her first Tamil appearance in 29 years is bound to boost the earnings of this costume drama. But the distributors of Puli do realise that Baahubali was a “once in a lifetime” movie, and for a South film to repeat its success would be far fetched.

Puli, however, opens on October 1, a day ahead of Prabhudheva’s Singh Is Bling, thereby threatening to do a Baahubali on Akshay Kumar’s turbanator act.
Producer Pahlaj Nihalani, who has bought the all-India distribution rights of Puli, is confident that it will appeal to audiences of every age. Says Nihalani, “We are very confident about Puli. And Singh is Bling too. The films are targeted at kids and grown-ups. And it’s a long holiday weekend, long enough to accommodate two blockbusters.”

Nihalani’s son, Chinni Nihalani, who is a professional promotional campaigner involved with some of the biggest blockbusters in recent times, sees a huge potential in Puli. He says, “It would be a bit unreasonable to expect Puli to repeat the success of Baahubali, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but yes, there is more in Puli for children. Baahubali has almost 30 minutes of a war sequence. Puli is more in the fun mode, more Chandamama than 300.”

“We’ve dubbed the original Tamil film into Telugu and Hindi. But very honestly, I don’t think the spoken language matters in fantasy-spectacles like Baahubali and Puli. The movie-goers are keen on visuals. A film like Fast & Furious 6 worked in several Indian languages. Likewise I feel Puli would click with audiences everywhere and of all ages,” says Chinni.

The first trailer of Puli is out already and Chinni Nihalani is currently preparing the second trailer. “It will have much more special effects than the first trailer. The VFX has been designed to attract both the young and the old. In fact the special effects took longer to do than we had expected,” he says.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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