May 21, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdhary
Balakrishna evinces interest in straight Tamil cinema. Venkatesh-Mahesh film in progress and so is Charan-Allu Arjun project. Sumanth-Varun Sandesh new film announced. What's happening? Is a solo hero project risky, losing it's sheen, why are actors exploring multi-starrer plots suddenly?
After decades of discussion, heroes are finally plunging into multi-starrers and a bigger canvas, despite the huge budget involved. Mahesh (who has a huge fan base) is heard to be drawing 16 crore, Venkatesh (who has a loyal family audience) 5 crore are sure to help the producer sell the film for a table profit.
This piggy backing (getting the other hero's fans to see your film) by Venkatesh and smart marketing by Dil Raju who already has a reputation for knowing the crowd's pulse is generating unprecedented interest for Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu. Ditto for Charan-Allu Arjun film Yevadu which is touted to be on the lines of Face/Off.
Varun Sandesh and Sumanth (in Twist) who belong to the next category may not have a great fan following but they have to pull the crowd, the audience do not have anything to lose by watching their films. Some people do it to survive in the market and some for the combinations. With an addition of Srihari and Rajendra Prasad to this project the producer is sure to get its neat 1.40 crore as satellite rights and some more as remake or dubbing rights.
If Balakrishna wants to do Tamil cinema, it's not erosion of fan base, it's just another addition. In South India, the fans are so crazy and loyal that they will make a film a hit irrespective of it's content. This is called stardom which has nothing to do with acting or the film content. If the fans of two heroes watch a film and the combination makes the general audience curious, the market zooms ahead.
Earlier heros would include a photograph or a poster of a popular actor in the background or refer to him in a dialogue that would pull the crowd loyal to the other hero to this film. Slowly directors thought upon another idea, they got stars to do voiceovers for the prelude and sometimes a commentary in between the film for the money and also to draw attention; Now after aeons stars are getting together, at a time where there is a bankruptcy of good stories, to work which is a positive sign.
We had multi-starrers decades ago because there was a great deal of understanding between each star, but now there is definitely some insecurity plaguing the atmosphere. Will these multi-starrers set a trend or is it a mere passing phase where if one film flops, producers will shudder and think twice to touch such 'complicated' scripts even with a barge-pole?