MUMBAI : Vikram and Amala Paul are going head-to-head at the Kollywood box-office this Friday. Their movies are a tad different. Kadaram Kondan, starring Vikram, is an action-adventure thriller directed by Rajesh M Selva, while Rathna Kumar-directorial Aadai has been in the headlines after the makers released a “controversial” teaser featuring a nude shot of the lead actor, Amala Paul. Both are likely to draw their fair share of moviegoers. However, trade sources believe the ‘buzz’ and ‘opening’ will be higher for Kadaram Kondan as it relies primarily on Vikram’s star power. We hear Kadaram Kondan will occupy over 500 screens and Aadai will have around 350 screens.
It’s no secret that Tamil cinema is largely dominated by hero-oriented scripts. But things have changed in the past few years drastically with Nayanthara, Jyotika, Taapsee Pannu, Samantha Akkineni and others delivering experimental films within the format of commercial cinema. Though it’s being said Nayanthara is the only female actor who guarantees house-full shows, it’s heartening to see the rest follow suit.
For instance, Mahanati, the Savitri biopic, made more than Rs 80 crore worldwide and Anushka Shetty’s Bhaagamathie earned around Rs 65 crore across the world. Likewise, Kaatrin Mozhi, the Tamil remake of Tumhari Sulu, collected more than Rs 4 crore within a couple of days of its release and Kolamaavu Kokila grossed approximately Rs 30 crore only in Tamil Nadu. These can very well mean audiences’ tastes are evolving and reflect how the industry is open to adapting to changing times in terms of scripts and ideas.
A trade analyst, on condition of anonymity, observes, “It’s easier to market a female-oriented script than a film involving a ‘middle-level’ hero.” He elaborates, “Take Aishwarya Rajesh’s Kanaa, for example. Though she’s not a star yet, the audience thronged the theaters because of the curiosity factor. The rise of multiplexes plays a huge role as they bring in a new set of female and family crowd. If one solo film of a female actor becomes a hit, naturally, it sets a precedent for others.”