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As Kaala opens, Rajinikanth fans show their support, brave rains for Thalaivar

Fans came out in large number to celebrate Thalaivar as Kaala released worldwide on Thursday.

regional movies Updated: Jun 07, 2018 14:23 IST
Chennai/Mumbai
Kaala controversy,Kaala movie ban Karnataka,Kaala movie controversy
Rajinikanth in a still from Kaala.

Dancing to drum rolls, bursting fire crackers, cutting cakes is how fans of actor Rajinikanth celebrated the release of film Kaala in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. In Chennai and in Mumbai the mood was clearly one of celebration.

Additional security was provided by the police at all the several hundred movie theatres where the film is being screened in the state.

Large crowds were seen outside all these theatres since early in the day. “I am a fan of Rajinikanth. I am from Karnataka and came here to see the movie,” a person told the media outside a theatre in Chennai.

“Today is Diwali for me. I have waited for a long time for this movie,” a fan told a television channel in Coimbatore theatre. “This not Rajinikanth movie but movie director P Ranjith movie.”

Kaala has been facing opposition in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Several Tamil activists and political parties voiced their opposition to Rajinikanth’s views on the violence in Thuthookudi. Visiting the violence-hit town where 13 persons were killed on May 22 in police action amid anti-Sterlite Copper smelter plant protests, Rajinikanth had said it was anti-social elements that indulged in violence.

Fans celebrate watching Rajinikanth’s Kaala in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

In Karnataka, the film’s release was opposed by some organisations after the southern superstar said the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) on the sharing of river water between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, has to be set up.

Meanwhile in Mumbai, neither rain nor the early morning chill could dent the spirit of Rajinikanth fans who came in large numbers to watch the superstar’s latest Kaala, first day first show.

Women came out in large numbers to show their support for Rajinikanth’s Kaala. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

As the admirers celebrated the release of the much-awaited film by dancing to the beat of the drums, the skies too opened up to match the footsteps of Rajini lovers.

Rajini loyalists started streaming into one of the suburban multiplexes here as early as 12 am, holding their special ‘fans only’ tickets with a poster of Kaala imprinted on them. By 5 am, as many as 1,000 fans started thronging the multiplex.

Three police jeeps and a police van were stationed outside the venue for security reasons.

Mumbai rains tried to put a dampener on what could inarguably be called a festival, but failed to match the frenzy of ardent Thalaivar fans. Men were dressed in suits, blazers and traditional lungi, and the women draped in saris with ‘gajra’-adorned hair.

“Rajini sir is not a star, he is our God. He is a culture in himself. I inherited my love for him from my parents. They will be proud of me,” said a 20-year-old fan from the Tamil stronghold of Dharavi who arrived at midnight to catch the first show at 6 am at the theatre with his friends.

Over 50 women, dressed in traditional south Indian yellow sari, walked from a temple to the theatre to show their devotion for the actor.

Fan frenzy in Mumbai ahead of Kaala release. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Fans, with Rajinikanth’s portrait painted on their chests and some even replicating his Kaala look - black shirt, black lungi and a white beard - gathered near the 67 feet poster of the actor, which was garlanded, signalling the beginning of the day and the film’s first show.

“The poster is 67 feet because Rajini is 67 years old. We were coordinating over this since months and the auspicious day is finally here. We have prayed for him, danced for him, now we, will cheer for him,” Santosh, a member of Rajini fan club, said.

When pointed out that the collection of his last few films have not matched to the stardom the actor enjoys, the fan replied, “Can anything ever hurt God? Nothing. His films are our blessings and we are here to take it.”

Directed by Pa Ranjith, Kaala features Rajinikanth as a powerful don living in the slums of Dharavi. The film also features Nana Patekar, Huma Qureshi and Anjali Patil.

(Agencies)

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First Published: Jun 07, 2018 14:22 IST