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Kangana’s Thalaivi Stirs Jaya Memories, Raises Stakes For Cinema Release Vs OTTs

A biopic, Thalaivi, of the avowed stormy petrel of Indian politics, late J Jayalalithaa (former CM of Tamil Nadu, reigning Queen of Kollywood of the 80’s) was one of the most awaited releases. Kangana Ranaut, who plays the lead is also a firebrand in her own right. The budget for Thalaivi was Rs 90 crore. But, OTT signing, music rights and cinema advances have already netted Rs 110 crore, and whatever overflows now is money for jam. Meanwhile, there is a fight royal between the top cinemas — PVR, Inox and Cinepolis and Netflix. The Hindi version rights have been awarded to these entities, and cinemas are adamant that they need at least four weeks between their shows and OTT. Netflix is bent on immediate release. What about the original Tamil and Telugu prints? Thankfully, Amazon Prime is more yielding and agreed to wait for the cooling period. Any surprise that Kangana made a whirlwind promo trip to Chennai, to cool all tempers on the political front. She visited the memorials of JJ, MGR and Kalaignar to ensure all round peace! Thalaivi shows that ignoble public display of crass behaviour in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, some 35 years ago, when Kalaignar was the CM and a DMK MLA pulled her saree. Is DMK ready to squirm when Thalaivi hits the Tamil audience?