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The young Rajinikanth in Kabali (2016)
Rajinikanth in Kabali (2016)
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The beginning-to-grey Rajinikanth in Kabali (2016)
Winston Chao and friends in Kabali (2016)
Dhansika in Kabali (2016)
The young Rajinikanth in Kabali (2016)
Radhika Apte in Kabali (2016)
Rajinikanth in Kabali (2016)
Rajinikanth in Kabali (2016)

Year: 2016

Running time: 2 hr 33 min (153 min)

Languages: Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malay.


Director, writer: Pa. Ranjith

Producer: Kalaippuli S. Thanu

Choreography: Sathish

Cinematography: G. Murali Vardhan



Winston Chao

Radhika Apte





John Vijay

Rosyam Nor

Kishore Kumar G.


Music: Santhosh Narayanan


Uma Devi



Arunraja Kamaraj

Playback singers:


Gaana Bala

Roshan Jamrock

Arunraja Kamaraj

Pradeep Kumar

Lawrence Raghavendra


Shweta Mohan

Santhosh Narayanan


Bohemia Junction Limited

F.A.M.E.'S. Project ...

The film

Jul 20 2016 : The Times of India (Delhi)

5 reasons why you should watch Rajinikanth's Kabali

The film was released in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malay .


In his 164th outing, Rajinikanth plays a retired gangster whose past comes back to haunt him. Since the film is set in the 80s and the present day, the actor sports dif ferent looks.


As Kabali's wife Kumudavalli, Radhika Apte impressed the team with her performance. Taiwanese star Winston Chao and Malaysian actor Rosyam Nor play pivotal roles.


There's probably no Thalaiva fan who hasn't dubsmashed to the chartbuster Neruppa Da. A mash-up video featuring characters of Ice Age: Collision Course and scenes from Kabali went viral.


Thinkal Menon, The Times of India + Surabhi Redkar, KoiMoi.com

A gangster in Malaysia goes in search of his family after 25 years of imprisonment

Tamil migrants work in Malaysia in an area that has been captured by drug lords. Kabali aka Kabaleswaran (Rajinikanth) is a worker who lives happily with his wife (Radhika Apte) and daughter (Dhansika).

Kabaleeshwaran aka Kabali (Rajinikanth), who was born somewhere in Dindigul, is the messiah of Tamil labourers who work in Malaysia, after he fights for their primary rights and wages. His rise to an influential person in the society, in a short span of time, is now giving sleepless nights to a few, which further fuels jealousy and enmity towards Kabali. Veera (Kishore) is one among those jealous, and keeps hatching plans to destroy Kabali's gang, and defame him publicly. He convincingly brainwashes an aide of Kabali and successfully turns him against the latter. After a violent gang war, which takes place unexpectedly, Kabali, being convicted of various false charges, ends up in jail.

Released after two-and-a-half decades, Kabali goes in search of his wife Kumudhavalli (Radhika Apte), who was pregnant when destiny separated them. He seeks the help of his old gang, including Ameer (John Vijay), who are more than happy to help him. Jeeva (Dinesh), an overly enthusiastic youngster, too, joins him as a loyal aide. Thamizh Kumaran (Kalaiyarasan), the son of a yesteryear aide of Kabali, who backstabbed the latter, is another person who promises to help the old Kabali, but is confused. Meanwhile, Veera is ruling the roost in the town, with his own empire and Tony (Winston Chao), one of the dreaded gangsters is his business partner. Will Kabali get his wife back? Will he be able to make up the years that he lost in jail?


Kabali (Rajinikanth) is confronted by Yogi who, unbeknownst to him, is his daughter (Dhansika)

The reviews ranged from the bad and below-average to lukewarm

The Hindu

Baradwaj Rangan, The Hindu, July 22, 2016

[No star rating.]

It’s interval and I am scratching my non-existent beard, wondering what about this generic gangster script interested either Ranjith or Rajini.

The directorial confidence we saw in Attakathi and Madras is practically absent.

But looking back, it's not as generic as the first half made it seem. But what works against the film is the near absence of emotional beats, a sense of people to root for, root against.

