Chennai | Frenzied fans poured thousands of litres of milk on huge cut outs of megastar Rajinikanth and sang and danced outside theatres at 4 AM as hype and hoopla marked the release of his latest film Kabali in about 5,000 screens across India and abroad.
At least, 1,000 screens launched the film in Tamil Nadu, home to Rajinikanth ever since he made his debut in the mid ’70s while several hundreds showed it in territories like US, UK, Malaysia and Singapore where his followers are a legion.
Cut outs and banners of the actor, known for his style and gimmicks, were erected outside theatres which wore a festive atmosphere as fans turned up in good numbers, with cutouts, banners and festoons, adding colour to the screenings. In some places, special prayers were held for the success of the film, reminding that Rajinikanth’s popularity has not taken a dent despite backtoback flops in Kochadaiyaan and Lingaa.
Some of his diehard fans flew from Japan, where he has huge following, specially to witness the hype and drama typical of a Rajinikanth release. Dialogues like Kabali da and Magizhchi (Happy) have become buzzwords among the movie lovers who recreated them happily after the screening. Some of them even carried tickets for subsequent shows during the day as they had missed parts because of the cheering and shouting inside theatres.
The Tamil drama, which has also been dubbed in Hindi and Telugu, ran to packed houses in metros like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and cities across Kerala.
In some places, fans complained of lack of availability of tickets as they were bulkbooked by individuals and companies well in advance though there was an overall mood of joy outside theatres that screened the multicrore film, produced by Kalaippuli S Thanu. But whoever had the ticket did not complain.
Naan vanthutennu sollu.. Thirumbi Vanthutaennu sollu.. Kabali da (Tell them I have arrived. Tell them I am back. It’s Kabali) was the favourite punchline that fans repeated when asked what caught their attention in the promo. Rajinikanth had a special screening of the Pa Ranjith directed movie in the US where he is holidaying.
The shows are reportedly full for the next couple of weeks as individuals and corporates have gone for bulk booking. The film is directed by Pa Ranjith, known for his critically acclaimed Attakathi, a breezy portrayal of a semiurban Casanova and Madras that had strong political undertones. The ‘Neruppuda’ song from Kabali is already a hit. Santosh Narayanan has scored the music for the film, which also stars Radhika Apte, Dhanshika and Kalaiarasan in key roles.
Kabali had cleared a last minute hurdle yesterday after the Madras High Court declined to restrain its release on a petition by a film distribution firm seeking compensation for losses reportedly incurred by them over distribution of Lingaa.
The shows are reportedly full for the next couple of weeks as individuals and corporates have gone for bulk booking. Meanwhile, fans who had flown from Bengaluru to watch a special screening as part of an arrangement with Air Asia, complained of a rescheduling of timing and screening place.
They insisted that they wanted to watch the movie along with the actor’s fans in a Chennai theatre as promised but were offered a screening elsewhere. The company said there was a mistake on its part in not informing the rescheduling and assured to compensate the fans.
The film has apparently allegedly uploaded online despite a restraining order from the Madras High Court restraining several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from illegal download. The full movie is said to have been uploaded on the internet under the title Tamil Gun. Producer ‘Kalaipuli’ S Thanu said he will move the court through his counsel and mention about the illegal uploading of the film before the court.
On July 14, he had moved the court seeking to prevent illegal downloads of ‘Kabali’ through about 180 websites and countless unknown sites. The film released to packed houses across Kerala, where tickets were sold in advance and many of theatres showed ‘houseful’ boards. It was released in over 300 screens across the Kerala. Elated fans, who came out of the theatres after watching the movie, said the film has the real Rajini touch with stunt, music and typical punch dialogues.
It was released in over 300 screens across the Kerala, where there are a large number of Rajinikant fans. While in Palakkad, bordering Tamil Nadu, in at least 25 theatres the film has been released, in the state capital, eight theatres are screening it with the first show starting at 4.30 am.
More number of shows, in different times, were arranged to manage the heavy rush of fans, theatre sources said. Fans of the ‘Thalaivar’ celebrated the release of ‘Kabali’ in different ways including in social media. A threeminute music video, brought out by a fan in Kochi, has become viral on the online.