Beyond ‘Kanmani Anbodu’: A look into the success of ‘Manjummel Boys’ in Tamil Nadu


One of the most pivotal moments in the sensational Malayalam survival thriller sweet boy, a flashback cuts to a close-up of actor Soubin Shahir. And just like that, the crowd cheers at the packed screen in Chennai. In the last decade, Soubin has established himself as a star artist in Malayalam. However, a sporadic Malayalam cinema viewer from Tamil Nadu would know him only as the man who acted in Sudanese from Nigeria, kumbalangi nights And last year's blockbuster romancham, So, does a fan from Tamil Nadu welcome the actor the same way they welcome a Tamil superstar? The truth is that Tamil audience has got a star sweet boy, but this is not Soubin or Srinath Bhasi; This is the film itself. And those who are appreciating Soobin are what theater owners call 'repeat audiences' who know the journey that awaits Soobin's character in the film.

It's been almost a month since it released in theatres, director Chidambaram's sweet boy The dream continues in Tamil Nadu.

According to theater sources, although the films of Malayalam superstar Mammootty and Mohanlal have historically drawn reasonable crowds in select theaters in the city, the craze has increased after the 2015 blockbuster. Premam A new wave of Malayalam cinema audiences began in Tamil Nadu. “But Malayalam films still generally play in multiplexes. And even if they are played on a single screen, it is the Tamil-dubbed version,” says Vishnu Kamal, owner of Kamala Cinemas, Chennai. This is the first of many criteria sweet boy Has broken its historical performance: Due to good word-of-mouth promotion, the film also started showing in single-screen theaters in the city from the second week of its release. “The film has been doing very well since then and in the two weeks since we started showing we have sold over 36,000 tickets, which is huge for a Malayalam film; In fact, sweet boy Is The film that saved theaters this March,” says Vishnu.

He is not everything. Filmmaker Halitha Shamim says that although she expected the film to do well in the cities, the kind of response the film will get even in the hinterland of Tamil Nadu is definitely surprising. I just thought it would do well in cities, towns and the film festival circuit.'' Halitha is right about the reality of southern Tamil Nadu. Srithar S, joint secretary of Tamil Nadu Theater Association, says he was surprised by the response the film received from the interior of Tamil Nadu. “About a decade ago, when any Malayalam film was released, only a handful of centers like Tiruchi, Chennai and Coimbatore would screen them. But I have never in my life seen an undubbed Malayalam film running in places like Thiruvarur, Aranthangi, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Jeyamkondan.'' According to Srithar, sweet boy Earned a share of Rs 12 crore from Tamil Nadu.

Produced by Soubin's Parava Films, the film crossed the Rs 100 crore mark at the global box office earlier this month – the fastest to do so in Malayalam – and is currently the highest-grossing Malayalam film of all time , with a growing global collection. Towards Rs 200 crore.

So, why did Manjummel Boys gain so much popularity in Tamil Nadu?

Kamal Haasan and Roshini in a scene from 'Guna'

Kamal Haasan and Roshini in a scene from 'Guna'

Based on a real-life incident that occurred in 2005, sweet boy The story tells how a Kodaikanal holiday turned into a nightmare for some friends from Kochi when one of them unexpectedly fell into a crevice in the Guna Caves, a place notorious for several deaths and named after Kamal Haasan. Named after the 1991 film. fold Was shot there. If you've kept a close eye on social media, the most important aspect that brought the film to fame would seem obvious: the use of the famous 'Kanamani Anbodu' song. fold,

However, Halitha feels it would be shallow to credit just 'Kanmani Anbodu' for the film's success. He agrees that such efforts have recently water (“Rhythm”) and leo (“Karu Karu Karupayi”) Classic soundtracks are used to relive their old values ​​or reintroduce them to a new generation of audiences. “But is this enough? If this is the case, leo Should have received exceptional reviews. sweet boy It is extraordinary in terms of craftsmanship,” says Halitha.

