All eyes in Tamil Nadu at the moment, are on two things: Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport, after the central government cleared it, and Kollywood’s new releases ahead of the Pongal festival. While there are doubts about Jallikattu taking place, the Pongal films will release on January 14.
Traditionally, Pongal is the biggest festival in Tamil Nadu and normally four or five big films release around the time. This year there are four Tamil releases – Rajini Murugan, Kathakali, Gethu and Tharai Thappattai.
At the moment, there is an acute theatre shortage and the four films are fighting between themselves for screen space. Due to the a tragic end of 2015 with the Chennai rains, the Tamil film industry is badly in need of a hit to start the year on a positive note.
On that note, here is a preview of the four films contending for the box office this Pongal:
Rajini Murugan: The most eagerly awaited film of the lot, Rajini Murugan has been stuck in the cans for the last few months due to financial issues. The film has popular upcoming star Sivakarthikeyan paired opposite the sensational new actress Keerthi Suresh. Produced by Lingusamy, it is directed by Ponram and is said to be a typical masala entertainer, which will attract the family audiences.
Kathakali: The film has Nadigar Sangam's (the actors association) chief Vishal in the lead with Catherine Tressa playing the heroine. It has action laced with family sentiments and is targeting the mass audiences. The film is being distributed in Tamil Nadu by the market leader Sri Thenandal Films.
Gethu: Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of DMK bigwig MK Stalin, is doing his first action thriller directed by Thirukumaran. The film has Amy Jackson playing a village girl, while Sathyaraj plays the pivotal father figure role of a guy who has been framed in a murder case. The film is being marketed by Udhay’s distribution company Red Giants.
Tharai Thappattai: Ace director Bala is back with the story of the folk dancers of rural Tamil Nadu, their culture, joy and anguish. The film has Sasikumar and Varalakshmi in the lead. It is maestro music director Ilayaraja’s 1000 film as a composer.