But yes, it is great to see a dignified Superstar, acting his age. He does more for the movie than the movie does for him.

India Today

Suhani Singh, India Today Rajinikanth's film is a bore

Rating: 1 star (the lowest)

The film relies far too much on the super star credentials of its leading man to carry a listless story forward. The love for slow motion sequences here backfires as the gangster drama unfolds in slo-mo too.

A chunk of the film centres on supporting characters singing praises of Kabali with much fanfare. But these scenes are poorly scripted drawing chuckles. Bullets fly and the body count rises in the crime drama but it's not enough to rouse the audience. The bombastic background score, with blazing sirens, is a desperate attempt to invigorate the proceedings.

The Indian Express

Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express This Rajinikanth film is a drag

Stars: 1.5

This was the time when Rajinikanth should have reinvented himself for his directors have long stopped bothering about plot and characterisation. For when Rajinikant is on and at it, who cares?It was a time to witness just how a huge star who still has presence can be on the cusp of fading. If he’s not careful the next time around.


Surabhi Redkar, KoiMoi.com

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)

What’s Bad: The pace of the film is going to be a major issue. A snail-speed screenplay pulls down this film.

The Times of India

Thinkal Menon, The Times of India:



Director Pa Ranjith won appreciation from all quarters for his previous film Madras, His legions of fans were disappointed with his previous outing, Lingaa… As Ranjith isn't a run-of-the-mill director, and is considered as someone whose screenplay and dialogues have hidden meanings, comparisons with his previous films are but in order. In Kabali, one shouldn't expect the freshness in script and making style which his Madras offered. The flashback portions, on occasions, test one's patience, and lack evenness.

Watching Yogi (Dhansikaa) is a delight, given her stylish makeover and ease in fight sequences. The climax of the film, however, is something that one least expects from a Rajini film. Just when viewers erupt with joy, with Thalaivar finishing off the baddies in style, there comes an unconventional twist.

The songs by Santhosh Narayanan are soothing to watch on screen, too. The stunt sequences and shoot-out scenes choreographed by Anbarivu, with Rajini putting his best foot forward, is sure to give adrenaline-rush to his fans, and are, in fact, among the things that work in favour of the film, in addition to an emotional scene. The story, perhaps, needed a tighter screenplay, but watch it for 'Thalaivar athiradi'. Nothing more, nothing less!

Box Office

The sources of this section include:

Indian Express July 22 (evening) and 23, 2016 <> IB Times July 23, 2016 <> India Today

Kabali was released on 22 July 2016 on more than 4,500 screens across India, and the world, in three languages (Tamil, Telugu and Hindi). Of these more than 4000 screens were in India itself. The Times of India writes that, thus Kabali 'managed to break Baahubali’s record of releasing the movie in maximum number of screens in the country'

The Malay version released on 29 July.

IB Times wrote that Kabali had ‘been released in over 550 screens in Tamil Nadu.’ Indpaedia is adopting Sreedhar Pillai, First Post’s estimate of 720 screens in TN (out of a total of 1,080 screens in the state). The film was screened on over 400 screens in the US and Canada.

The first day booking across south India was totally sold out and no ticket was to be had for love or money. The Times of India writes that Kabali has set ‘a new record for highest advance booking rate in the country… around 6000 tickets were sold in just 20 minutes when the online booking commenced.


Rs. 100 crore is the estimate accepted by some [1].

However, Indian Express puts ‘the total budget of Kabali [at] nearly Rs 75 crore, out of which the salary of the lead artist alone was around Rs 50-60 crore. The movie’s production was much cheaper with relatively young technicians holding forte. While most of the shoots happened on location and sets in Chennai, shooting in Malaysia was probably the only big expense. Interestingly, the luxury vehicles and luxury cars used during the shooting in Malaysia were given free by many Malaysian Tamils and fans of Rajinikanth.’

The producer of Kabali made a killing even before the release of the film. However, Kabali must earn at least Rs. 300 crore at the box office if the distributors and exhibitors, too, are to make a profit.



2nd highest opening day, domestic, net: Rs.44.6 crore (or Rs48 crore, depending on AP-Nizam collections). Either way Kabali earned more than all Hindi-Urdu films in history, indeed higher than any Indian film except Bahubali: The Beginning (2015), which retains the national record of Rs50+ crore net at the Indian domestic box office.

