Kabali review LIVE: Rajinikanth-starrer sees record turnout, opening collection in US

FP Staff

Jul 22, 2016 08:38:05 IST

Kabali review LIVE: Rajinikanth-starrer sees record turnout, opening collection in US



  • Kabali review: Rajinikanth tries best to rise above weak script in Pa Ranjith's film - Firstpost

    Straight off the bat, Kabali is not a typical Rajinikanth mass masala entertainer. Like the proverbial curate's egg, it is good in parts and packaged like a class film.


  • Have you read our complete review for Kabali yet? From Superstar Rajinikanth's performance to the supporting cast, Pa Ranjith's direction, the plot and slick styling, our critic Sreedhar Pillai breaks it down for you.

  • A 65-crore opening for Kabali

    The numbers aren't yet confirmed by any official sources, but trade pundits have estimated that by the end of Friday, 22 July, which is Kabali's first day in the theatres, the Rajinikanth starrer will have collected around Rs 65 crore. Trade reports peg the film's Day 1 domestic earnings to be around Rs 50 crore — this is based on the number of sold out shows in the various theatres where the film is being screened — and overseas collections to be around Rs 15 crore. Neither V Creations, the film's producers, nor Pa Ranjith, the director have validated these figures so far. 

    If the numbers are confirmed, that would make Kabali's opening collections among the highest in India. The earlier highest opening day collection was seen by Shah Rukh Khan's Happy New Year (Rs 44+ crore) while Salman Khan's Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo follows closely with Rs 40+ crore.

  • In a Mumbai multiplex, Kabali was apparently screened without subtitles. Movie critic Raja Sen was among those who took to Twitter to express anger at being cheated of the film watching experience. Kabali is being screened in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi in city theatres. 

  • In Bengaluru, Kabali screenings at five-star hotels called off

    After the hype, the letdown.

    News reports have said that plans to screen Rajinikanth’s Kabali at five-star hotels in Bengaluru had to be scrapped after the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce threatened to call off Kabali’s theatrical shows. JW Marriott, the Lalit Ashok, Royal Orchid and Crowne Plaza were among the hotels where patrons were offered Kabali screenings along with other refreshments for Rs 1,300. However, after the protests from exhibitors, the office of the deputy commissioner withheld permission for the screenings fearing a disruption of law and order, The Times of India reported.

  • On Friday morning, 22 July, fans in Chennai were severely disappointed, as despite queuing up for several days, most hadn't been able to get tickets for Kabali's FDFS. Indeed, tickets had been booked out for almost all of its first week. 

    Several fans that Firstpost's Sandhya Ravishankar spoke with this morning, said that tickets had been booked by big firms and VIPs, leaving few for the common man who is the real Rajini fan. 

    A copy of a letter that has been circulated on Facebook for a while now seems to indicate that this is just what has happened. The letter (written on the official letterhead of the Chennai Secretariat) has been addressed to the manager of the Abirami Theatre, asking for 10 tickets to be reserved, and is signed by the personal assistant for the minister for Information and Publicity. It isn't clear if the letter is genuine. 

    Firstpost contributor and industry analyst Sreedhar Pillai wrote in one of his pieces this week: "The best gift you can give an important person in Tamil Nadu from whom you are seeking a favour is tickets for Kabali! Top bureaucrats and cops are putting tremendous pressure on the hapless staff of theatres to get tickets."

    See a copy of the letter here. 

  • Want to see a 'paal abhishekam' — milk offering — being made to Rajinikanth? Watch the video from Firstpost here.

  • Kabali opening day box office collection: Rajinikanth's film beats Baahubali's US premiere record; becomes biggest Indian opener

    In its quest to shatter the records set by previous film, Rajinikanth-starrer has already scored a point. Kabali has become the Indian film to have registered the highest ever opening in the US, among those movies which have also had their premiere there.

    The previous record was held by Baahubali, which had an opening collection of $1,382,076, followed by Sultan, which had earned $786,194.

    Trade website Tamil Box Office tweeted that Kabali’s premiere gross amounted to $1.45 million. Kabali’s US distributors, Cine Galaxy, had previously confirmed the opening day collection at $1,317,288, and are yet to confirm the final figure.

    International Business Times reported that Kabali’s US opening day collections had far exceeded Rajinikanth’s previous best of $404,566.

    Kabali has been released in Tamil and Telugu in the US.  

  • Could lack of promotions for Hindi version of Kabali cause trouble for film?

    While there’s no doubt that Rajinikanth-starrer Kabali is going to do brisk box office business in the south, some doubts remain over what the performance of its dubbed Hindi language version will amount to. Trade website KoiMoi.com pointed out that unlike Baahubali, Kabali’s makers hadn’t promoted its Hindi version as extensively — and that the lack of publicity may mean a smaller crossover audience than it might have otherwise got. What could still work for Kabali? Word of mouth. And with only the Irrfan Khan-starrer Madaari as its competition, there may be audiences who would be intrigued by the hype around Kabali (Tamil) to watch the Hindi version as well. 

