Despite protests, Rajini fans stood ground to watch Kaala

Despite protests, Rajini fans stood ground to watch Kaala

Waited the whole morning for the screening to resume

Early on Thursday morning, Rajinikanth fans thronged in their thousands in Mantri mall to watch the first-day-first-show of the much-anticipated movie Kaala.

Fans joined the ever-lengthening queues before the ticket counters despite the uncertainty over the movie’s release, deciding to take a chance and try their luck.

Large number of police personnel at the INOX ticket counters. (DH Photo)
Large number of police personnel at the INOX ticket counters. (DH Photo by Sandesh M S)

Anxious that protesters would arrive at any time, fans demanded the multiplex to begin screening the movie with the hope that they would finish watching the film before the real chaos began. They converged on the mall at 5.30 am hoping the screening to begin at six.

“Thousands were here by early morning,” a crew member of INOX Mantri Mall wishing to be anonymous told DH. “We scheduled to release the film by 1.30 am. Though we cancelled the show, none of them left. They were confident that we’d somehow screen the movie.”

They continued to wait in the premises with eager anticipation despite protest by the Kannada activists that forced the mall authorities to cancel all the shows. “For now, we’ve scheduled eight shows from afternoon till night,” the crew member added. “We’ll increase the shows depending on the demand and the availability of screens.”

Among the fans who stood waiting from early morning was Thambidurai, who said they were determined not to leave the mall without watching the film. “We were confident that the mall would screen the movie,” he said.

“They first gave the tickets and then refunded the money after cancelling the shows, but we didn’t leave the place. Now that they’ve rescheduled, we’re quite thrilled to watch the movie,” Thambidurai said.

After the activists were arrested and taken away, the mall resumed ticket distribution. Cops were seen guarding the box office and even inside the ticket counters helping the staff.

Screening of the movie at Orion Mall’s PVR screen, which began before the protesters arrived, went smoothly though the subsequent shows were cancelled. The show was rescheduled at 11.00 am and screening went on from 2.20 pm. More shows were added according to the demand.

“We thank the police personnel and the Karnataka government for providing security to the cinema halls,” said Ranjit, who watched the morning show. “Still, we were afraid that the screening would be stalled anytime. Thankfully, things were smooth.”