What is a festival without a film release? In a cinema crazy Tamil Nadu, Diwali and Pongal are the biggest festivals and the festivities are incomplete without new releases. The pandemic ensured that Diwali 2020 passed away without any noise as there were no films. But, the cine industry ensured that Pongal 2021 does not pass away unnoticed. Vijay-Lokesh Kanagaraj's biggie Master and Susienthiran-Simbu's Eeswaran are lined up for theater releases and we know why and how the Tamil Nadu Government permitted a 100% occupancy in theaters (no puns intended).
Well, there are two sides of the coin - Vijay starrer Master was considered to be the redeemer for the Tamil film industry that was nose-diving into losses due to the pandemic. It is crystal clear that there would be a huge turn out in theaters for Pongal considering the craze the Thalapathy of the industry commanded. And for a bunch of cine geeks and the theaters, what better than a Vijay film on the harvest festival!
The other side, any sane person knows the consequence of watching a film in a closed air-conditioned space with full capacity with fans' frenzy going wild with whistling and hooting (Well, Vijay films kindle viewers to do that). It would be like welcoming and embracing corona to infect and infest.
Pouring cold water on the plans of teams Master and Eeswaran and the entire fan-population, in addition to the royal snub for TN govt, the Central government intervened in the nick of time and demanded an explanation from the TN government regarding their order permitting 100% capacity in theaters. Pinpointing the loopholes in the GO, the TN government was asked to revoke their decision and set their guidelines in line with the MHA guidelines and submit their compliance.
However, permitting full theater capacity was a foolish move from a governing body considering the fact that entertainment is definitely not bigger or crucial than public safety and lives. As not many new films are lined up for release in the near future, theaters could operate with 50% capacity and still rake profits if Master and Eeswaran are allowed to run for extended number of days.