  • Rajinikanth fans organise blood donation drives, free eye check-up camps

    It wasn't all fun and games for the thousands of Rajinikanth fans who had queued up outside theatres for the Kabali FDFS. The more social-minded among them used the occasion to push for some worthy causes. Outside Mumbai's Aurora Talkies — where the maximum number of Rajini fans had showed up — free eye check-up camps were organised. Fan organisations tied up with hospitals to ensure that complete consultations were available to those who needed it, reported Firstpost's Benita Chacko. There was also a blood donation drive, with a van driving up just after the 9 am show, when most fans were leaving the premises in a jubilant mood. 

  • Rajinikanth fans continue with 'paal abhishekam' despite court order asking them to desist

    Despite a Bengaluru court order asking people to refrain from the practice, ‘paal-abhishekam’ for Rajnikanth’s posters continued on Friday, 22 July, as the first day first show mania for Kabali continued. CNN News18 showed footage of fans pouring milk over life-size cutouts of Superstar Rajinikanth, and offering prayers before the posters.

    Dr IMS Manivanna, the petitioner, had approached the Bengaluru court this March saying that tremendous quantities of milk were wasted by Rajinikanth’s fans on the ‘paal-abhishekam’ and that they should desist from the practice.

  • Life-sized hoardings of Superstar Rajinikanth, posters of Kabali, LED lights, see what Aurora Talkies looked like on the morning of 22 July as fans streamed in for the first day, first show of Kabali, in these pictures by Firstpost's Benita Chacko: 

  • Rajinikanth fans, brace yourselves — will Kabali have a sequel?

    As Kabali slowly wound down to its end, there was a kicker here for fans — the hint, perhaps even the promise, of a sequel! The ending — says Firstpost’s Benita Chacko — has one of the characters with questionable motives heading to an event where the protagonists are all gathered. The film ends on a shocking note, and seems to indicate that the plot will be picked up again — in a sequel. Of course, there’s also the chance that this ending was just for shock value, in which case, we’ll tone down the celebrations.

  • Kabali quick review: A clichéd revenge story, made thrilling by Rajinikanth

    Kabali is a revenge drama, plain and simple. But when the protagonist is played by the Superstar Rajinikanth, can anything be that simple?

    Just as you cannot take out Salman Khan’s personality from the films he stars in, you can’t help ut be immensely aware of Thalaiva’s larger-than-life presence looming over Kabali.

    In the very first scene, Rajinikanth gives his fans what they’ve come to the theatres to see — a stylish entry to the strains of the anthem ‘Neruppu Da’. He is Kabali — the ‘ultimate’ don, who gives the lie to his 65 years.

    Tamil padangal la inga maru vachikutu mesai murikutu lugi katikutu nambiyar. Hey Kabali apdi nu sonna odney guniji sollunga Yejaman apdi vandhu nenipaney andha mattri Kabali nu nenachi ah da,” the dialogue he utters has fans in the theatres cheering — and as you are hit by a sudden wave of nostalgia and emotion, you understand why.

    Radhika Apte plays Rajinikanth’s wife in the film, and despite the obvious age difference between the actors, she somehow makes it work beautifully. She plays the part of the typical Tamil vetti ponnu so perfectly, you’ll never think for a minute that she is anything but.

    In the first half, you see a lot of Kabali’s story in flashback.

    Don Kabali has funded a school where children from all sections of society can access a quality education. But he is thrown by the question: Why did he take up a life of crime despite his respectable background?

    We then flash back to a young Kabali. The transformation is smooth, and it nearly seems as though Rajinikanth has been cut out of his older films, and placed in this frame. Kumudhavalli (Radhika Apte’s character) and Kabali are the perfect couple.

    But their perfect life is shattered; Kumudhavalli dies, and Kabali is held responsible by some (for which he has spent time in jail).

    Cut to the present, where Kabali — although he isn’t aware of it — has a daughter called Yogi (played by Dhansika).  She, however, is working with some very bad guys, who want her father dead.

    Will she carry out their wishes? Or will she and her father team up to extract vengeance on all those who did their family wrong?  

    We don’t want to give away too many spoilers, so no more plot details.

    What we will say is this: Rajinikanth is finally playing his age on the big screen, and it makes for great viewing. Apart from the wig, this is the closest he has looked to real life in a film. There’s none of the desperate attempt to make him look decades younger than he really is, which has given some of Thalaiva’s previous films an air of unreality.

    Rajinikanth delivers everything you expect from him — the classic punch lines, the style, and plenty of emotion. You may wonder at the logic in some of the scenes, but who cares about that when there’s so much Rajini magic going around? Every time he delivers one of his dialogues, you get chills.

    The story of Kabali is simple and one we've seen many times before. It's clichéd in many aspects. But what drives it is Rajnikanth.

    And it’s well worth another watch.

    — Mridula Ramadugu for Firstpost

  • With no Kabali tickets available, prices soar 

    A CNN News18 report said that as demand for Kabali tickets soared high above the supply, the prices had been jacked up illegally — at some places, the tickets cost as much as Rs 5,000, indicating the lengths fans were willing to go to just to watch a show early on in Kabali’s run. Tamil Nadu is one of the few states where the government caps ticket prices that can be charged by theatre owners. However, clearly the cap has been circumvented by the unprecedented demand from Rajinikanth fans.

