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PIX: Rajinikanth wave in Chennai

May 24, 2014 15:09 IST

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S Saraswathi/ Rediff.com in Chennai

It has been four years since the release of Superstar Rajinikanth’s last film Enthiran in 2010, and the anticipation among his fans seem to have reached fever pitch now.

The much hyped and long awaited Kochadaiiyaan finally hit theatres on May 23 and the atmosphere in Chennai was electrifying. 

Huge cutouts and hoardings of the Superstar have been erected at the theatre entrances and overzealous fans bravely climbed up to offer milk abhishekam. Drums beat relentlessly accompanied by the deafening noise of crackers, as fans paid homage to the eternal superstar of Tamil cinema.

Theatres were packed and crowds broke into spontaneous dance on the streets at regular intervals. Women and children even joined in the celebrations.

Loud cheering, chanting of Thalaiva and ear-piercing whistles filled the air, as the crowd swelled over time.

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Image: Fans pour milk on the Kochadaiiyaan poster
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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'I have never missed a single first show of a Rajinikanth film'

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S Saraswathi/ Rediff.com in Chennai

College student Anand and his group of friends have travelled from Pondicherry (150 km away) to watch their idol in a theatre.

“We have friends in Chennai, who booked the tickets.  Watching the first day, first show is an experience like no other. He is our Thalaivar. We are here to show him our support,” he says.

Ganesh, a mechanic, who has travelled all the way from Ulundurpet, more than 180 km away, with his cousins, proudly says that he has followed this ritual for more than a decade now.

“I have lost count of the number of years I have made this trip. Since my school days, I have been a huge fan of Rajini and in all these years, I have never missed a single first show,” he says.

Premnath and Naveen work at a BPO in Chennai and have skipped their sleep to watch their superstar.

“We work night shifts and have come straight from office. After watching the show, we plan to go to some of the other multiplexes to see if we can get tickets. We want to catch at least one more show,” they say.


Image: Crowds outside a theatre screening Kochadaiiyaan in Chennai
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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'Even my three-year-old is a fan of Rajinikanth'

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S Saraswathi/ Rediff.com in Chennai

Families and young couples have also come to enjoy the first day, first show.

Gopal, his wife and their two sons were also among the early ones to arrive. “We love Rajini. Even my three-year-old is a fan. This will be his first Rajini movie in the theatre. He is addicted to the Enthiran DVD we have at home and watches it all the time.”

Later, we caught the fans as they poured out of the theatres after watching the film. Shouts of ‘Superhit’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘100 Days’, ‘A1’ and ‘Super’ were the most common reactions.


Image: Fans outside a theatre screening Kochadaiiyaan in Chennai
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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'Only Rajini can make the crowd go wild with just a flip of his cigarette'

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S Saraswathi/ Rediff.com in Chennai

Meganathan, a businessman from Chennai, said that it was foolish to compare Kochadaiiyaan to Hollywood film Avatar.

“When compared to their budget and technological support, we had nothing. This is a first class first attempt. I remember in one of Rajini's earlier movies -- I think it was Raja Chinna Roja -- there was an animated clipping used for a song.  Rajinikanth has always been open to new concepts. In his last film, he was a robot. And now, he is a great historical figure, using the performance capture technology. Hats off to Rajini! I will definitely watch the film one more time.”

Aravind, another diehard fan, claims that Rajini is the one and only superstar. “I do not understand graphics and animation and do not even care if the movie is a documentary or a slide show. If it has Rajini, I will come watch it. Only Rajini can make the crowd go wild with just a flip of his cigarette or flick of his hair."


Image: Fans display posters and flags of Rajinikanth
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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