Indpaedia believes that Kabali might set some overseas records for Indian/ South Indian films. It is possibly the first Indian film to have earned more abroad (Rs259 crore in 13 days) than within India (Rs 211 crore in the same period).

Seven south Indian (indeed, non- Hindi-Urdu) records

Shekhar H Hooli, IBTimes, August 4, 2016 wrote that ‘'Kabali' beat 7 big records of 'Bãhubali' (Bahubali).’ These were:

1. Fastest South Indian film to cross $1 million ($1.50 million, actually) in US premieres (vs. $1,010,550 of "Bãhubali -the Beginning")

2. Biggest opener for a South Indian movie, worldwide ["Kabali:" Rs. 87.50 crore gross (Rs. 70+ crore net and Rs. 53.59 share) vs. "Bãhubali - the Beginning:" Rs 75 crore (Rs 62 crore net and Rs 45 crore share)]

3. The South Indian film that grossed Rs 100 crore the fastest (Kabali: over Rs. 150 crore gross in two days. "Bãhubali - the Beginning:" Rs 135 crore gross worldwide in two days)

4. Highest opening weekend for a south Indian film (Kabali: Rs. 211 crore; "Bãhubali - the Beginning:" Rs. 197 crore; both figures being gross)

5. Highest opening weekend for a south Indian film overseas (Kabali: $11.20 million; "Bãhubali - the Beginning:" Rs. $4.65 million)

6. The South Indian film that grossed Rs 200 crore the fastest (Kabali: over Rs. 200 crore gross in three days. "Bãhubali - the Beginning:" Rs 213 crore gross worldwide in five days)

7. The South Indian film that grossed the highest overseas (Kabali: $15.70 million in ten days—and counting. "Bãhubali - the Beginning:" $10.94 million in its lifetime. Kabali overtook Bãhubali - the Beginning’s lifetime overseas in three days.)


Pre-release earnings

Theatrical, audio, satellite rights and merchandising earned the film around Rs. 225 crore before its release

Day 0 (Thursday)

USA and Canada: Preview shows in Tamil+Telugu fetched $ 1,925,379 [₹ 12.93 cr], a record for an Indian film's previews.

First day (Friday)

Rajinikanth’s Kabali box office collection day 1: Film makes earth-shattering start The Indian Express reported in the evening on July 22, 2016. ‘Rajinikanth's Kabali has broken records and brought in big bucks’

As mentioned elsewhere on this page, the first shows started around 4 and 5am in Tamil Nadu. In Chennai proper the government was able to restrict the number of shows on Day One to four, the maximum allowed on a working day (Friday). In much of the rest of Tamil Nadu, 6-7 shows per theatre were screened.

How much did Kabali earn on Day One?

A very large number of figures are being tossed around regarding Kabali’s first day domestic earnings (and also the number of screens that it opened on). These range from Rs.38 crore [net] to Rs.51 crore [gross]. Indpaedia had faced the same frustration while compiling the daily figures for Bahubali: The Beginning (2015). Official figures for both films were impossible to come by.

Indpaedia believes that the film certainly made Rs.44.6 crore (net). A figure of Rs.48.6 crore net) is also plausible. (Detailed calculations have been given below.) However, as territory-wise figures pour in most authorities have started agreeing with Indpaedia’s calculation (below). BoxOfficeIndia.com feels that the net collection was Rs 44 crore. Indpaedia has from the start adopted the figure of Rs.44.6 crore (net).’’’

Indeed, a statement from Kabali’s makers, reproduced by no less than The Economic Times stated, "In India, the film has earned Rs 250 crore, which includes Rs 100 crore from Tamil Nadu and Rs 150 crore from places outside the state in India… It has earned approximately Rs 100 crore worldwide.’

Sheer fantasy. Each of the three figures is a fantasy.

Secondly, except for KoiMoi.com, none of the figures being bandied about specifies whether they are talking about gross (total box office collections, including taxes) or net (after taxes).Calculating Kabali’s gross is indeed difficult because the film is tax free in Tamil Nadu, and taxes in Nizam/Andhra, Karnataka and Kerala are lower than in many regions where Hindi-Urdu films are the mainstay.

