Master, starring Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead roles, has brought in a new wave of energy for the exhibition sector in southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, where theatres went housefull on Wednesday despite the pandemic. Fans lined up in front of theatres as early as 5 am to catch the Lokesh Kanagaraj directorial. And looking at Chennai cinema-goers, one might think the pandemic is behind us. Many film buffs were seen openly flouting covid protocols. This, despite the many hoardings and billboards outside cinema halls asking fans to sanitise, wear masks and observe social distancing.
Be it dancing, cheering, waiting to enter the theatre or exiting after watching the film, many fans were seen without masks in Chennai theatres. Similar scenes played out in Mumbai’s Carnival Cinemas. A long queue of people eagerly waited for their chance to enter the theatre, but without their masks in place.
The energy and excitement in Hyderabad movie halls was just as palpable with larger-than-life Vijay cut-outs adorning the entrance of theatres. And fans could barely contain themselves as the opening credit began, with many hooting and standing up to take photographs.
Film distributors have already declared Master a box office hit, but much needs to be said about the precautionary measures being taken by fans. Seeing the rush of people, it seems likely that Master will help the Tamil film industry land on its feet. But the question remains, at what cost?