  • Fans who signed up for Air Asia's 'Kabali special flight' angered at change of venue

    Fans who took the Air Asia ‘Kabali flight’ to Chennai to watch the FDFS of Rajinikanth’s film caused a furore outside a city theatre as they claimed the screening venue was changed at the last minute. The fans were supposed to be taken to Satyam Cinema Hall, but were taken to Prasad Theatre instead. CNN News18 reported that the fans were angered that despite having booked their tickets weeks in advance, they were cheated of what had been promised. Satyam Hall is a bastion of Rajini fans, and watching one of Thalaiva’s movies here is supposed to be quite the experience. Air Asia spokespersons said that logistical issues cropped up, which was why the promised show at Satyam didn’t work out. While they accommodated those who had flown in at Prasad Theatre and promised that they would be booked onto a 5.30 pm show at Satyam as well, the fans felt they had missed out on the FDFS experience they had signed up for. 

  • Want to know the best lines from Kabali? Here they are!

    Rajinikanth gets the best lines of course.

    The dialogue in the trailer that fans were waiting to see in the film is completely satisfying to hear:

    “Tamil padangal la inga maru vachikutu mesai murikutu lugi katikutu nambiyar. Hey Kabali apdi nu sonna odney guniji sollunga Yejaman apdi vandhu nenipaney andha mattri Kabali nu nenachi ah da,” Rajinikanth says.

    Other lines that had Thalaiva’s fans cheering? "Avalo sekram savan matan da indha Kabali" and "Kabali poona ah irundhu paraku theriyadhu nu solren ".

    But Radhika Apte had us speechless with her flawless delivery: “Naan sethu poi dhan indha, nee enna vandhuu pakre varuku” (“I was dead until you cam and saw me”). For once, someone’s bested Superstar Rajini!

  • Madhur Bhandarkar spotted at Mumbai show of Kabali

    Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar was among the early birds to line up for a Kabali show at the Aurora Talkies in Mumbai. He said that he made it a point to be at the theatre as nowhere else in the city would you get as accurate a glimpse of the Rajinikanth fan frenzy. On the subject of Thalaiva, Bhandarkar said his connection with the masses was all due to his "simple, down-to-earth nature". Watch a byte from Bhandarkar here: 

  • Audience cheers for Superstar Rajinikanth, but mixed feelings about Kabali at end of first half

    Inside the Aurora Talkies, there was loud cheering and hooting when Superstar Rajinikanth made his big screen entry to the tunes of the chartbuster ‘Neruppu Da’. His first fight sequence in the film — which sees him beat up three men single-handedly, with an iron rod — had the audience shouting along, while the first song — ‘Ulagam Oruvanukka’ — was welcomed with whistles and cheers.

    But by the time the interval came about with a loud bang (when you’ll watch the film you’ll know what that means!) not everyone in the audience was as pumped up as they had been to start off with.

    “The first half was not as good as we expected, I feel the energy was missing. I thought we would be screaming throughout the film for Thalaiva,” a fan told Firstpost’s Benita Chako. 

  • Rajinikanth's lookalike chased for autographs at Kabali FDFS! 

    Mumbai fan Sanjay Naik is a Rajinikanth fan. But at the Kabali FDFS at Auroa Talkies in Mumbai, he was chased by several other fans of the superstar — all because he had the 'Don Kabali' look down to a T. In a formal jacket, with his hair and beard styled just like Rajinikanth's in Kabali, and a pair of dark glasses perched on his nose, Naik indeed channeled his idol perfectly! We got a photo of Naik, clicked by Firstpost's Mridula Ramadugu!

  • Back in Chennai, Sandhya Ravishankar reports that the scene outside Sathyam Theatre was quiet. There were no celebrations, even though some fans of Rajinikanth were hanging around, hoping for tickets. But here, even the Rs 10 tickets — the first row seats that are popularly called the ‘Gandhi tickets’ — were sold out. 

After all the buzz, Superstar Rajinikanth's Kabali is finally in theatres.

And fans, who have waited over two years to see their idol back on screen, have been driving the massive hype around the film.

In Kabali, Rajinikanth plays an ageing crime boss who takes on the bad guys in Malaysia who have been oppressing the Tamil migrant community there. His wife is played by Radhika Apte.

Kabali opened in 4,000 screens all over the world on 22 July, Friday. It's an unprecedented number โ€” but then everything about this film has been, fittingly enough, super-sized. It has already made over Rs 200 cr in pre-release business through the sale of rights for the various other language versions (apart from Tamil, Kabali is releasing in Telugu, Hindi, Malay and Malayalam, with talks on for Thai and Chinese dubbings as well), music and satellite deals.

It's not been all smooth sailing โ€” the film's opening scene was leaked on Whatsapp, and it is believed illegal download links were available on the dark web.

However, Rajinikanth and his film have made it to the theatres and Firstpost is bringing you all the updates from the first day first show of Kabali as they unfold.


Updated Date: Jul 22, 2016 16:57:05 IST