While Indpaedia is trying to ascertain the figuresas precisely as possible, what is certain is that:

i) Kabali’s first day has established some new Day One records, especially in Malaysia (with the Tamil print alone; the Malay version should push this record upwards further) and in USA/ Canada.

ii) Its first day has beaten Sultan (2016)’s Rs 36.54 crore and all Hindi-Urdu films, with the possible exception of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Indpaedia’s calculations [below] indicate that Kabali has overtaken even Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’s Rs40.35 crore.

iii) Its first day has not beaten Bahubali: The Beginning (2015), which retains the record of Rs50+ crore net at the Indian domestic box office. Thus, while Kabali has beaten all Hindi-Urdu films, its domestic opening day was the second best for an Indian film.

iii) Kabali’s Hindi-Urdu version’s 1st week and lifetime earnings seem set to exceed Robot’s but will remain no.2 for a South Indian film, behind Bahubali: The Beginning (2015).

iv) Rajinikanth’s Day One star power exceeds that of all other Indian stars, and by a very wide margin, perhaps by 2:1. The number of people who saw Kabali on Day One was around two, if not three, times as many as those who saw Sultan (2016) or Prem Ratan Dhan Payo on the first day of those films.

Since 2008, ticket prices in Tamil Nadu have not been permitted to exceed Rs 120. In north Indian multiplexes the cheapest Friday tickets cost between Rs 350-450. However, Sreedhar Pillai, First Post learned that ‘screens outside Chennai charged double or triple the government approved rate.’ Others reported that in many places in Chennai, the film’s tickets were sold up to Rs 4000 in the black market.

KoiMoi.com estimates that Kabali’s first day domestic (all-India) business was around Rs50-51 crore, gross. This works out to around Rs.38-39 crore net. KoiMoi.com is a very reliable organisation.

Sreedhar Pillai, First Post worked hard to arrive at the precise figure of Rs 39.1 cr [Rs 21.5 cr in TN + Rs 9.5 cr in Andhra and Telangana + Rs 5.10 cr in Karnataka + Rs 3 cr in Kerala]. But the film also made Rs5.20 cr in north India. So we already have Rs.44.6 crore for certain. If we accept the Nizam-AP figure of s 13.5 crore then we are looking at Rs.48.6 crore, which puts it ahead of all Hindi- Urdu films but still behind Bahubali: The Beginning (2015)'s Rs.50 crore plus.

In Tamil Nadu alone Kabali Rs. 21.5 crore (vs. Vedhalam Rs. 15.5 crore) Since Kabali was exempted from entertainment tax, its opening beat Vedhalam by an even bigger margin than it normally would have been. (Under the Government of Tamil Nadu’s rules films with ‘U’ (universal exhibition) certificates from the Central Board of Film Certification get this exemption.)

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana: Telugu version (plus some Hindi-Urdu and Tamil prints): Rs 13.5 crore. Though Sreedhar Pillai, First Post puts the figure at only Rs 9.5 cr net, that is still the Day One record for a dubbed film in these two states.

Karnataka Kabali (Tamil) collected Rs 5.10 cr net, a record for a Tamil film in Karnataka.

Kerala: Sreedhar Pillai, First Post writes that Kabali’s Rs 3 cr earmings are a new state record for day one and highest ever day one for any language film in the state.

North India The Hindi-Urdu version of the film (together with the Tamil+Telugu versions, which were released on a few screens in North India) collected on Day 1 Fri Rs5.20 cr

USA first day: $1,317,288 by 4 pm EST and an estimated $1.45m gross (by late evening). This is the highest for an Indian film. (Bahubali: The Beginning (2015) $ 1,360,201 Telugu + $ 10,850 Tamil + more from the Hindi-Urdu version; total US first day collection= $1,382,076 . Sultan (2016) brought in $786,194.

