Superstar Rajinikanth-starrer Tamil action drama “Kabali” which released across 306 screens in Kerala on Friday, literally kept many awake to watch it as early as 5 a.m., when the screens came alive.
Incidentally, the Kerala release is being done by the distribution company of superstar Mohanlal and his close aide Antony Perumbavoor.
And when the film was over, many felt it was worth it to keep awake.
“Super, excellent, Rajni has not failed us, definitely, there has and must be a sequel to it… Then only it will be complete,” were some of the first reactions across the state.
At Palakkad, the district bordering Tamil Nadu, fans burst crackers and distributed sweets.
In the state capital alone, eight screens showed the much-awaited film and long queues was seen by those who could not get a ticket for the opening show.
Yesteryear actress Maneka, recalling her experience acting alongside the great Rajinikanth in the Tamil film “Netrikann”, said simplicity is his hallmark and that’s what has made him great.
“I was hugely fortunate to act with him and the shooting took place at Ooty. When I faltered in my act, he came to me and tapped my shoulder and said, ‘Please do not be worried’, and said that ‘When someone says something to you, if it suits you take it, if not let it out through the other ear’.
“That day Hindi superstar Dharmendra was also shooting there and for dinner, even though I was not invited he came to my room and said, ‘Maneka, you please join us for dinner’,” she said.
“I acted with him more than 30 years back and last year when I knew he will be here in the capital city for shooting, I felt a desire to meet him and wrote a letter to him. There was no reply him for a few days, then one day I got a call and the caller introduced himself saying ‘Maneka, am Rajni’ and I immediately jumped up from my seat as a sign of respect.
“He said he will be here for five days and on the fifth day, we will meet. My daughter who was studying in Chennai flew down and we both went and saw him in his room and I just could not imagine his simplicity. He remembered me even after 30 years. No wonder he is loved, adored and respected,” said Maneka, who added that she is booked to watch a 6 p.m. show of “Kabali” here.
Popular media critic Fakrudhin Ali said that even while everyone knows what one sees in Rajinikanth’s film is beyond comprehension, it’s his stardom that has catapulted the great actor to great heights.
“It’s the acceptance of Rajni as a simple person that helped him to reach here and this status can never be achieved by our own superstar Mammootty or Mohanlal and even Kamal Haasan,” said Ali.