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PIZZA UNINTERRUPTED

By Kaushik.L.M

By now, a majority of the avid cinema goers would have heard of the rave reviews that the movie Pizza has received. After the damp opening thanks to torrential rains, the movie has picked up steam with screens increased to 180.

The first half delivers a nice intimate chemistry between the lead pair and also a fair share of thrills and spills thanks to the adventures and misadventures that the lead man Michael (played by Vijay Sethupathy) experiences in the haunted house.

Just when the horror quotient reaches a crescendo, with one of the toys in the haunted house’s room turning its head, the intermission tag is displayed on screen. The interval is a good relief in a sense, after the relentless dark action on screen. We are able to breathe easy after some pounding moments. The interval also throws the movie open for debate as the viewers discuss the pros and cons of the movie and also all the various possibilities that the movie can offer in the second half.

But, with the multiplexes in the city squeezing in as many ads as possible, the interval block exceeds 15 minutes in the best case for every show. How long can the audience keep seeing stale textile ads and jewellery ads that are anyway being shown all day long on TV as well?

Hence, when Pizza resumed after 15 minutes or so of relentless commercials, the audience’s mood was different and the spooky mood that was created so painstakingly in the first half was seemingly lost. It took some time to settle back into the movie. What followed was enjoyable as well, thanks to the cheeky twist.

The idea of the article is why not experiment with an interval free format in the case of thrillers like Pizza where the audience is required to be kept in the grips for the entire running length of the movie. Of course, the commercial demands of the theatrical exhibition business insist on intervals and the ensuing popcorn sales are a major driving force. And intervals are also designed perfectly with the script in mind, in the case of commercial films like Mankatha and Sivaji, where the lead protagonist makes sure that the audiences go out for a small break with a lot of satisfaction and anticipation as well.

But, a change once in a while won’t do any harm. Pizza without any interval would have been worth a shot. At just over 120 minutes, the movie isn’t a long and dragging affair by any means too. The thrills would have been uninterrupted and it would have been interesting to experiment with an interval-free format and gauge the audience’s reactions for more such attempts in future. Alas, it hasn’t happened and it remains part of the wish list.

When Pizza’s director Karthik Subburaj was contacted, he says that they didn’t have any idea as such of presenting Pizza without an interval. He is nevertheless happy with the response to the movie and is thrilled about the increasing demand for shows. This has been a well-deserved victory for this short film director who has graduated onto the big screen seamlessly.

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