Chekka Chivantha Vaanam: Buzz around Mani Ratnam film growing with morning shows across Chennai, Bengaluru
The advance booking for Chekka Chivantha Vaanam has been phenomenal in urban areas in Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, North Indian multiplexes and in USA.
There is huge buzz around veteran director and producer Mani Ratnam’s multi-starrer Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (CCV) and its Telugu dubbed version Nawab. The makers of the film, Madras Talkies and Lyca Production, have put out two trailers online that have now gone viral. The advance booking for the film has been phenomenal in urban areas in Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, North Indian multiplexes and in USA.
For the first time ever there are going to be early morning shows at 5 AM for a Mani Ratnam film in Chennai suburbs falling under Chengalpet area. Normally only superstar films of big Tamil actors get this rare honour as fans are able to fill up the theatres. In Bengaluru, there's going to be a 6 am show on the first day. In the US, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam and its Telugu dubbed version Nawab are releasing in over 100 screens.
Rakesh Gowthaman of Vettri Theatre in Chrompet, a suburb of Chennai, says, “The advance booking for the film has been awesome, never seen this kind of craze for a Mani Ratnam film, all my 11 shows on day one has been sold out”. The high end multiplexes in Chennai city are screening Chekka Chivantha Vaanam on its opening day in multiple screens, as there is a huge pressure for tickets.
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is Mani Ratnam’s 26 th film as a director in 35 years. Mani Ratnam is not only a trendsetter but also the longest surviving commercial film director at the box-office in Indian cinema. Most of his contemporaries who started out with him, in the early '80s, have either retired or faded away. Mani sir, as he is affectionately referred to in the industry, is still relevant and has a fan base among today’s youth audiences. Veteran distributor and exhibitor Balasubramaniam from Coimbatore says, “ The secret of Mani Ratnam’s success is that he is able to keep pace with the changing audiences taste and staying relevant.”
Mani Ratnam has been going through tough times after his last film Kaatru Veliyidai (2017) bombed at the box office. So he decided to change tracks and make a multi-starrer with today’s popular actors. Mani Ratnam is rumoured to have made the film on first copy basis for leading producers Lyca Productions, who are marketing it. Even before the release, all rights have been sold bringing a table profit for all concerned with the film. If the film does well from theatricals, there is more money to be made for its makers.
The ace director moved away from making a film with his regular set of artists and serious subjects, and went for a multi-starrer with ‘saleable stars’. He worked for the first time with stars like Arun Vijay, Simbu and Vijay Sethupathi, Jyotika, Aishwarya Rajesh plus his favourites Arvind Swamy, Prakash Raj and Aditi Rao Hydari. The two trailers of the film clearly indicate that it is a Godfather like narrative with a power struggle between the three sons to take over their father’s crime empire.
Archana Kalpathy of AGS Cinemas, a leading multiplex player, says: “The pressure for tickets for CCV is very high across all our properties. The trailer and promotions have been well received. Looks like a vintage Mani sir movie.”
Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman have reunited for the film, and the full album is yet to be released. There is no ‘physical copy’ (CD cover) of the album, while four songs have been released online. At 2 hours 22 minutes, it is one of the shortest Mani Ratnam films ever. In a way, this is an acid test for Mani Ratnam despite solid advance booking as the content has to live up to audience's expectations. Chekka Chivantha Vaanam will have to run on word of mouth publicity after day one to make it a super hit.