Marriages, fans from Japan make 'Petta' special

Marriages, fans from Japan make 'Petta' special

Fans spray milk on a billboard displaying the picture of Bollywood star Rajinikanth before attending the show of the new Tamil-language film 'Pettai' in Chennai on Thursday. AFP

Ever heard of stages erected inside cinema halls and marriages solemnised as the movie is screened? It happens only in Tamil Nadu and only when Rajinikanth’s movie opens in theatres.

On Thursday, two die-hard Rajinikanth fans got married inside cinema halls in Thanjavur and Chennai as the eternal superstar’s latest movie Petta opened to a full house in theatres across the globe. This was not the end of Rajiniism that was on full display outside theatres in Chennai as a group of five fans flew all the way from Japan to catch the first day first show of Petta.

And, as the trailers said, Chennai got Rajinified on Thursday with early morning shows and garlanding of giant cut-outs. The crowd only swelled as the day progressed since the review of the movie was good — the good-old Rajinikanth clad in a stylish outfit, whose mere presence on the screen electrifies the theatres was back after a long gap.

Anbarasu and Kamatchi, both Rajinikanth fans, chose the “auspicious day” of Petta release to get hitched. “We have been seeing each other for more than a year and we decided to get married today as Thalaivar’s movie got released. There is no auspicious day than today for me as a Rajinikanth fan,” Ambarasu said.

The couple, who will be living in Padapai on the outskirts of Chennai, tied the knot at a specially-erected stage at the Woodlands Theatre in Royapettah in the heart of the city. At the Shanti Theatre in Thanjavur, Jothiraman tied the knot with Usha as the movie opened to a full house — the couple were gifted household items worth Rs 1.5 lakh by other fans.

“I thank the fans of Thalaivar for making my wedding memorable,” he said. By now, Yasuda and Satsuki, a Japanese couple, are quite popular in Chennai as they have made three trips in seven months only for the 'first day first show pilgrimage' Rajinikanth movie.

“I have been coming to Chennai to watch the first day first show of Rajinikanth movies since 2002. I came here to watch Baaba, Kabali, Kaala, 2.0 and now Petta. I and my wife come here only to watch the movie,” he said. This time, the couple were accompanied by their friends.

“We cannot get such an experience anywhere in the world. These three screens are the best for watching a Rajinikanth movie on the first day,” she said.

Rajinikanth commands massive fan following in Japan, where his 1996-movie Muthu was an instant hit and ran in theatres for one full year. Till Thursday morning, Muthu was the couple's favourite Rajinikanth, but Kaala changed everything.