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Tamil industry’s half-baked ideas

This news is from the South. It is a no-brainer. Since the Telugu film industry has set certain norms for members as well as the stars and the cinemas through the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCC), the Tamil Film Producer Council (TFPC) has decided to prove that it is the dormant body.

How else does the TFPC plan to ask the film critics to refrain from writing / publishing reviews of new films till Sunday?! The major media, as in daily broadsheets, always reviewed films in the Sunday editions. The Sunday editions of the papers were meant for leisurely reading with opinions, features on various subjects as well as film reviews. Did that save a film from failing?

The business of movie reviews was all about passing of envelopes. Gradually, someone thought that giving stars to a film made better business sense. Four and five stars carried a decent price tag.

There were critics who had high praise if it was a film by Gulzar or Hrishikesh Mukherjee, but ran down the films by Manmohan Desai and other such commercial makers. One critic whom I knew praised Kamal Amrohi’s ‘Razia Sultan’ to the skies ending his review with something to the effect that the film was worth every paisa you spent on the ticket. By the second show, the Rs 5 tickets were being sold by black marketers for 50 paise. It was a distress sale for there were no takers. I told the critic how right he was!

A film released on a Friday is accepted or rejected after the first show. Critics and their reviews have never mattered to the masses; they only helped massage the egos of the film stars and producers. What always mattered was the word of mouth and, today, social media does that job.

High admission rates fail a film Finally, the cinemas offered tickets at a flat rate of Rs 75 on Friday, September 23, and drew full houses all ove (the offer was valid for seats other than those in the premium zones).

I hope the cinema managements have learnt from their own experiment that it is often the high admission rates that fail a film. In the present scenario, only the stars and the cinemas make money, the producer only struggles and has to depend on other outlets such as OTT platforms and satellite rights, where, again, the price depends on a film’s box office performance!

–By Vinod Mirani

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