Silver screen loses shine with no new stars

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Apart from two disappointments —no new star was born on the Odia screen and only one film became a super-duper hit ———- 2012 was a reasonably decent year for cinema here. While last year, as many as 31 films were released, the number dropped to 22 this year, of which half-a-dozen made good business.

Odia films are being packaged smartly these days, making use of new technology and doing well at the box-office. Last year saw six promising faces making their debut. This year there were no such first-time appearances. However, comedian  Papu pom pom did emerge as a hero this year, setting a new trend of comedians making it to lead roles.

In January, traditionally considered a jinxed month, “He Sakha” was the first film to be released this year. The mythological film was based on Lord Krishna and Sudama’s friendship. The film did not fare well. The boom period was between June and August, which featured some of the highest-grossing films of the year, including “Raja Jhia Sange Hoigala Bhaba…”, “Matric Fail”, ” Rangila Toka”, and so on. “Ragila Toka” was the biggest hit of the year.

Papu Pom Pom, who is busy with his next, “Chauka Chaka”, said, “When I announced ‘Rangila Toka’, many were surprised, some criticized and laughed at me. But my producer, Pravas Chandra Rout, had full faith in me and agreed to do the mega project. I took extra care and personally looked after everything, starting from cast and crew to extras, story, script, music and lyrics. The film released and silenced critics. It was a huge success. I am hopeful that my next film will live up to the expectations of the audience.”

After Rajo and Rath Yatra, the traditional peak season is Durga Puja. The puja releases included a combination of multi-starrers, romantic and thriller movies, which also did good business at the BO. The much-hyped and publicized action thriller, “ACP Ranveer”, did good business but left viewers disappointed. Entertaining love story and multi-starrer, “Parshuram” and romantic family drama, “Love Master”, were hits, too.

“It would be wrong to say all Odia films are remakes or copy-pastes of Hindi and Tamil hits. There are many original stories like ‘Thukul’ by noted actor and director Prasant Nanda and ‘Kebe tume naha kebe mu nahi’. We need to get more professional and introduce advanced technology,” said actor Archita.

Sanjay Nayak, producer of Brajaraj Movies, said, “The Oriya film industry is on the threshold of change, mainly because of digitization and changing audience preferences. Our target audience is people in the districts and rural areas. In the cities we are facing tremendous competition from Hindi films. So we have to give something new.”

And yes, after 23 years, the yesteryear superstar, Sriram Panda, appeared in public to receive the prestigious Jaydev Award instituted by the state government. The industry, however, is looking ahead to a new viewing experience with the opening of the city’s first multiplex next month.

Courtesy : The Times of India

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