Karnataka: Protests hinder screening of Rajinikanth’s film ‘Kaala’

Kaala movie Facebook live

Kaala movie Facebook live

Kaala's day. Rajini's "Kaala" has hit the screens and has been receiving an overwhelming reception from fans.

Miffed with Rajinikanth's comments over Cauvery water, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce on May 29 decided not to allow screening of "Kaala".

Pro-Kannada workers protest outside Balaji theatre in Bengaluru where Rajinikanth's movie Kaala is screening, on June 7, 2018.

Earlier in the day, over 100 theatres and multiplexes across Karnataka deferred screening the film amid vociferous protests against the film over Rajinikanth's pro-Tamil Nadu stance on the Cauvery river water sharing issue.

The tepid response has led to growing doubts about Rajinikanth's prospects in Tamil Nadu politics, given that Kaala is his first film after he jumped into the political arena.

The Karnataka High Court had on Tuesday directed the state government to provide necessary security for the peaceful release of the film. Made on an estimated budget of Rs 140 crore, the broadcasting rights of the film have also been sold to Star TV and Amazon.

"The situation is under control and there is no problem in showing the film after the police took away the protesters from the theatres and multiplexes to avoid any untoward incident", the Urvashi theatre owner said. Our honour and Kannada pride are at stake.

Barring the state, the film released worldwide today amid much fanfare.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan says that the buzz for this one is low despite having known faces from Hindi cinema like Nana Patekar, Huma Qureshi and Pankaj Tripathi. Rajinikanth's film must not run. Even before the release of "Kaala", reports of a third film by the duo have already started doing the rounds.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had requested the distributor of "Kaala" not to release it in "this kind of atmosphere", but said his government would follow the high court order on the issue. Kabali is said to have earned more than 10 crores in Karnataka alone. Rajinikanth said that it was not right to oppose the film for his political views on the Cauvery river water dispute.

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