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If the Tamil film industry has a bug bear, it’s Tamil Rockers. It’s the website many Tamils are thankful for, especially those who can’t afford pricey tickets or those who can’t be bothered t trudge to theaters and want the comfort of their laptops and homes. Film industry folks rail at pirates and are legitimately peeved over Tamil Rockers and its clones.
Film piracy is a worldwide problem that is estimated to cost $50 billion. Every year pirated videos are watched some 230 billion times, as per DataProt that reviews cybersecurity products. America accounts for most of these while Russia comes next. India is third.
Rumour has many takes on who is behind Tamil Rockers and what they gain out of subverting the film industry. Mafias are involved in every country, apparently. Tamil Rockers, though starting out as a Tamil-focused operation, is now an India wide operation.
Tamil Rockerz web series starts with two stars of Tamil cinema, Ajay Kumar and Aditya (no prizes for guessing the references), and their rivalry. Every film release is an opportunity for the fans of the stars to troll each other. An Ajay Kumar is released in Tamil Rockers before it hits theaters and the film producer commits suicide.
Film piracy is a worldwide problem that is estimated to cost $50 billion. Every year pirated videos are watched some 230 billion times, as per DataProt that reviews cybersecurity products
Tamil Rockerz then threaten that their next is Aditya’s Garuda, slated for Deepavali release. A rattled producer, Adhi, approaches the police who form a team to track down Tamil Rockerz.
The police have a 15-year-old photograph as the only lead. It shows four people who were dealing in stolen DVDs in Burma Bazaar who moved on to online piracy. How the pirates go about stealing Garuda prints and whether the police are able to stop them forms the rest of the film.
Arun Vijay the cop, ACP Rudra who heads the pirate hunt. He is well suited to the action thriller genre. But neither, Iswarya Menon, who plays his pair, nor Vani Bhojan, his associate, has a significant role. The first serves up love and the second is a yes-woman to Arun Vijay.
Vinod Sagar who is Arun Vijay’s sidekick fails to tickle the ribs with double meaning dialogues. Villains played Tarun Kumar and Sharad Ravi are menacing. Adhi, played by Azhagamperumal, his driver Marimuthu, Aditya’s father Kumar Natajan, and cybercrime official Vinodhini leave a mark.
The editing and cinematography provide the edginess required in a thriller so does the background music. Despite all this, it is difficult to give a ringing endorsement to Tamil Rockerz. The reason is the lack of clarity in the core theme that says a group of CD and DVD vendors set up Tamil Rockerz. The scale of Tamil Rockers’ piracy is not the league of small time vendors. Further, piracy was there before Tamil Rockers too.
The squad is able to do crack the case with just four members in which only the men take the lead and the women, played by Vani and Vinodini, stay safe in their vehicles. Baddie Tarun Kumar plays games on a super computer. One of his striking arms is Andhra police and the other, naxalites. From online film piracy, Tamil Rockers moves on to kidnapping, drugs, cybercrime and, finally, terror financing without quite linking them with the core theme. Perhaps the makers are forewarning a sequel.
The scale of Tamil Rockers’ piracy is not the league of small time vendors. Further, piracy was there before Tamil Rockers too
The series purports to show that the video and audio were recorded separately and synced. And that the judiciary helped to curtail the operations. But Tamil Rockers were more state of the art. There was always a question over collusion within the film industry. But the film stays out of all these and even as ignores all the mirror sites that have sprung up. The series perspective is solely that of the film industry, not the viewing public.
Tamil Rockerz just has too many gaps for it to engage the audience over the eight episodes through which it tells the story.
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