There are a lot of things that fascinate me about Tamil movie fans and one of which is their enthusiasm and energy levels during the First day First Shows (FDFS) of their favorite star. I experienced one such event today, the 12th of January as Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s much hyped film Bairavaa released as a Pongal 2017 special film.
As I have closely tracked the industry for 2 years now, I understand the excitement factor was a little higher for the Vijay fans as the previous two films, Puli and Theri had some discrepancies during the release which affected the special early morning shows. I still remember how for Chimbu Devan’s Puli, the entire team of reviewers stayed up the entire night as so much uncertainty prevailed around the film’s release. Something similar happened for Theri with the Chengalpattu area release issue.
After all this, though I am not a hardcore Vijay fan I was excited for Bairavaa’s FDFS. Especially when the 4 AM show got advanced to 1 AM, I was all prepared to witness some madness in terms of fandom and I must agree that I wasn’t disappointed at all. In the theatre that I watched the film, I was glad that there was no tall cut-outs put up - No, not because I detest them but because after listening to incidents like fans hurting themselves while trying to climb up the cut-outs I felt thankful that there weren’t any. Fans didn’t give up though, they climbed the small hoardings and conducted the customary “paal abhishegam”. I noticed one fan who couldn’t handle the rush the happiness of seeing his star on a big screen gave him so he ran across the premises yelling and howling. Continuous chants of “Varlam varlam va Bairavaa” resounded the area while some fans just preferred cheering with their usual jargon “Thalaivaaaa”
We then finally entered the screen; yes, it reminded me of visiting Tirupati on a Saturday of “Purataasi maasam” (September 17th - October 16th). When we were all set for the show to begin and the lights went down, every single person in the screen (including me) started cheering and I understand that action as more of an involuntary one; We just felt like doing that without any particular reason. After few minutes the show started and I noticed few people who couldn’t sit down for at least the initial 20 minutes. Their eyes looked like that of a mother’s when she sees her child on stage performing the act she taught at home; that melange of pride, anxiety, happiness and prayers!
As the film drifted towards the interval, the audience became quiet; each one lost in their own set of deep thoughts. Something similar happened during the second half too. Oh! I forgot to mention that I was watching the film with VJ Abishek who reviews films in 2 minutes, which has become quite a popular and favorite format now.
As the film ended, people looked at each other with a ton of mixed emotions. I saw them struggling to come to terms with the impact the film had on them. This was an involuntary action too. Though they were big Vijay fans, they couldn’t entirely accept the film. But their reflex was something that I didn’t expect. They came to Abishek Raaja and started to request him for a positive review. They started to highlight things that can actually give Bairavaa the mask of a good film with a much needed social message. Some also had a slight rough tone warning him to give a decent review of the film.
So, here are my set of doubts.
- Stars and industry men claim that they make such commercial flicks for the sake of the fans. But today I saw hundreds of such fans disappointed with the film! Who actually likes films like these then?
- When makers and the audience come from the same society and have a similar exposure in terms of creative content, how do few things miss out on looking outdated or less entertaining to makers?
- Is it all about the review that critics give? Isn’t a movie watching experience beyond that and reviews are only a by-product of that experience?
With all these doubts in my mind my enthusiasm towards observing the culture of hero worship and celebration of films in our country continues. It is indeed an interesting section to track and learn from.
Watch Fully Filmy's 2 minute review for Bairavaa here -
Written by - Anonymous