A few years ago, I delved into the reasons that compel a movie-goer to watch a movie more than once . I was forced to think about it when I saw a couple of movies on the eve of New Year and on New Year. The movies were Khaleja and Manmadhudu

Manmadhudu released towards the fag end of 2002 and Khaleja released in 2010. I have seen these movies multiple times; so many times that I know what dialogue follows and what scenes to wait for. I saw these movies after a long period. I found myself laughing thinking about what was to come next. This after watching the movie so many times.

That these movies can be watched with the family (notwithstanding the language, in case of Khaleja) adds to the aura. Growing up, VCR/VCP was used mainly to watch the prints at home because the movies took time to release in the places we stayed in. As time wore on, movies (at least the big heroes movies) released in every nook and corner of the Telugu speaking states. With time at a premium, people started to wait for the movie to be aired on the television channels.

When the practice of airing movies on television channels started, I was flummoxed as to why people preferred to watch the same movies repeated time and over again. A movie that attained cult status despite the number of times it was aired; it was in the news recently for the amount a television channel grabbed the satellite rights for after the first channel let go of it  

There exist audience for movies on television. This was realised long back by Zee TV. They went ahead and made a movie to be exclusively aired on television in the mid-90’s. They failed miserably because the movie didn’t have too many re-runs.

These days the craze for a movie is gauged by the amount that’s shelled out as satellite rights. Sometimes a movie that doesn’t do well at the turnstiles but still does well in the drawing rooms is said to have found a ‘niche’ audience.

There are times when a channel goes overboard and airs a flop movie – at the box office and in the drawing rooms- many times over. The movie then acquires a cult following of a different kind; Sooryavamsham on Sony max is an example for this.


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