Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Talk to the Boss

Rajnikanth plays a mean tune in Sivaji: The Boss.
Rajnikanth plays a mean tune in Sivaji: The Boss.

Much-anticipated Tamil movie Sivaji: The Boss, reputed to be the most expensive film made in India, will be screened in digital format across Malaysia.


PYRAMID Saimira Theatre Chain (M) Sdn Bhd, which has more than 42 cinemas in Malaysia, is spending RM10 million to digitalise them — all before the middle of next month.

Its haste is understandable as the company has bought the rights of the eagerly awaited Tamil movie Sivaji: The Boss, starring southern India's "superstar" Rajnikanth and wants to release the movie in digital format simultaneously in all its cinemas in Malaysia.

The RM50 million movie, said to be the costliest in India, is expected to be another milestone in the careers of Rajnikanth and director S. Shankar (who has delivered eight back-to-back blockbusters which have received critical acclaim).

The film was supposed to have had a grand opening in conjunction with the Tamil New Year last Saturday but it has been delayed for post-production work by Shankar who is known to be a perfectionist.
The movie, with lead actress Shriya and music composed by A.R. Rahman, is about how Rajnikanth fights to open a university providing affordable education in India. Others in the movie, also being released in Telugu, are Vivek, Suman, Manivannan and Revathi.

Rajnikanth's last movie, Chandramukhi (released in 2005) was directed by P. Vasu and was a runaway success grossing RM160 million worldwide.

P. S. Saminathan, managing director of Pyramid Saimira Theatre India and director of the Malaysian company, declined to reveal how much they had paid for the movie's rights but said it was "costliest Indian film ever" to be shown in Malaysia. He expected it to gross as much as a Hollywood movie in the local circuit.

"By releasing it in digital format, we can have 30 to 40 per cent cost savings as each print of a movie usually costs RM5,000. We can open big in more theatres simultaneously, even in rural areas.

"Since the film is in digital format, it is encrypted and we can beat the pirates as it can't be copied in theatres. This will encourage people to watch the movie in cinemas."

The company has 350 theatres in India, 150 of which can show movies in both digital and reel format.

Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd (India) chairman V. Natrajan announced that its Malaysian entity would be producing Malay movie Berikan Hatimu, starring Saiful Apek, Fasha Sandha and Yassin. The romantic comedy will be directed by Associate Professor A. Razak Mohaideen. Work will begin in June and the film is expected to hit the screens in digital format by September.

The company intends to to produce six movies a year at a cost of RM175,000 each.

Natrajan said they also planned to make a Tamil movie in Malaysia in June. The hero will be from India while the rest of the cast and crew will be from Malaysia. It will also be shown in India.

Pyramid Saimira Theatre Chain chairman Vell Pari said the company was in talks to produce and distribute Chinese movies too. He expected the company's first Chinese movie to be screened in December.
Malaysian English Paper :


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