'Ponmagal Vandhal' leaked online before its premiere on Amazon Prime
Jyothika-starrer highly-anticipated Tamil movie Ponmagal Vandhal faced a huge trouble as it was leaked online even before its premiere on an OTT platform. The legal drama was set to arrive on Amazon Prime Video at midnight on Thursday. Notably, Ponmagal Vandhal is the first major Tamil film to skip theaters and release directly on a streaming service, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Here's more.
Notably, all theaters across the country remain indefinitely shuttered to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Now, according to reports, an HD version of Ponmagal Vandhal was made available on the notorious piracy giant Tamilrockers before it went live on Prime Video. This prompted the makers to release the film a few hours prior to its scheduled release time.
Produced by Suriya and helmed by debutant director JJ Fredrick, Ponmagal Vandhal tells the story of an honest and passionate lawyer's fight to redeem a wrongfully convicted woman. The film stars Jyothika in the role of a lawyer for the first time in her career. K Bhagyaraj, R Parthiban, Pandiarajan and Pratap Pothen also feature in pivotal roles.
This recent incident shows that court orders haven't done much to put an end to piracy. Despite the Madras High Court banning over 12,000 illegal piracy websites, sites like Tamilrockers flourish, leaking almost every major film, soon after release. Reportedly, these platforms operate freely by perpetually switching their domain extension, thus becoming hard to track. Further, they can be easily accessed using proxy servers.
Earlier this year, before the closure of cinemas, major movies such as Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Chhapaak were leaked on TamilRockers. Last year, films like Saaho, Kabir Singh, Bharat, Kalank, Gully Boy, and Student of the Year 2 fell prey to piracy.
To note, the movie is special for Jyothika, as her recent interviews suggested. Not long ago, she said, "When Fredrick brought a script that was questioning the legal system in a realistic and presentable way, I really got attracted to this project. Playing a lawyer was refreshing because no other leading lady in Tamil cinema in recent years had played a lawyer."
Ponmagal Vandhal's illegal release right ahead of its OTT premiere is a cause of worry for many producers across the country who are looking to bypass theaters and release their movies directly on streaming services. In fact, many major Bollywood films, including Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Gulabo Sitabo and Vidya Balan's Shakuntala Devi are set to soon release on Amazon Prime Video.