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Tamizh Talkies: An avalanche of cinema- Cinema express

Thamizh Talkies: An avalanche of cinema

The writer is a content producer and art curator

Published: 26th December 2021

From what seemed like a spell of drought, we have now gone towards a season of aplenty! A number of films have been released over the last fortnight in theatres and our drawing rooms (OTT platforms). And these are films that we would have liked to see one weekend AFTER another, had they all not just rushed in and made us lose track of the names and count. But you know what’s the best thing about this sudden influx of films? They are from across prominent languages. This ‘cross-pollination’, if one were to use an OTT jargon, is a direct result of viewing patterns that have seen a sea-change, thanks to covid lockdowns. The ‘new normal’ is for art and cinema not to be limited by language or state or country barriers. What a splendid thing it is!

From big budget to small scale films, from major heroes and heroines to unknown actors, the new films are aplenty. And this includes Spiderman: No Way Home and Matrix Resurrections. Malayalam saw Mohanlal’s Marakkar, and also Tovino Thomas shine in Minnal Murali (what an innings for Tovino already!). Telugu saw the charming Nani in a serious double-role three-language extravaganza, Shyam Singha Roy, and there was Ranveer Singh’s magnum opus, multi-language release, ‘83—both large screen releases that have engaged audiences well so far. Tamil had the stupendous Rocky which released in theatres and Blood Money that opened well on OTT. And then, there was Dhanush who has come in for high praise across borders for his (redeeming) performance in Atrangi Re (which also has an awesome soundtrack from AR Rahman), that’s also on—wait a minute, not in your neighbourhood theatre—an OTT platform. And in case this wasn't enough, we also had Leonardo Di Caprio, Meryl Streep and a whole host of stars telling us, Don’t Look Up (pun intended).

And there are also new seasons of series that demand your attention. And there are all those year-end round tables by your favourite critics in which your favourite actors and directors talk about cracking their process… and there are your regular TV serials that run in the house, no matter what may be happening. Add special holiday programmes, weekend reality shows, binge-worthy movies that were released recently (like Maanaadu) which are now on OTT, all vying for your time! And let’s not forget the trailers of upcoming releases like Gautham Menon’s Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha and Dulquer Salman’s Salute. So, what is your watchlist looking like right now? How do you figure out what to watch? Does a preferred language (in my Tamil-speaking house, it’s always Malayalam that gets first preference) decide which film/content you will see first? Do stars dictate your choice of the film? I think the answer is often yes to the last question. Hence, the onus of selecting a good film goes to the actors, but the onus of giving them good scripts goes to the writers/directors and the onus of assembling a good project goes to the producers.

That’s how a good film is made. When there are dollops of ‘good’, over economically sound, decisions. The world is made up of stories. If we are the story that we tell each other (and ourselves), we better make sure it’s a good one. The end of 2021 has been unpredictably good for the film industries across the world. May the beginning of 2022 be better.

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