One of my favorite posts/commentary I noticed online during the huge 2.0 First Look event on November 20th in Mumbai was courtesy of lyricist Madhan Karky, who simply tweeted: “The infinity between 1.0 & 2.0”.
He could, of course, be referring to the massive scale of 2.0, which is apparently a much more gargantuan project than the first installment. But when I saw that tweet my mind read it purely as a whimsical sigh at how we now need to wait for 1 more year for the release of 2.0, which we will all now collectively refer to as #3Diwali2017. And let’s face it, for all of us who were fans of Enthiran, another ~11 months does feel like an eternity.
I admit that when I saw the first 2.0 posters after they had hit the internet on Sunday my eyes immediately darted to the bottom for the release date. For months now we’ve been building up our expectations for the continuation of the science fiction franchise directed by mega mind Shankar, starring Superstar Rajinikanth and scored by AR Rahman. But, although I too muttered disappointment to myself as I stared at my phone, I think that we should all take a moment to stop & appreciate the vastly improving organization, creativity and professionalism of Kollywood advertising at the moment.
A month ago Akshay Kumar (who is actually starring opposite Superstar in 2.0 as the film’s very frightening looking part-man/part-crow antagonist) announced his patriotic film “Gold” would release on independence day 2018. After making the announcement on a film nearly 2 years in advance most of us Indian film enthusiasts/commentators applauded the commitment to project timelines often seen in big Bollywood. So, when the same manner is becoming more commonly practiced down South, I say we should appreciate and applaud the efforts.
Another event that I took as a sign of the industry’s growth was when we saw a whole new kind of advertising last week: an official announcement that the script for #Thalapathy61, to be directed by Atlee, was completed and locked. We may have to do extensive research to confirm this, but to the best of my knowledge, this is one of the first times we’ve seen an announcement around this type of milestone for a film. It may seem peculiar to some, but in the age of free social media advertising, it is truly intelligent to engage with fans who are eagerly awaiting the release of a film with legitimate project updates. The locking of a script is one of the most important stages of the filmmaking process, so why not share the joy of the achievement with the public and reap the benefits of some free promotions while at it?
For a long while, Kollywood was, unfortunately, synonymous with the last-minute release dates, where producers and distributors waited till possibly even the last few hours the night before to confirm their film would actually have its opening the very next day. Although there are still occasional last minute postponements here & there in the industry (sometimes for reasons outside of business; on that note, kudos to the Kaththi Sandai team), it is encouraging to see it happen less and less with better planning and, consequently a commitment to longer advertising campaigns.
It is also refreshing to see veteran filmmakers and production companies partnering with newer agencies, led by young minds and cinephiles, to partake in fresh ideas for advertising; a prime example would be seeing well-established director Venkat Prabhu partnering with Fully Filmy to create the official merchandise for the highly anticipated Chennai 28 – Second Innings, which hits theatres on December 10th.
So you know what – I agree that it may feel like an infinity of moments to wait between 1.0 & 2.0 for those of us who are excited about director Shankar’s next big film. But let’s take this time to commend him & his team for owning up to the fact that it will take a lot more time for them to deliver a film intended to blow us all away. They admit to the fact that a film of this opulence requires new kinds of efforts that they themselves may be attempting for the first time, and so, rather than not be able to meet an unrealistic release date they have committed to a grand one at next year’s festival of lights, and that should be more than enough for all of us. Frankly, who doesn’t want to spend Diwali with Rajinikanth?
Written by—Dilani Rabindran