The Sivaji Phenomenon
I think every one from Madras(I still prefer to call it that way) can feel proud of the movie Sivaji. Not because it has the Superstar as the hero. Not because it is directed by none other than Shankar, the man behind Gentleman, Indian, Jeans etc. Not because it has the Mozart of Madras aka AR Rahman wielding the music. Not because it is produced by one of India’s oldest production houses viz. AVM. I think this movie has put Madras, and the tamil movie industry not just on the Indian map, but the world map. For the last 10 days, the only programmes I see on NDTV, CNN-IBN, Times Now and the likes is Sivaji; the movie, the excitement and the popularity across the world starting from Chennai. Reuters had it on their news scroll. BBC on their international feed. iTunes had the Sivaji ring tone on it is home page, a first. Tickets in Europe are being sold at 20 Euros plus, and people the world over are googling Rajnikanth, Chennai, Kollywood to know what Sivaji is all about. In Madras the movie has opened in a record 16 screens with initial 10 day collections of close to Rs. 17 million. 20 shows a day in Mayajaal (a city based Multiplex) alone, and an estimated 65 shows a day. I haven’t seen such frenzy for any movie in recent times. And the movie is already a runaway hit, expecting to cross 1000 days in Madras. It can’t get better for the industry as a whole.