International markets

The box office rank of the Tamil and Telugu versions of Kabali, together, was

Days 0 and 1

Malaysia: No 1 [Thu+Fri] (in Tamil and Telugu only; the Malay version opened a week later)

USA-Canada: No 3 [Thursday previews]

USA: Days 0 + 1 (Thurs, Fri) $3.5 million, which puts is at no.2, behind Bahubali (2015)

UK: No 10 [Thu+Fri]

'Lifetime' figures

Sagnik Debnath, Fab Newz, August 19, 2016

Malaysia: 24 days’ total: MYR 12,585,134 (Rs. 20.78 crore).

U.S.A: 24 days’ total: $4,576,245 (Rs. 31.30 crore)

Canada: 24 days’ total: $419,011 (Rs. 2.16 crore)

U.K.: 24 days’ total: £383,676 (Rs. 3.36 crore).

Australia: 17 days’ total: A$525,908 (Rs. 2.66 crore).

Hindi-Urdu version

North India The Tamil+Telugu were released on some screens of North India. Together with the Hindi-Urdu version (which accounts for more than 90-95% of the figures given below), the film collected

Day 1: Fri Around Rs5.20 crore. (Rajinikanth’s no.1 opening day in Hindi-Urdu remains Robot; no.2 was Sivaji-The Boss [2007]. Kabali is no.3, followed by Lingaa)

Day 2 Sat Rs6.20 cr.

Days 1, 2 and 3, first weekend total: Under Rs13 crore in 3 days. (This puts Kabali at no.2 among Indian films dubbed into Hindi---behind Bahubali 2015’s Rs 22.35 crore; but ahead of Robot)

Day 4 Mon: Rs.2.75 crore. (Total Rs15.50 crore)

7 days' collection Rs.21.75 crore. (It has almost equalled Robot's lifetime earnings of Rs22 crore. But then Robot released in 2010, and on much fewer screens

After 7 days it is generally agreed that the film picked up around Rs.28 crore from North, West and East India, including the Tamil and Telugu prints screened in these areas.

2nd week Rs. 1.50 crore

14 day/ Lifetime total Rs. 24 crore

On Kabali’s 15th day the trade-site KoiMoi.com wrote, ‘The film has turned out to be a disappointing affair in the Hindi version and will not be able to cover the cost of the distributors.’


Andhra Box Office tweeted that Kabali had ‘Shattered All INDIAN FILMS opening Records in WW [worldwide] Total Day1It has beated [sic] the box office records of Bollywood films like "Dilwale" ($3.4 million), "Dhoom 3" ($3.3 million) and "Sultan" ($3.04 million).’ However, Andhra Box Office gave no figures for Kabali. The authoritative Taran Adarsh put the opening day overseas earnings of Kabali at Rs 12.93 crore (which works out to around $1.9 million). If Andhra Box Office includes Indian domestic earnings in ‘worldwide’ (and it should) then the figures for the three Hindi-Urdu films mentioned would be much higher.

Worldwide and other totals, Day 2, onward

Worldwide total

Day 2

Rs.30 crore (total, domestic) (India Today)

There was a slight drop in business in Tamil Nadu and AP/ Telangana but a very major increase in north India.

Day 3 (Sunday)

Domestic: Rs 35 crore, net.

Domestic (Fri- Sun) Rs.109.25 crore net. Rs. 114 crore according to India Today

Overseas (Thurs previews- Sun, 4 days) $13 million (Rs87 crore gross) This is an Indian record, and by a very wide margin. So far. Dhoom 3, with $10.3 million, held the Indian record for the highest opening weekend overseas.

Total: Rs196.25 crore

Day 4 (Monday)

Domestic Rs.15 crore net (a very major drop)

Four days' domestic total:

Rs123.5 crore net

Rs 144 cr gross

Total: Rs 230 crore worldwide, according to India Today (Rs210-220 cr would be more realistic)

Day 5 (Tuesday)

Rs 11.5 crore net

Rs 13.5 cr gross

5 days’ domestic: Rs 135crore net

5 days’ domestic: Rs 157.5 crore gross

US box office 5 days’ total: $4,102,150/ Rs 27.55 crore

6 days’ domestic: Rs 142.5 crore net

6 days’ domestic: Rs 166.5 crore gross

The industry estimate of the overseas total is Rs.90 crore by the 6th day. So, worldwide net around Rs.240 crore; gross around Rs.260 crore.

