Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kaala may have been mired in controversy even before it hits the screens. Its release in Karnataka is doubtful. The distributors of Tamil films in a few foreign countries like Norway and Switzerland have also taken a stand against Rajinikanth on his comments on the Sterlite protesters and are refusing to touch his new film.
Fans of the Kabali star are, however, in their invariably jubilant mood in anticipation of a new film by their ‘Thalaivar’. Advance bookings have started for the film, which is to hit the screens on Thursday, considered auspicious by followers of Rajini’s spiritual guru Raghavendra. Reportedly, advance booking in Kerala commenced a week ago, well ahead of Rajini’s home turf Tamil Nadu. Booking for Kaala has commenced in the US too and the ticket prices start at a fancy $25.
Kaala, directed by Pa. Ranjith, has Rajinikanth playing the role of Kaala, a local gangster from Dharavi who fights for the rights of Tamilians in the locality. Actor Dhanush, son-in-law of Rajini has produced the film in his home banner Wunderbar Films. It is learnt that Film Federation of India has requested SIFCC to hold talks with KFCC to get the movie released in Karnataka in the interest of the film industry.
The actor turned politician Kamal Haasan who met the CM of Karnataka on Monday disclosed that their meeting was not about films but only politics, when queried if he had discussed the release of Kaala in the neighbouring state.
One counterpoint to the usual hysteria over a Rajini film release is about the price of tickets sold at the counter, which is higher than the government stipulated price. This has come in for criticism from political leader Dr Ramadoss who has taken a dig at it. He wrote in Tamil on his twitter account what roughly translates to — “Give a big clap, Kaala’s advance booking has started. Heard that he tickets are sold at a higher rate i.e. 207.24 than the normal stipulated one of 165.78.” And in a sarcastic tone he adds, “In fact Rajini plays the saviour of downtrodden in Kaala!!” and repeats the sentence thrice.
Nevertheless, theatre owners in the city seemed to be happy for the overwhelming response for Kaala’s advance bookings. The owner of Rohini theatre took to twitter to announce this news. He said: “The demand for tickets in the Rohini Main screen is nothing short of exceptional. Very satisfying that Rohini main screen has positioned itself to be numero uno choice for Big Star movies FDFS! #Kaala #FansFortRohini.”
Meanwhile, we hear the makers of Kaala have filed a writ petition at Karnataka High Court, challenging Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for their act of banning the film. A source tells us, “They have no power or authority to ban a movie and we have also demanded to compensate the loss of business with interest”. The hearing has been scheduled for today (June 5) morning.
A source from Wunderbar Films told DC that Kaala is releasing in as many 800 screens in TN, 300 in Kerala, 500 in Andhra and Telengana, and its Hindi version will go on to as many as 1,000 screens.
In the meantime, speaking at an event, Dhanush, made taunting remarks at detractors of Rajinikanth who are opposing Kaala and the actor as such for his remarks on the Sterlite agitators of Thoothukudi. He said, “If one guy has the guts to oppose ten people, he can be called a hero. If ten people are opposing one man, he is the leader. I hope all of you get what I’m saying considering the situation in Tamil Nadu.”
Dhanush added, “We have seen stylish Rajinikanth in films like Sivaji. But in Kaala, Thalaivar has gone to ‘Thara’ local level, ‘Irangi Senjrukkar’”. And his fans are keeping their fingers crossed for a good opening and oodles of entertainment from their favourite Superstar. It’s time for Kaala then....