In a country which has the world’s biggest film industry and where actors are considered to be demi-gods, new releases featuring the most popular actors are major events.
Hype is built up weeks before the release. There has been much talk of veteran actor Kamal Hassan’s newest release of the Tamil film Vishwaroopam. He mortgaged his house to make the film. Then the release was delayed in Tamil Nadu because Muslim groups opposed the film and there were concerns it could disrupt law and order.
I don’t go see Tamil films but maybe I should just for the entertainment value of the film-going experience. There seems to be more happening off screen than on screen!
Consider this article on the release of Vishwaroopam in the Coimbatore edition of The Hindu:
"It was a day they dreamed of for weeks. Fans of Kamal Haasan would never forget February 7 — the day Vishwaroopam hit the screens after the ban on its screening was lifted. Cut-outs, posters, T-shirts…Kamal Haasan was everywhere. The sound of drums and crackers rent the air as his fans danced their way into movie halls.
And when Kamal appeared on screen, fans whistled, hooted, screamed and threw their hands up in the air. Some even took photos of their hero on their mobile phones. Clad in a white kurta, Kamal, as the effeminate kathak dancer Vishwanath, drew applause for the slightest side-glance — he played the role so well. His fans lapped it up; their whistles for the song ‘Unnai Kaanadha’ were deafening. One could hardly hear the song!
Kamal’s first fight sequence had the audience up on its feet. With every slow-motion stunt, the screams grew louder. But there was absolute silence as the spy-thriller progressed."
You can read the whole article here.