To say that Kabali mania has gripped many parts of the country would be an understatement. Where ever one turns, the talk of the town is Kabali. Fans have braved the heat, patiently (often, not so patiently) waited and counted the hours ahead of a meeting with their favourite star. This is madness.
Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kerala have seen frenzied fans making a beeline for the cinema halls and multiplexes since early morning.
Chennai has been the nerve-centre of all the action and excitement around Kabali for the past couple of days. Naturally it peaked on Friday, the day of its release.
The earliest show on Friday was at 4 am. Tickets sold out well before the release and were changing hands on the black market for up to Rs 5,000 ($75) -- a huge sum for most Indians.
Has it been worth the effort?
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“The story line is too good, it’s very emotional,” said one fan who had watched the 4am screening in Chennai.
“It has emotions, it has fights, it has all those things that a Rajini fan expects and it has those super moments where every Rajini fan will start clapping and whistling. Absolutely no disappointment,” he told the NDTV news channel.
In Mumbai, all the action was at Aurora Theatre at King’s Circle in Matunga, an area often considered the bastion of Tamils. Not wanting to miss out on the Kabali craze, halls in Navi Mumbai too are screening the film.
“The reaction to the film is ecstatic. The atmosphere inside the cinema hall is electrifying,” grinned Nambi Rajan, the owner of Aurora Theatre, which created history by hosting six full-house shows of Kabali starting 6 am on Friday.
“Patrons have been coming dressed in all their finery, a majority sporting Rajini tee-shirts. One even came in the actor’s trademark three-piece suit. A Rajini Fans Club had organised complimentary food packets for the patrons during the 9 am show today,” Rajan said.
A fan in Mumbai called the movie “brilliantly awesome”.
It is neither Makar Sankranthi nor Ugadi, but celebrations in Hyderabad are no less spectacular.
Rajini fans in Hyderabad have gone crazy with the release of his latest venture. From bathing his posters with milk to aarti to burning crackers, the fans are keeping no stone unturned to express their love for the cultural icon.
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“Rajnikanth is ultimate. He is the best human being in the world. So we don’t want to see the cinema. We just want to see the Rajni frame,” said a fan.
“The best human being in India, rather in the film industry is Rajni sir. We have learnt a lot of things from Rajni sir. If we implement the message he gives through his dialogues in our lives, then our lives will be happier,” stated another.
Kerala too woke up to the Rajinikanth fever. As many as 306 screens in Kerala are showing the film.
At Palakkad, the district bordering Tamil Nadu, fans burst crackers and distributed sweets.
In Thiruvananthapuram alone, eight screens showed the much awaited film and long queues was seen by those who could not get a ticket for the opening show.
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