However, producer Kalaipuli S Dhanu claimed that the film has grossed Rs 320 crore worldwide in six days. He even cut a cake to celebrate. (India Today) Hopefully, he will give the same figure to the tax authorities.

Seven day total Indian Express, citing trade tracker Ramesh B, has adopted the following figures:

Seven days' domestic total:

₹ 149crore net

₹ 172 cr gross

Overseas – ₹ 90 Crore

Total: ₹ 262 crore worldwide

This is a fabulous figure by itself, even if we do not adopt the even higher figures being handed out.

‘"Kabali" has already got a 'blockbuster' status at the international box office.IB Times reported after the film had completed one week abroad, ‘tak[ing] its total to $12.6 million (Rs85.5crore) in the first week.’

With such a good performance overseas it is a pity that some people close to the film’s makers have been putting out even higher figures.

10 days’ gross, worldwide Rs 350 crore

14 days’ total

Indian Express citing

i)… Financial Express, says that [by 4 August, i.e. after 13/ 14 days] Kabali had earned Rs 259 crore overseas.

ii)…trade, says that Kabali earned Rs 211 crore from the domestic box office (including over Rs 40 crore in north India)

This adds up to Rs.470 crore (theatrical gross).

iii) Indian Express confirms what Indpaedia had already reported, ‘Kabali had earned Rs 200 crore before its release with deals such as music and satellite rights.’

All this adds up to the Rs.670 crore figure that sections of the media have been giving out, though normally in such discussions only theatrical (i.e. box office) figures are mentioned.

For theatrical, net collections, the following are the most accurate figures available:

Movie Box Office Collection: 27 days domestic, net, Indian business: Rs 210.01 crore

Sagnik Debnath Fab Newz August 19, 2016 24 days business: i) domestic, net, Indian Rs.209.30 crore; ii) overseas Rs. 105 crore; Grand total: around Rs 314 crore worldwide

In comparison, Enthiran/ Robot's lifetime worldwide collection was Rs290 crore

In Tamil Nadu

Day 1: Rs. 21.5 crore (outside Chennai there were 6-7 shows at many theatres)

Day 2: Rs. 11.3 crore (low, partly because there were no special shows) (Total: Rs. 32.8 crore)

Day 3: (Sunday): Rs. 13.7 crore. (Total Rs. 46.5 crore)

Day 4: (Monday): Rs. 6.5-7 crore (Total around Rs. 53.5 crore)

1st week: over Rs. 60 crore (i.e. it was a major hit)


First weekend: Rs. 3.49 crore

First six days: Rs. 5.5 crore (Producer Kalaipuli S Dhanu put the figure at Rs.6 crore)

First four week days (Monday-Thursday): Rs. 2.55 crore from 1056 shows

Occupancy in first six days: 65 per cent plus.

Second weekend in Chennai:

Rs. 2.21 crore, which is a very decent figure

10-day total in Chennai Rs. 8.26 crore

First weekend

The Times of India’s figures below, based on BoxOfficeIndia.com, are early estimates:

Tamil Nadu – [Indpaedia has adopted the figure Rs. 46.5 crore]

Nizam / Andhra – Rs.20-25 crore.

Mysore / Kanataka - Rs16.5 crore

Kerala - Rs8.5 crore

Rest Of India - Rs16crore (of which roughly Rs13 crore were from the Hindi-Urdu version)

First week: Monday to Thursday

After the initial euphoria, ‘business [was] not up to the mark in Andhra Pradesh. "#Kabali has literally crashed at the Box-office in AP, [sic]" trade tracker Andhra Box Office tweeted at the end of the first week. The business has also slowed down in Karnataka but the film is reportedly doing well in Kerala.’

Pre-release craze: from Dubai to India and Malaysia

Kabali is the first Indian film to be released in Malay, indeed,the first Indian film to be released in any international language other than English. (2016)

Jul 19 2016 : The Times of India (Delhi)

The lyrics to the `Kabali' song `Neruppu da' (`I am fire da') couldn't have said it better. As the countdown to the film’s release began, Kabali fever started spreading like wildfire across Chennai, taking on several avatars from puppy love to a flight of fancy , a gastro gobble to a television deluge. [And all this despite the lukewarm reception of the Thalaivar’s last few films.]

