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Sivaji- Truths and fears

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Friday, April 20, 2007
Sivaji seems to be an exception. Even after the film has been completed, AVM Saravanan and MS Guhan remain silent about the release date. On the day of the pooja, AVM Saravanan said, "We have not decided on the release date or the budget of Sivaji. We leave both in the hands of director Shankar."

The talkie portion as well as song sequences are complete. The dubbing is also almost over. Studio sources say that even all the patchwork stuff has been completed last week itself.

The only work left is re-recording. This will pick up pace once composer AR Rehman returns from his overseas tour. He is expected to return next month to Chennai. So the film unit feels it is doubtful if the film would be ready for release on Apr 12 or 14.

Moreover, Rajini's lucky day is Thursday. Director Shankar's lucky number is 8. Both believe in astrology. Both would like to release the film on their lucky date. Because of these reasons, the release date of Sivaji has not yet been finalized. This has affected about 15 producers, who are in a quandary about when to release their own films.

The Rajini-Shankar combo has raised great expectations of this film. Once Sivaji is released, it will draw all cinema fans to it. Those films that get released at the same time as Sivaji will be devastated like rubble in a storm.

Because of this, nearly 15 films are ready for release but have not been for fear of being demolished. Pirappu, Satham Podaathey, Oru Ponnu Oru Paiyan, Kaanal Neer, Unnale Unnale, Ninaithu Ninaithu Paarthein, Solli Adippen, Chennai 600028, Thoovaanam, Kannum Kannum and Koodal Nagar are important films awaiting release.

There's only person in Tamil cinema who is not affected by the release date of Sivaji. That is Cheran. He has stated quite firmly that his Maya Kannadi will hit theatres in April.

Bhima should have been released long ago, but director Lingusamy frankly says he is waiting for Sivaji and 'Dasavataram' to be released before he will think of releasing 'Bhima.'

For so many to fear Sivaji, the reason is not just the magnitude of the film. There is also a shortage of theatres.

For Tamil New Years Day in 2005, 3 films were released - Chandramukhi, Mumbai Xpress and Sachein. Since proper theatres were not available, Anniyan waited for release even though it was already complete.

Now the Tamilnadu Govt., has reduced the prices of theatre tickets and there's a ban on ticket rates being raised for the first 2 weeks after a film's release, with permission from the district authorities.

Sivaji has been made with a budget of 35 crore. With the current ticket rates, it would not be possible to recover the investment. One way out is to release the film in many theatres. Another possibility is to release Sivaji in all theatres in multiplexes.

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