Superstar Kamal Hassan is firm on his decision to release his upcoming film, Vishwaroopam, on DTH (Direct- To- Home) platforms eight hours prior to its release in theatres. Infact, Hassan is charging a whooping price of Rs 1000 on the one time screening that will be available on DTH networks. What will be interesting to watch is, if viewers will barter the theatre experience for the drawing room sit-back. Even if tickets for three often add up to Rs 1000, one is willing to pay for the big screen not a small TV experience. The large flat screen that, perhaps, Kamal is targeting is a luxury that few homes in India enjoy.
In an audiocast posted on a social network site SoundCloud, the actor defended his decision to release his film in pay-per-view mode on direct-to-home networks and said that this decision was taken, keeping in mind a very niche audience who wants to enjoy the movie on the first day of its release and yet be in the comfort of their homes.
“This is targeted at a niche segment that wants to be entertained in the comfort of their homes. It is purely for the excitement of watching it on the first day. The cinema hall experience is still something else,” he said.
Furthermore he stated that the film will not be saved in the DTH set-top boxes once it has been viewed and this is being done solely for the people who want to enjoy the thrill of viewing a movie on its first day of release from their homes.
In an age of piracy, while Kamal's unique idea has been received well by many on the online forums, it has added to the concerns of Tamil Film Producers Association.
The Tamil Nadu Theatres Associations are not taking it too well. They have scheduled a meet to discuss the issue of a film as big as Vishwaroopam releasing on DTH before the theatres and its possible impact on their revenues.
Kamal seems to disagree. He said that these worries are ill founded and all that is required is an understanding and not to rush into many hurried judgements as the cinema hall experience will still be something else.
The audiocast went viral minutes after it was uploaded and it garnered more than 5,000 views in less than two hours.
Touted as one of the most expensive films in India, estimated to have cost about Rs 150 crores, Vishwaroopam is a spy-thriller and is a complete Kamal Haasan show. He has part-produced, written and directed the movie besides playing the lead role.
Vishwaroopam features Kamal Hassan in the lead role along with Rahul Bose, Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar, Jaideep Ahlawat, Samrat Chakrabarti and Zarina Wahab. The film also features a special appearance by director Shekhar Kapur. Hassan plays the characters of a Bharathnatyam dancer and a spy.
Although the details of the theme are still under wraps, speculation by his fans on the internet seemed to suggest a psycho-thriller like Hannibal or a fast-paced action flick like Mission Impossible. Given its Kamal Haasan, it could perhaps be a combination of both.
Hear Kamal Hasssan speak on the DTH release of Viswaroopam here