As Master is releasing on January 13 aiming for that Pongal festival slot, Tamil Nadu government took a bold decision. It has allowed theatres to run with 100% occupancy effective immediately. This move will not only benefit the Thalapathy Vijay starrer, but also Silambarasan's Eeswaran that will also be releasing in the coming days. Till December 31, 2020, theatres in Tamil Nadu were only running on 50% seating capacity owing to COVID-19 restrictions. Reports suggest that Vijay had met the Chief Minister of the state to allow theatres to run in full seating capacity. Master: Ahead of Thalapathy Vijay-Vijay Sethupathi’s Film Release, Tamil Nadu Government Allows Theatres To Go 100% Occupancy.
The decision to do so has been met with mixed reactions. Of course, the fans of the superstars have jubilant over the news as they are waiting fervently to see these two films on the big screen. The news also made the theatre exhibitors and distributors happy as both are huge movies and are bound to bring the much needed business for them.
On the other side, medical professionals, activists, critics and even other members of the film fraternity are worried over the decision. As COVID-19 has still not been controlled, they believe that running theatres with full seating capacity, and the expected lack of care and control, could see a surge of Corona infections. This comes when clusters of COVID-19 infected being discovered in major hotels in Chennai being reported.
In the meantime, a Facebook user, Aravinth Srinivas, who is a Junior Resident doctor at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (as per his FB profile), has written an open letter addressed to Vijay, Silambarasan and TN Government.
In the letter, he criticised the decision to have theatres with 100% capacity and putting the fans at risk, just so that the superstars earn box office profits. He reminds them that people are still dying and it is currently more important to phase out the pandemic than trade lives for money.
The Doctor's Post (Photo Credit: Facebook)
The post is going viral right now, but the doctor is not alone in being wary of the TN government's decision. Check out few other reactions from celebs being critical of this move:
Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
India: Cinema theaters are poorly ventilated, indoor, crowded, prolonged exposure settings. I cringe at the thought of opening theaters without complete control over the viral spread.
Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. https://t.co/MhPcziMWgo
— Faheem Younus, MD (@FaheemYounus) January 5, 2021
With all due respect, I certainly worry- not about me but my fellow people. I wish everyone's health. Even those who stay home will be affected by those dont. And what about our poor healthcare workers, security etc? Even 5star hoteIs become Hotspots, what of a packed cinema ? https://t.co/MQbAbdVcBk
— Kasturi Shankar (@KasthuriShankar) January 4, 2021
You can pour resources into trending #VijayTheMaster forever if you wish, but that does not change the fact that you - #Vijay, #Silambarasan & others in Kollywood - have prioritised box-office collections over public health in the middle of a pandemic. https://t.co/bXwwF2O0Hi
— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) January 5, 2021
There are times when 50% is way better than a 100%. This is one of them.
— arvind swami (@thearvindswami) January 4, 2021
The promoters of Master have sent out guidelines to fans on how to behave in a theatre when the film is out. As a movie buff in Tamil Nadu, it is up to you whether you want to see Master in theatres or not. But please do follow the below guidelines, if you do venture out to watch the film, for not just your safety but also of your fellow patrons.
Viewing Guidelines (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Master is a mass masala entertainer that is directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The movie also stars Malavika Mohanan as the female lead and Vijay Sethupathi as the antagonist.