Chennaiite G Shiva, 25, an ardent Rajinikanth fan, has kickstarted proceedings in his house by naming his little pup Kabali.

AirAsia India, the official airline partner of Kabali, came out with a new rebranded aircraft with a livery dedicated to the Rajinikanth-starrer, while Airtel announced spe cial packages to promote the film. Closer to the road, autorickshaws started embellishing themselves with Rajini posters, some offering free rides to fans who wanted to get to the theatre on time.

At Grand by GRT Hotels in Chennai, self-confessed Rajini fan Vikram Cotah came up with an innovative gastronomic experience. The Rajini movie ` Aadu Puli Attam' has inspired a seafood and paya (goat trotters) dish. “The literal translation of `aadu' means goat, `puli' is tiger and `attam' is play; so we have a dish that is a play between tiger prawns and goat paya, served with ragi idiappam,“ says Cotah, the company's COO. TV channels down south started airing special `All about Kabali' promos and bulletins analysing and sensationalising every teeney aspect of the making of the film.

Hardcore Rajini fans boked plane tickets in order for the big day . Bharath Aravamudhan, a vice-president at a bank in Dubai, made sure he was in Chennai with friends for the first [4 am] show of Kabali.


While Rajini's murals on walls and buses have become a common sight. Merchandises featuring the superstar, including laptop covers and mobile pouches, have also become a craze.

July 22 2016 (day of release)

Fans have been conducting pujas and milk baths since dawn before queueing up to catch the first show of their favourite star's film.

Even a fake review went viral Such was the frenzy that fan Balaji Srinivasan admitted on Facebook to having "posted a made-up review [two days before the film's release], without actually seeing the film. It was all in jest. In less than 24 hours, looks like it has gone viral." It did,and became a news item in the media.

Aeroplanes, cars and fans’ bodies are painted Kabali

The Times of India Ganesh Kumar Radha Udayakumar | Jul 22, 2016

A fan with his body painted with an image of Rajinikanth outside a movie theatre showing Kabali in Bengaluru.

His family has three generations of ardent Rajini fans, and his brother and uncle spent an entire week preparing for the July 22 release. In addition to making t-shirts and posters, the family has organized two release-date events: a temple yagna overnight and fireworks on the morning of the film's release.

Rukender also gave his car a complete makeover in honor of Rajini.

"The car was inspired by the AirAsia flight," he says. He's referring to the film's advertising partner, which plans to fly 165 fans to Chennai from Bengaluru in a plane painted with image of Rajini's character Kabali. Once the fans get to Chennai airport they will be ferried in coaches to one of Chennai's best-known movie theatres: Sathyam Cinemas.

These fans - who will be flown back on the same day - have shelled out Rs. 7,680 each for this experience. Tickets sold out in two hours, AirAsia said.

The fans will be treated to two special 'Kabali meals' on the flights. What's on the menu? "We haven't given that out yet. It's the only surprise left", the airline's spokesperson said.

While these Bengaluru fans paid in excess of Rs 7,000 to see the movie, other fans paid a similar amount for a 'Kabali poster makeover' so they could look like Rajini's character in the film.

Award-winning photographer Santosh Raj has been inundated with requests for such makeovers for the last three days.

On Sunday, Santhosh - owner of the Chennai-based studio FotoZone - posted photos on Facebook of his friend Srinivas as Kabali. Srinivas is president of the Krishnagiri district Rajini Fans' Association. Santosh wanted to show "the common man as the Superstar" and completely transformed his friend for the photo.

The images went viral. Despite being inundated with requests for similar makeovers, Santosh was only able to do a makeover on eight fans. "It takes four hours for us to go from make-up to post-production of the photo," he says.

Other fans use the occasion of a Rajini release to do social work and the same is true this time, too.

The fan group Rajini - Biggest Superstar of India (RBSI), for example, will distribute approximately 150 industrial helmets and welding glasses to workers who don't have such equipment, its spokesman told TOI. In addition, it will drive a group of orphans and old age home residents to a special screening of the movie.

