Amid mounting expectations, Superstar Rajinikanth’s latest movie Kabali has been released that leaves his fans in frenzy all over the country and even abroad
For the Kabali fever that pitched Superstar Rajinikanth’s fans, mundane things are secondary. It was the talk of the town ever since the very idea of the film was conceived. Like all other Rajini films, prior to the release, a lot of hype was created to make the film a box office hit. This is to get the money invested in the film back and secondly to avoid flop of the film that could shatter the superstar’s image. This tactics was being followed this time also. During the pre-launch of Kochadaiyan and Linga, the same methods were adopted but they were flopped.
The superstar movie’s seemingly endless pre-release publicity has spanned the earth to the sky (courtesy, Air Asia). There were a lot of comments on the movie in the social media. Trailer was being downloaded. Punch dialogues like Kabali da, Neruppu da were being repeatedly used. There were cases in the High Court to ban the movie ban pirated versions were also doing rounds in social media. Despite all these, the film was released on the scheduled day and time.That was a bigger relief for the cine goers. Directed by Pa. Ranjith, Kabali was one of the trending topics on both Twitter and Facebook as fans outside India saw the movie on Thursday and began sharing their experience and posting reviews. Videos from across the world of fans cheering as the opening credits of the movie with the iconic ‘super star’ title rolled on screen, emerged online as well.
On that D-Day, Firecrackers were lit, coconuts were broken and the customary ‘arathi’ was performed on as early as 3 a.m. by Rajinikanths fans as they thronged cinemas in Chennai to watch his latest film, Kabali, on July22. Rajinikanth’s Kabali and the frenzy it has caused are unprecedented. As the film, also starring Radhika Apte and Dhansika was released on over 5000 screens, 4 am shows, milk baths for Rajinikanth’s cutouts and people dressed as the superstar were the order of the day.
In Chennai, in some Cinemas, tickets were being sold in black, minutes before the shows started, for as high as Rs. 1,000. Amid the celebrations, die-hard fans who have been part of Rajini fan clubs for decades were a disappointed lot as they were edged out by the corporate. Such irate fans even reportedly brought down the banners they had put up at theatres in protest against the theatre for not giving them the tickets. Rajini’s fans have First Day First Show (FDFS) and First Night First Show (FNFS) syndrome. His fans were leaving no stone unturned to get tickets. Their endless preparations, burning a lot of mid-night oil to invent excuse to get leave and raise money for the show, have ended fruitfully.
Many also wondered how working class fans of Rajinikanth would be able to afford such a high price for tickets. Despite the State government prescribing a cap on the ticket prices, many single-screen theatres sold them at higher rates leaving many fans dismayed.
Despite producer Kalaipuli S Thanu taking measures to curb and control piracy of his film Kabali , a pirated copy was uploaded in the video-sharing site ‘Vimeo’ even before the matinee show was over in most theatres in India. Even before the release several short clips, illegally captured on mobile phones, began circulating on WhatsApp. However, early on Friday, the whole movie, with pretty good resolution too, was uploaded online and embedded on many illegal websites hosting pirated content.
If you Google Kabali T-shirts, you will have many websites pop up in front of your eyes which are selling Neruppu da T-shirts, Thalaiva T-shirts and The Rise of Kabali T-shirts. And there is no prize for guessing that T-shirts are flying off the shelves. Fully Filmy website clearly mentions that due to excessive demand The Rise of Kabali T-shirts will take around seven to 10 days to reach. If these, priced anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 800, are meant to cater to a different section of his fans, Tirupur T-shirts at Rs 129 will make it affordable for others.
Though Kabali mania was hitting the roof, the down-to-earth ordinary fans who were behind Rajini’s success could not buy tickets at the exorbitant rates. But for the producers, it has raked Rs.250 crore in two-days. The story line is a typical Rajinikanth movie. It is a revenge drama. The story has twists in the form of betrayals and unexpected reunions. These are so common in the film that the ‘unpredictable’ plot twists soon become predictable. The first half of the movie shows the growth of Kabali from being a leader of Tamil workers settled in Malaysia into a feared don. When the gang-lords who are involved in drug and flesh trade decide to eliminate the ‘good don’ Kabali, the ageing don has to overcome all his emotional baggage to prepare for another gang war. But before that, he will find those who are dearest to him and find an emotional end. Of course, like his other films, the film too has punch dialogues . n