With only two days left for release, the unprecedented fan frenzy and mass hysteria surrounding the first-day-first-show of Rajinikanth’s Kabali is quite palpable. Thanks to marketing doyen Kalaipuli S Thanu’s mammoth promotional campaigns with wide-ranging brand associations, the hype and hoopla in the media is spiralling by the hour. The pre-release business is pegged at Rs. 200 crores by trade pundits and it has already set a benchmark for a Tamil film.
Rajinikanth’s collaboration with Pa. Ranjith, a two-film old director who has acclaimed hits like Attakathi and Madras to his credits,
was an out-of-the-blue decision made by the Superstar that surprised everyone across the board from distributors to trade experts to film critics to general audience. Now, from whatever little hints Ranjith has dropped in various interviews, it suggests that he has not pandered to the ‘mass’ image of Rajinikanth. Another important factor that is understandable from several of his interactions is that he has not even made any commercial compromises solely for the fact that he’s directing the Asia’s highest paid actor.
“In the initial stages of discussion, I was told by Soundarya madam to infuse some comedy in the script since Rajinikanth sir felt so. I hesitantly said I couldn’t do so since the script doesn’t demand any. And then, they got convinced and trusted me,” said Pa. Ranjith.
“After watching the final copy, both Soundarya madam and Thanu sir wanted me to change the climax since they felt it wouldn’t favor Rajinikanth’s fandom. However, when Rajini sir watched the film, he called me and told, ‘Don’t change the climax for anyone. It’s the best thing in the film. Let it be so.’ I heaved a sigh of relief only after that,” said Pa. Ranjith.
Plot of Kabali
Kishore of Aadukalam fame plays one of the villains in Kabali. He has nicely summarised the film’s story in few words below.
“Kabali is set against a political backdrop in Malaysia. The birth of underworld in Malaysia and the social and political reasons behind it are portrayed by Ranjith in the story. Tamils, Muslims and Chinese occupy the major population in Malaysia. How they landed in the island nation and their struggles after immigration under a turbulent political leadership have been portrayed intensely with an emotional undercurrent throughout the film”
Mullum Malarum Rajinikanth
Ranjith has openly confessed that he took inspiration from veteran filmmaker Mahendran’s Mullum Malarum to decide the look of Rajinikanth in the film. He has also assured that Kabali will bring out the actor in Rajinikanth after a long time.
Santhosh Narayanan‘s album is still topping various charts and his background score is one of the highlights in Ranjith’s previous flicks. Him being a die-hard Rajinikanth fan, the background score and re-recording of Kabali is eagerly anticipated by music enthusiasts.
The film also has a stellar supporting cast in Radhika Apte, Riythvika, Dhansika, Dinesh, Kalaiarasan, John Vijay, Nassar and Kishore. Riythvika is pitted against Rajinikanth and she is expected to raise a lot of eyebrows post release.
Strong Distribution Network
With Fox Star Studios (North India), Rockline Venkatesh (Karnataka), Mohanlal’s Max Lab (Kerala), Abishek Pictures (AP & Telangana) and Jazz Cinemas (TN) presenting the film in respective territories in India, trade pundits are expecting a worldwide gross of minimum Rs. 100 crores in the opening weekend considering the extensive release plans in the USA, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Middle East.
Special premieres for the film have been scheduled in various foreign locations but India. There is also a freakish demand for tickets in major cities in Tamil Nadu since politicians, corporates and film industry personalities are allegedly making bulk bookings for their friends and colleagues. The reports of heavy-handedness by influential persons for bulk bookings have caused social media outrage as fans have expressed concerns that general populace is not able to book tickets. The movie is all set to hit screens on July 22nd worldwide in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malay.
Written by Surendhar MK