The Rajinikanth-starrer Kochadaiiyaan has fallen into yet another pothole. The film will not open on May 9, as announced earlier. This has hugely disappointed Rajinikanth fans, whose numbers have grown by several more thousands since the Tamil superstar, nay demigod, began Tweeting for the first time.
Eros International, the movie's global distributor, said late on Wednesday evening that there were still some more technical glitches to be resolved before Kochadaiiyaan could hit the screens across the world.
The new release date is May 23.
This is not the first time the film has been delayed. It was to have opened as early as January - to coincide with the Tamil harvest festival of Pongal. It did not, and we were told that it would be in the theatres in mid-April - to herald the Tamil New Year.
The date passed by with no sign of Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone in a new 3D technology that gave them a somewhat cartoonish appearance. The trailer revealed this.
Apart from fan frustration, the innumerable delays in Kochadaiiyaan's release have inconvenienced cinema owners and other film producers/directors. While some of them have been keeping their films on hold - not wanting to be swallowed by the big fish -- one theatre in Tamil Nadu has already sold 13,000 tickets of Kochadaiiyaan, and the management has now said that these can be exchanged for any other movie.
But who is game for this? People have bought tickets to see Rajinikanth, not somebody else. In a state where stars are literally worshipped, temples built for them and their wooden cut-outs anointed with milk and honey, it would come as a poor choice if people were asked to watch some other actor. It could also lead to destructive anger.
With Rajnikanth playing multiple warriors in Kochadaiiyaan, helmed by daughter Soundarya, the movie has been causing popular imagination to run riot.
However, as much as producers, most of whom are said to have borrowed heavily from the market, and distributors/exhibitors may be inclined to share popular perception about the Rajinikanth work, they are also, at the same time, apprehensive about how well the film will do.
Media reports said a public sector bank has moved the court demanding that the producers repay the huge loan they have borrowed before Kochadaiiyaan can open. The veracity of this news could not be independently verified by Hindustan Times.
Let us not forget that the new technology - also adopted to ensure that Rajinikanth did not have to strain himself beyond a point because of his recent (undisclosed) illness that kept him in a Singapore hospital for weeks - gives the movie the look of an animated feature.
Indians are now familiar with Hollywood animation, which is far superior to what India has been producing till now. From the trailer, it appears Kochadaiiyaan treads a middle path. It is neither animation nor live action. Both Rajinikanth and Deepika look strange in their new look, sort of glossy, painted and puppet like.
But with Rajini on the screen - damn the way he appears - popular adulation certainly in Tamil Nadu may well be beyond imagination.