Roaring business of rural dramas

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A lot of rural films have turned out to become successful ventures at the box office. More than the urban thrillers and love stories, there seem to be a liking for village-based stories among a particular set of audiences. Rural entertainers also have the advantage of catering to the B and C centres also, unlike other films.
Sivakarthikeyan-starrer Namma Veetu Pillai (NVP) has been getting rave reviews from the audience despite being bashed by city-based critics. The film, directed by Pandiraj, has been celebrated by audiences in villages and towns.
“Critics are mostly from the cities; hence they don't really understand the importance of joint families. They have clear ideas like being independent and that's the reason for their dislike,” says Dhananjayan, film analyst and producer.
Often regarded as one of Rajinikanth's finest performances, Murattu Kaalai was one of the earliest films with a rural background that shot him to superstardom. After that, films like Muthu and Padayappa aided him to reach the superstar status in Tamil Cinema.
Similarly, Nattamai struck a chord with audiences, especially in rural areas. Director KS Ravikumar, along with actor Sarath Kumar, became darlings of the middle-aged women folk. For a while, it looked like filmmakers would not stop making the same movie again and again. Ravikumar's fluffy, easygoing commercialism would later land him jobs of directing Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.
“Not only have the older films but also latest movies like Devarattam, Mayandi Kudumbathar and Kuttipulli made huge numbers at the box office. A movie with emotions and wholesome entertainment is always appreciated by the audience,” Dhananjayan adds.
Pandiraj has a proven track record and has more hits with rural-based films like Kadaikutty Singam that grossed over Rs 50 crore from Tamil Nadu theatricals alone, according to reports.
Ajith's Viswasam, considered as the year's biggest grosser in Tamil Nadu, was set in a rural milieu too. Siruthai Siva, director of Viswasam was thus offered a project with Superstar Rajinkanth to do a rural based film after Darbar.
Last year, Pandiraj's Karthi-starrer Kadaikutty Singam created a wave in rural and semi urban areas in Tamil Nadu, by collecting more than the multiplexes.
Asked about this, Director Pandiraj explains, “The public review is only important for me, audience get their life connected through my films. Many of them who have been separated for years are forgiving their sister/brother after watching Kadaikutty Singam and that is the success I crave for. And that's why Sivakarthikeyan convinced me to do a film like NVP.”
“The shows have also increased for Namma Veetu Pillai now; the audience are coming inside theatres with families to watch the film,” he cherishes.
A complete family drama, set in a rural backdrop with commercial factors, has seen Pandiraj and Sivakarthikeyan succeed with NVP, it has also brought back cheer for the Tamil film trade.