Call it the lull after the storm. A day after tens of thousands of people mobbed movie theatres here for tickets to Rajnikant's 100th film Sivaji: The Boss, sanity returned to the Tamil Nadu capital on Monday.
There were no queues at any of the halls that had Sunday seen a mad frenzy for tickets.
"It is all quite today. There are no more tickets to be sold," a theatre owner said.
Police, who had been on their toes Sunday, were a relieved lot.
Nothing perhaps better illustrates the Rajnikant phenomenon more than a huge hoarding at Gemini flyover, the busiest crossing in the heart of Chennai. It shows the iconic superstar wearing a corduroy jacket and with a strutting posture.
In bold letters, the hoarding says "Boss".
At 57, Rajnikant is literally the boss of southern cinema. And his 100th film, significantly, is titled Sivaji: The Boss.
Rajnikant's real name is Sivaji Rao Gaekwad and his character in the film, which shares his real name, has been created keeping him in mind.
<b1>The actor, whose popularity has transcended India's boundaries, is more popular than many Bollywood superstars and arguably has as much mass appeal as Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.
Sivaji is set for release in 18 halls across the capital June 15. A week ahead, the pictures of all other stars in the Tamil film industry had been wiped off the face of the city.
When bookings opened for the film Sunday, thousands returned disappointed as, hall owners say, people lapped up all the tickets in no time.
The AVM Rajeswari theatre, owned by the producers of Sivaji, had a message board saying the Rajnikant Fan Association had booked shows for three days in that hall.
Across the state, queues for ticket bookings began at about 6 a.m. and were "longer than the visa queues before the US consulate", a beat policemen said.
"Watching a Rajni film on its first day of release has become a part of my life, I have been doing it for 25 years," says Kumaresan, a Rajnikant fan.
Some theatres saw gatherings of more than 500 people for tickets and were forced to post additional security, fearing fights.
National award winning cinematographer KV Anand, who is the cinematographer of the film, has compared Rajni's films to Hollywood blockbusters like Superman and Spiderman.
For Rajnikant's movie to become a box-office delight, the story line does not matter, nor does the acting. It's Rajni as a sumo wrestler, Rajni as a dancer in
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that people have come to watch for decades.
It is his style that fans throng to see, say film critics adding that it was the reason why Rajnikant was widely known as the "Style Mannath", or the King of Style.
Throwing a cigarette up before lighting it was typical Rajnikant style, which later hurt his films like Baba, as campaigns were run against him by parties like PMK on the issue of smoking and drinking.
Sivaji: The Boss will fulfil the desire of the viewers to see Rajnikant in different getups and hairdos. He is also said to sport blonde hair in the movie.
Actor Mohan, a Rajnikant fan, believes "Sivaji will be the mother of all Rajni movies".
Rajnikant has ruled the Tamil film industry for around 32 years.
He lives with his wife Latha and has two daughters - Aishwarya and Soundarya. His elder daughter Aishwarya is married to the well-known Tamil actor Dhanush.
His daughter Soundarya is making a film on him. Producer AV Saravanan has also made a movie about the making of Sivaji.