Chennai / Hyderabad: The response to the Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala, releasing in over 1,800 screens worldwide on Thursday, has been lukewarm, leading to doubts about how much of a factor he will be in Tamil Nadu politics. Kaala is Rajinikanth’s first film after he jumped into the political arena.
The usual hype about a Rajini movie was just not there even in Chennai, the hotbed of Rajini fan clubs, or in other centres where he is traditionally strong.
In Hyderabad, there was not much “Rajini money” in the form of posters, cut-outs and sale of merchandise. In Chennai, theatres were booked only for two days which is unusual for a Rajinikanth film.
The response to the film could be an indicator as to how Rajinikanth the politician could fare. The lack of traditional buzz could be the result of people taking a stand on his utterances including on the Cauvery dispute with Karnataka and the Sterlite agitation.
Rajinikanth has largely avoided getting into political controversies earlier. Taking a stand on hot issues this time could have divided fans and cleared the aisles of those who were disappointed with his utterances. This could tell on the Thaliavar’s political acceptance and the impact he could make on the elections next year.
In Delhi, the Supreme Court refused to stall the release of the film. “Everybody is waiting for Rajinikanth’s Kaala,” Supreme Court judges said....