Indian film star Rajinikanth’s latest outing Kaala has not been screened in the southern state of Karnataka due to threats from regional groups who believe the actor is against Karnataka. The film was set to release on June 7.
Karnataka is in a water dispute with Tamil Nadu, and Ranjinikanth’s comments urging Karnataka to release more water to Tamil Nadu seemed to have ruffled a few feathers.
Cinema owners have refused to screen the movie despite three different courts refusing to stall its release. A senior police official told BBC Hindi that despite police protection, cinema owners have refrained from screening the movie. “We have provided security as per the order, but cinema owners haven’t yet begun screening the movie.”
Interestingly, Rajinikanth himself had requested Karnataka to release the film. “I request you to allow those who want to see the film and allow your corporation to release the movie. This is a humble request from me,” he said, addressing a crowd.
Meanwhile, Kaala recorded the lowest ever opening for a Rajinikanth movie in recent times, and this could be due to the Karnataka cinema houses refusing to screen the movie.
Vishal Krishna, who is a member of the Tamil Nadu Films Producers’ Council (TFPC), explained to IANS: “Kaala has been unnecessarily embroiled in the Cauvery controversy. How much this has affected the film’s opening, I don’t know. What I do know is that at the end of the day Rajini sir is Rajini sir. Any film of his evokes a massive response. The opening of ‘Kaala‘ may be on the lower side – I haven’t found the time to check – because his last film with the same director (Pa Ranjith) had not been appreciated that much.”
Kaala is produced by Dhanush, Rajinikanth’s son-in-law, and it also stars Nana Patekar and Huma Qureshi.