Regional-lingo versions starrer gets wide release in U.S.

Reliance’s exhib arm Big Cinemas will release regional-lingo versions of Mani Ratnam’s “Raavan” in more than 40 screens in 30 cities across the U.S. on Friday.

Titled “Villain” in Telegu and “Raavanan” in Tamil, the pic will get one of the largest releases for a South Indian language film.

Pic, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with music by A.R. Rahman, is also due to unspool in Hindi on the same day

Ratnam (“A Peck on the Cheek”) is one of the few Indian helmers whose films are in his native Tamil as well as in Hindi. The story has been kept under wraps, although based on trailers and the title it appears to be a modern-day take on Hindu epic “Ramayana,” about a prince who must rescue his princess after she is kidnapped.

Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun said: “There is a vast audience for regional Indian cinema outside of India and particularly in the USA. By building our own international infrastructure of cinemas we are showing our commitment to these niche markets, which we expect will deliver strong growth in the near future.”

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