The Rajinikanth starrer Kabali hit the screens in India to much fanfare and fan frenzy. But the movie received mixed reviews with viewpoints ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The exorbitant First Day First Show Rajini ticket phenomenon did not appear to last too long. Diehard fans of Rajini were peeved that they could not get their hands on tickets and showed their displeasure by walking away with their hero’s cut-outs.
Frenzied fans poured thousands of litres of milk on huge cut outs of the megastar and sang and danced outside theatres as early as 4 am in Chennai.
There was minor use of force by the police in Bengaluru when the film hit traffic flow on Friday morning. Karnataka Police had to resort to mild caning as a group of people opposed the release of Tamil movies and the neglect of Kannada films.
Traffic around Nataraj theatre and Mantri Mall in Bengaluru was very heavy in the early morning hours.
The film hit at least 1,000 screens in Tamil Nadu, the home state of the Superstar since his debut in 1975. The festivities and rituals that are regularly featured in the release of Rajini’s movies were in evidence except that there were quite a few groups of disgruntled people this time, including 700 bouncers who were not called for duty at theatres despite the producer having promised to employ them for the day to keep order.
The multilingual effect of a Rajini starrer was felt around the country for the first time on the opening day itself as film, also dubbed in Hindi and Telugu, ran to packed houses in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and cities across Kerala. The IT industry took an unusual interest in the film, block-booking tickets and some firms even declared holidays or even took their surprised staff to the movie.
What will set apart Kabali from the last two releases of Rajini is this one will not flop commercially. It won’t meet the fate of Lingaa and Kochadaiyaan. Fans specially flown in by AirAsia from Bengaluru to watch a special screening complained of some rescheduling of timing and screening venues. They insisted that they wanted to watch the movie along with the actor’s fans in a Chennai theatre as promised but were offered a screening elsewhere. According to an agency report, the company said there was a mistake on its part in not informing the rescheduling and assured to compensate the fans.