New Delhi: Normally, movies open at a respectable hour in the morning. For a Rajinikanth film, the first day's very first show is scheduled for daybreak. Kabali, the 65-year-old actor's new film, has been sold out a week in advance and in Chennai, the most dedicated Rajinikanth fans queued up to watch the movie at 5 am.
- Rajinikanth fans queued up to watch Kabali at 5 am in Chennai
- 'It's amazing. It's Rajinikanth's movie,' said a fan of Thalaivar
- 'It's simple, straight and it's super,' added another Rajinikanth fan
Make that, 4am. An hour ahead of showtime, fans cheered and celebrated outside theatres, bursting firecrackers and playing drums. Cutouts of Rajinikanth decorate the cinemas in the city, the actor's face has been pasted on cars and walls.
As viewers streamed out of the housefull first show, reactions to Rajinikanth's latest outing were mixed. "Superb," was one fan's succinct review. Others chanted "Kabali Da" and "Neruppu Da."
"It's amazing. It's Rajinikanth's movie. It's going to be a superstar movie," a fan told NDTV. Another described it as a "great treat for all Rajini fans."
"The 5 am show, the whole theatre is crowded, enjoyed a lot. It's an awesome movie," another fan exclaimed. "We are expecting Kabali 2 very soon," he added.
"We used to see a lot of unusual things. But this is nothing like that. It's simple, straight and it's super," a fan told NDTV.
Yet others confessed to being disappointed by the film, slower-paced than usual Rajini blockbusters.
No traffic on Bangalore roads today! #KabaliFDFS— Manvee S (@manveesharma) July 22, 2016
Early this morning, a Kabali-special flight operated by Air Asia flew fans from Bengaluru to Chennai for the movie. NDTV was on the plane and sent these images from Bengaluru airport.
In Mumbai's Aurora Theatre, run by a Rajini fan, the day also began early.
One famous Rajinikanth admirer said he had rescheduled a trip to Delhi to watch Kabali in Mumbai. Director Madhur Bhandarkar said, "Whenever Rajini sir's film releases, I come to Aurora theatre because there is a different type of Rajinikanth fan mania here. I can see his jalwa here and I try to watch his films here. I had also watched Robot and Sivaji: The Boss here."
Mr Bhandarkar added: "I stayed back because I have never seen this kind of a scenario outside a theatre anywhere else. This madness. People are so excited. And I am a very big fan of Rajinikanth. So I really like to watch his films here."
"The manager is my friend. He knows that I come here every year to watch Rajini saab's films. So I requested him that I need two-three tickets. So he said, 'Aap toh hamesha aate ho. No problem, Madhur ji. Ho jaayega, aap aa jaaiye.' Nahi hua toh main khade hoke dekhunga," he also said.
"Rajinikanth's entry in a film, his style is fantastic. We've been watching him ever since. We are a huge fan of Andhaa Kanoon. Rajinikanth was, is and will always remain the superstar," Mr Bhandarkar added.
Kabali stars Rajinikanth as a Malaysia-based mafia don with Radhika Apte playing his wife.