Chennai: A hot debate has erupted regarding the proposal to run the Diwali releases, Vijay’s ‘Bigil’ and Karthi-starrer ‘Khaidi’, round-the-clock for the first one week to rake in the maximum possible moolah.
While several social activists and others have raised the question whether it was necessary to further push the Tamil youth deeper into the madness of cinema that has already affected the socio-cultural values in the society, Kollywood has already represented to the AIADMK government to permit the 24x7 screening of these two Tamil films and also the Hindi movie ‘Houseful-4’ during the Diwali week.
"We met Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi a week ago with our petition, referring to a similar concession given to the industry during the festival time by the Andhra Pradesh Government. The officer told us that the CM and all ministers are busy with the by-elections. They are expected back on Monday (Oct 21) and he would place our request before the Chief Minister”, said ‘Tirupur’ Subramaniam, president, Tamil Nadu Theatres & Multiplexes Owners’ Association.
“The government clearance should not consume more than a couple of days, so we are confident of getting the required permission well before Diwali (Oct 27). But then, we will be running 24x7 shows only for the first two days after which the crowds could dwindle”, Subramaniam told DC.
Social activists and worried parents have voiced concern over the Kollywood attempts to dominate the youths’ time by serving them a surfeit of cinema that could turn many as its addicts. “Where is the need to run these shows at 2 am and 3 am, a time when our young people should be resting after hard work during the day?” asked social campaigner Pon Kumar.
“When there is time limitation for shops, eateries and even temple festivals to close shutters after a certain time at night, why accord exemption for the cinema industry, even if for only a week during the Deepavali and Pongal festivals?” Kumar thundered. He said most of the audience during such late hours could only be the stars’ fans; so why not the stars provide them with free tickets?”
It is common knowledge that the movie shows at such crazy timings are blocked by the stars’ fan clubs and they buy up the tickets in bulk. They make substantial profit selling the tickets to the general public, while claiming that the money would go for some charity.
Informed sources say there is yet another ‘scam’--film producers and exhibitors join hands in inflating their picture’s public image through media reviews made by pliable journos. There have also been instances where people have been hired to praise the film and its main actors while emerging from the show in theatre and the TV crews thrust their mike at them, asking, “How’s the film?” The replies would gush out: “Fantastic. Too good. Perfect family entertainer…”