It is high time Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan read the writing on the wall. That with the fans of the kind he has, the Powerstar, the sobriquet Pawan goes by, does not need enemies. And if these fans are going to be his support base in his political mission in 2019, God save him, his Jana Sena party and Andhra Pradesh.
His fans can be described in one word: Immature. Add to the CV a tendency to behave like ruffians at the drop of a hat, and you have a destructive army ready to unleash havoc.
Like two of Pawan Kalyan fans did at Mana TV studio, after Pawan Kalyan's Katamarayudu released this Friday. Two of them had been invited by the channel to discuss the movie. The moment the anchor finished the show, they demanded to know why he had given only three out of five stars to the movie. The questioning was anything but civil as the duo went on to assault the anchor, threw water bottles and chairs before other members of the technical crew rushed in to take them out of the studio. The video of the assault has gone viral.
Katamarayudu, for those not familiar with Telugu cinema, is a remake of 2014 Tamil film Veeram starring Ajith. It is more or less a faithful remake, designed to make Pawan Kalyan look like a larger-than-life powerful warlord from the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Pawan's fans perhaps do not know that even Veeram largely got ratings of 3/5 from most critics who said Ajith's fans will enjoy it. Likewise with Katamarayudu.
The fact of the matter is that Pawan's fans have been under pressure. His last movie Sardaar Gabbar Singh tanked so badly that even the furious energy levels of the fans could not save its life at the box office. Not that Pawan has not seen flops before but his fans do not have the bandwidth to deal with failures or modest success.
In Andhra's fiercely competitive industry, flops and hits are also occasions to score brownie points for star fans. And some of the stuff they do borders on the ludicrous. Sample this for example. The teasers of Katamarayudu and Allu Arjun's Duvvada Jagannadham released in February, provoking a war of words. DJ's teaser received more than one lakh dislikes and the needle of suspicion pointed to Pawan fans that it was their handiwork. Fans of Allu Arjun, who incidentally is Pawan's brother Chiranjeevi's nephew, hit back, giving over 20000 dislikes to Katamarayudu's teaser.
Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has always been a red rag to Pawan Kalyan's fans because he tweets his opinion bluntly and provocatively.
On 24 March, the day Katamarayudu released, Varma tweeted: "His fans are delusionally illusional and it's their blind dumbness which causes their leaders blind deafness.'' Though two days later, RGV said he will be happy as a fan if Pawan and Baahubali director SS Rajamouli did a movie together, his opinion on Katamarayudu did not change. He quoted a Pawan admirer to say that fans are not watching the film because they are saving money to watch Baahubali more than once.
Pawan Kalyan fans hit back. They made a RGV RIP picture announcing his `death' on social media and asked all fans to circulate it. RGV himself shared the picture on Twitter and claimed it is his ghost that is alive now.
— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) March 26, 2017
Illiterate sheep not realising I died 3 births back n now it's my ghost which is alive n ghosts can't die bcos they live forever in death😎 pic.twitter.com/gK2eG6iN4b — Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) March 28, 2017
Just now his fans association president told reason why even fans not watching is becos they are saving money to watch BB2 multiple times
— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) March 28, 2017
In September 2015, Pawan fans clashed with those of Baahubali star Prabhas' fans in Bhimavaram town, destroying public property. The provocation was the suspicion among Powerstar fans that Prabhas fans had taken down the celebratory banners they had put up to commemorate Pawan's birthday
In August last year, Akshay and Trinath, fans of another popular Telugu star Junior NTR, stabbed Vinod Kumar, a 24-year-old Pawan Kalyan fan in Kolar in Karnataka. The provocation was Vinod taking potshots at Junior NTR during a speech which was not taken well by NTR's fans. Subsequently, a war of words ensued, leading to the killing. Vinod was also a member of Jana Sena, metamorphosing from being a film fan to a political activists and vice-versa depending on the occasion.
At that time, Pawan Kalyan told his fans to "focus on building their own lives instead of killing in the name of fandom'' and engaging in meaningless one-upmanship battles. But all they have done is to shift their battle to social media space and TV studios, engaging in verbal and physical violence over an extra star in a movie review.
Film critics get it really bad when they pan a Pawan Kalyan film, like filmmaker Mahesh Kathi discovered. He called Katamarayudu a "baseless story, predictable screenplay''. He said: "Pawan Kalyan tried his best to save a badly written film with his style. Strictly for PK fans and rest can stay away''.
Pawan fans hit back by circulating his phone number among fan groups who started calling up Mahesh to threaten and abuse him.
Pawan Kalyan, without a doubt, is one of the most popular Telugu film stars. It is this fan following among the youth he would hope to convert into political capital when he contests the 2019 elections. He is known as an actor with his heart in the right place but what he needs to do is to ensure his fans put their mind into the right things.
The likes of the two fans who vandalised the TV studio or those who are abusing Mahesh Kathi are bad advertisement for him. Pawan Kalyan needs to read out the riot act.
Published Date: Mar 29, 2017 10:30 am | Updated Date: Mar 29, 2017 10:35 am