While the release of a Rajinikanth movie is usually greeted with huge fan fair, the superstar’s latest multilingual film 2.0 hit the city theatres on Thursday on a sombre note.
Cinema halls like Urvashi, Poornima, Savitha, Rex and others were unusually quiet this time, as Rajini fans kept the celebrations low key following the death of Karnataka’s Rebel Star Ambareesh.
“Rajini sir was a close friend of Ambareesh sir,” Rajini Santosh, president, Karnataka State Rajinikanth Fans Association told DH. “He’s deeply saddened by (Ambareesh’s) demise and urged all the fans’ associations in the state to keep the movie’s release a low-key affair. “Even we are deeply saddened by Ambareesh sir’s death. So, there are no celebrations, but tickets across the state have been sold out,” Santosh added. Theatres would usually greet a Rajini movie release with huge cutouts and banners. “(The release) is a big celebration for us. But we are not in a mood to celebrate this time since it would be disrespectful to the departed soul,” said Velu, an ardent Rajini fan.
Meanwhile, Kannada Chaluvali Paksha chief Vatal Nagaraj staged a protest, condemning the domination of other language films in Karnataka. He gathered before the Urvashi theatre with other pro-Kannada outfits and tried breaking into the cinema hall. But policemen posted for security at the theatre took him into custody.