From the atmospheric treatment of the survival thriller to the visual and practical effects and performances, a lot of things leave you impressed. “For example, look at how they have shown the cave in Subhash's character's dream and what it actually looks like; The cave seen in his dream is similar to the one we all imagine thanks to movies. And because they couldn't explore all the characters due to time constraints, they had to explore Subhash's character and how they did it using flashbacks is interesting,” says Halita, adding that the film felt unnecessary. Focusing only on the aspect of survival without distractions was a great thing. Major plus.

A scene from 'Manjummel Boys'

'Manjummel Boys' A scene from Photo Courtesy: Think Music India/Youtube

Now where 'Kanmani Anbodu' seems to take the undisputed credit is how it adds a certain 'Tamil connection' to the film which, according to Vishnu, makes it easier to attract the audience. “Most of the second half is in Tamil as it takes place in Kodaikanal so people can connect beyond the language barrier.” Ruban, owner of GK Cinemas, Chennai, says that it is not necessary for a Malayalam film to be in Tamil language to taste success here. “If it is like this then 2018 And Pulimurugan He would not have had any success in Tamil Nadu,” he says. But he agrees that such engagement can be a nice bonus and cites fold And 'Kanmani Anbodu' is the reason for this sweet boy Tamil Nadu is having more success than Karnataka or the two Telugu states.

How being a 'friendship-based boys' film' helped the film take off:

Being a 'boys' movie about a group of boys choosing friendship over everything else also seems to be worked into sweet boy'Kind glance. For example, Ruban says bulk bookings from friends at his theater support it. Historically, movies like boys, Chennai 28And Saroja Halitha says that having worked in Tamil and the lack of such films in recent years could also be a reason.

“Even last year we got romancham in malayalam and Hostel Hudugaru Bekagidre In Kannada; There is a vibrancy in such films,” she says. Vishnu says thanks for its effect sweet boyFans are asking him to re-release Venkat Prabhu's film Chennai 28,

A scene from 'Manjumel Boys'

A scene from 'Manjummel Boys' Photo Courtesy: Think Music India/Youtube

How release window and lack of good Tamil star films helped 'Manjumel Boys'

Coincidence or strategy, release window that sweet boy The film 'Thad Lock' is doing wonders at the box office. For one, these months are historically considered a dry period, especially when elections, high school board exams and the Indian Premier League keep viewers engaged. “But sweet boy “It's proven that all seasons work if the content is good,” says Ruban.

It seems that the long drought of good commercial films in Tamil to draw crowds to the theaters is working in its favour. As Srithar explains, after the victory leo, which released in October last year, none of the Tamil films tasted notable success in theatres. “The theater business is completely profit driven and so if any of the films cleared by the censor board will work for the audience, we are ready to screen them,” says Srithar.

Even after its release, there has been no Tamil release that has even come close to challenging sweet boy In its operation. “If there is a film with a big star like Vijay greatest of all time or Rajinikanth's Vettaiyaan or Ajit Kumar's goodbye muyarchi was released with sweet boy, the collections may have been divided; But it is not so,” says Vishnu. “So, so far, it's one of the top movies that came out this year,” says Ruban.

Will this increase the popularity of Malayalam cinema in Tamil Nadu?

Now, the success of sweet boy One-time situation in Tamil Nadu, or what it will do Premam Did it in 2015? “I believe it will happen Premam Urged people to watch more Malayalam cinema, sweet boy “It will introduce Malayalam cinema to a larger section of the audience,” says Halitha, but Ruban and Sridhar disagree. “2016's Pulimurugan Here were the biggest hits of Malayalam, and only 2018 Managed to get ahead of him. Therefore, producers in Malayalam cannot expect the same kind of reception for all films,” says Ruban. Srithar explains how hit Malayalam films were also released around the same time, loving And BrahmayugamDid not perform well in these centres.

But then again, who expected that a film like this would break all box office records and benchmarks? Perhaps, Manidhar Unardhukolla Idhu Manidha Kadhal Alla.

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