The group organized a flash-mob at Jazz Cinemas, its theatre partner. It also teamed with a well-known dance-troupe Loyola Dream Team to raise awareness about piracy.

That Rajini's fans started paying these tributes to him before a single review was published is a testament to the actor's hold on his fans' imaginations. His on-screen characters have inspired memorable sayings and jokes.

Ramesh Srivats, an entrepreneur who has become something of a social media celebrity, had a "Rajini joke" to share ahead of Kabali preview shows. His Kabali joke:

Ramesh Srivats@rameshsrivats

Today will be the preview shows for Kabali.

After which Rajinikanth will give ratings to all film critics.

A scheduled caste hero?

Certainly a hero of the scheduled castes

Kalyanaraman M Jul 23 2016 : The Times of India (Delhi)

In Rajini's Kabali, Dalits see natty redeemer in a three-piece suit

There's politics in Gandhi donning a `veshti' and Ambedkar wearing a three-piece suit, roars Kabali during his face-off with the villain. At the reform school he runs for teen gangsters, Kabali explains that he wears it in summer too because he, of the underclass, wants to make a statement.

Besides the suit that Kabali wears in nearly every scene, there are many other references that the discerning cannot miss.

The opening scene has Rajini reading a book {by Y.B Satyanarayana, and which is} considered a classic in Dalit literature in Tamil Nadu. Photos of Ambedkar adorn the backdrop in many scenes.

The song `Ulagam Oruvanukka?' (Is the world for only one?) cries that the upsurge against the ruling class should be accompanied by the beating of the `parai' drum ­ the traditional occupation of a Dalit caste group in Tamil Nadu that forms the basis of their name, `paraiyars'.

Kabali is also about an aged don. It's about the Tamil underclass of Malaysia, a significant part of which are Dalits. It's about gangs, the scourge of drugs and, at the end of the day, is a sweet romance and family film.But what the movie is not is a 200% Rajini film, says a top film producer.

Kabali is a risk that Rajinikanth seems to have taken ­ deliberately .

The director, Pa Ranjith, who has directed two films so far, fancies himself as someone who makes realistic films while typical Rajini films take the fantasy to Rajinikanth heights.

His `Madras' sought to capture the underbelly of North Chennai ­ the working class half of the city ­ through its slums, gangs and hip-hop without glossing over its Dalit roots.

So when it was announced that Ranjith was going to be the director of the next Rajini film, it set off alarm bells ringing among a few and elicited hurrahs from others. The release of the lyrics saw opposition from some intermediate caste groups, and at least one went to court. In Tamil Nadu, where movies and politics have a long-established nexus, films with a Dravidian political tint portrayed caste generically as upper caste vs the common man.

In the 1990s, however, when mainstream parties started wooing dominant OBCs, hit movies began to glorify caste pride ­ Kamal Haasan's `Thevar Magan' and Vijayakanth's `Chinna Gounder' unabashedly portrayed the hero as belonging to powerful caste groups.

Despite the artistic traditions of Dalit castes contributing to the presence of Dalits in Tamil movies, few made it a point to highlight their caste identity . Ilayaraja, whom Tamils call a maestro and a genius, has avoided the Dalit tag. Though Dalit politics started becoming a powerful social and electoral force in the 1990s, it found a sympathetic portrayal in films only through recent directors like Pa Ranjith. Now, some Dalit activists and intellectuals have made Kabali their film.“The message of Kabali is that Dalits are also able to make use of mass media and popular icons and turn the icon into a vehicle for their aspirations,“ says C Lakshmanan, associate professor at Madras Institute of Development Studies.

See also...

...the profiles of all important actresses currently active in South Indian cinema, either by entering their names in the Search rectangle (top right) or by clicking the Cinema-TV-Pop link below.

See also the pages on


Lingaa (2014):

...for a detailed storyline, updated box office performance, critical reception, pre-release details and 18 images/ photographs/ stills from all songs of Lingaa.



Box office records of Hindi-Urdu films

Scheduled Caste lead characters in Hindi-Urdu cinema

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