As the makers of the film are yet to come up with an official announcement on its OTT release, fans of the star have pinned high hopes on watching it in theatres
A poster of the film
One of the most-awaited Kollywood films of 2021, Doctor, directed by Nelson Dilipkumar, starring Sivakarthikeyan in lead role, was announced in 2019. The team commenced the movie's shooting before the first lockdown, and resumed post-production after restrictions were eased last year when there was a slight dip in the number of COVID-19 cases. Priyanka Mohan, who was noted for her performance in Tollywood film Nani's Gang Leader, made her Tamil debut with the project, and film lovers were excited about her being paired opposite Siva.
Bankrolled by the actor's home banner Sivakarthikeyan Productions, along with KJR Studios, the film piqued the curiousity of movie buffs from the time of its announcement, thanks to Nelson's debut vehicle, Kolamavu Kokila (streaming on Zee5), which was a runaway success. The first look of Doctor, which had Siva sitting on a chair with a surgical knife in his bloodied hands, received positive response from the star's fans and others, which raised the expectations on the film.
How did the makers entertain the audience during the first lockdown?
The song Chellamma, crooned by Anirudh and Jonita Gandhi, composed by the former himself, turned out to be an instant chartbuster when released in July 2020. The peppy track was penned by Sivakarthikeyan. The lyric video, which had a fun banter between Siva, Anirudh and Nelson before the song's beginning was one of the most entertaining works to have come out from Kollywood when the world was reeling under the onslaught of the pandemic. Jonita, Anirudh and Sivakarthikeyan seen shaking a leg in Chellamma was another major attraction of the fast-paced track which went on to become one of the most-viewed YouTube videos in Tamil.
After releasing the song Nenjame from the film, the makers came up with the third track, So Baby, for which the actor-director-composer trio dropped another funny video earlier this year. The amusing conversation between the trio, pulling each other's legs was a treat to watch. The project's release date was only a month away and fans couldn't hold their excitement.
What made the makers postpone its initial release date of March 2021?
Earlier this year, the theatrical release dates of Doctor, Sulthan and Karnan (both streaming on Amazon Prime) were locked as March 26, April 2 and April 9 respectively. But the makers of Doctor reconsidered their decision owing to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Election which was slated to happen on April 6. They felt that postponing the film's release to another date would yield better results as the election mania was slowly gripping the state.
They announced the decision to postpone the movie through social media, leaving fans of the star and other film enthusiasts disappointed. Though there were plans to release the film in May, the second wave of COVID-19 which hit the country hard made it even difficult for the makers and those who were eagerly waiting for the movie.
How did the film garner huge hype despite uncertainty prevailing on its release during the second lockdown?
In December 2020, Sun Pictures made it official that Nelson has been brought on board to helm Vijay's 65th project, which was later titled as Beast on the eve of the latter's birthday this year. Anirudh was roped in as the musician for the project, which marked his third collaboration with both Vijay and Nelson.
The project took off with an official ceremony on March 31, and various speculation about the film's location and genre started doing the rounds on social media. The frequent updates on Beast with regard to its cast and crew members made fans of Vijay excited. With all attention shifted towards Beast, fans of Vijay, too, became curious about Doctor as its positive result will help the former open even bigger. With the shooting of Beast going on in full swing, Nelson's image witnessed a drastic change. From a one-film-old director, he has now entered the top league of directors who is helming a Vijay-starrer even as his sophomore project is yet to see the light of the day.
Will the movie release in theatres?
As the intensity of second lockdown escalated, rumours were rife that Doctor will have a premiere on Disney+ Hotstar, though the team denied having signed any deal with OTT platforms. With theatres in Tamil Nadu opening last week, exhibitors hope that a big film, which is carrying huge expectations will bring back the crowd to movie halls. As the makers of Doctor are yet to strike an agreement with streaming avenues, fans have pinned high hopes on watching the film in theatres. With a project which has Sivakarthikeyan, who enjoys a good following among family audience, headlining it, the industry hopes to revive business with Doctor.