Comali: Buzz around Jayam Ravi film rises, particularly due to the now-deleted Rajinikanth reference in trailer
The dig at Rajinikanth in the trailer created a further controversy on social media, and a sympathy wave for Comali.
There is huge buzz around Jayam Ravi’s comedy entertainer Comali, releasing on August 15 for the Independence Day weekend. The trailer of the film went viral as Ravi has multiple looks, and plays a patient who woke up from a coma after 16 years and finds the world around him has changed.
Comali is written and directed by debutant Pradeep Ranganathan, and has Kajal Aggarwal in the female lead, along with Samyuktha Hegde and top comedian Yogi Babu.
The trailer of Comali stirred a hornets’ nest, as it took a dig at superstar Rajinikanth and his ‘flip flop’ threat to enter politics. In the film, Ravi, after waking up from a coma, watches television and finds a clipping of Rajinikanth announcing his entry into politics. The character mistakes it for Rajinikanth’s political speech in 1996, and says “Don’t try to fool me. I know this happened in 1996!" It was just a harmless dig at the superstar but his fans went berserk and the hashtag of #BoycottComali was trending on social media.
All hell broke loose, and the rest of the industry joined the chorus as they said – ‘You cannot poke fun at Thalaivar (Rajinikanth), and get away with it’. The producer of the film, Ishari Ganesh, an educationalist who had done a walk-in role with Rajinikanth in 2.0, came under pressure. Ganesh, who had contested against Vishal in the elections to the actor’s body Nadigar Sangam (the counting of votes has been kept on freeze by a Madras High Court order), did not want to rub anybody in the wrong way. The scene is now said to have been edited out of the final copy.
The media blew the issue up, and there were panel discussing on television channels on whether Rajinikanth and his fans had over-reacted to the ‘satirical scene’. The director of the film, Pradeep, said, “ I’m a big fan of Rajinikanth. We never thought this would invite any form of negativity. Some fans took it sportingly. Others had a problem so we decided to take it off.” Ravi also insisted that the scene be cut, and the actor came out with a press release, in which he says he was always non-controversial, and he “would not want to hurt Rajini sir in any way”.
But it created a further controversy on social media, and a sympathy wave for Comali. The feeling was that Rajinikanth and his fans were being harsh, and they could not take criticism. Now, people are really curious to find out if there is something more in the film, which suddenly became red hot in the trade. It is reflected in the advance booking for the film, especially among family audiences, as it carries a 'U' certificate.
However, there have also been reports that Comali is “inspired” from the Hollywood movie Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007). It is a satirical comedy about a young break-dancer, who hits his head during a dance show and slips into a coma for 20 years, and later wakes up to find the change around him. But we will have to wait for the film to release to confirm the rumours on the net.
Ravi is pinning a lot of hope on Comali, as he is going for an ‘image makeover’ with the film, a lighthearted comedy. He had said in a recent interview that he is fed up of doing the ‘angry young man’ and ‘no-nonsense cop’ roles, and would like to do something soft ‘within the commercial format’. If Comali takes a good opening and works at the box office, Ravi will go up the ladder of stardom, and become an even more salable actor, who can do both action and comedy.
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