Fans pour milk on a giant poster of South India superstar “Thalaivar” Rajinikanth to celebrate the screening of “Kabali” in Chennai, July 22. Elsewhere, the euphoria was no less intense as fans cheered the superstar and said the content of the film didn’t matter, all they cared for is the star, Rajinikanth, himself. (All photos: Press Trust of India)

When it comes to fan frenzy, only a select few match what Shivaji Rao Gaekward, “Rajinikanth,” commands. Considered “Thalaivar” or “Boss,” Rajinikanth is a phenomenon that can surpass any flaws in a movie just by his sheer presence, say fans, who will go an watch a movie just to see him. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #Bollywood #Tollywood #Superstar #Thalaivar #RajiniSir #Rajinikanth #Kabali

Frenzied fans poured thousands of litres of milk on huge cut outs of megastar Rajinikanth and sang and danced outside theatres at 4 AM as hype and hoopla marked the release of his latest film “Kabali” in about 5,000 screens across India and abroad.

At least, 1,000 screens launched the film in Tamil Nadu, home to Rajinikanth ever since he made his debut in the mid ’70s while several hundreds showed it in territories like U.S., UK, Malaysia and Singapore where his followers are a legion.

Cut outs and banners of the actor, known for his style and gimmicks, were erected outside theatres which wore a festive atmosphere as fans turned up in good numbers, adding color to the screenings.

In some places, special prayers were held for the success of the film, reminding that Rajinikanth’s popularity has not taken a dent despite back-to-back flops in “Kochadaiyaan” and “Lingaa.”

Diehard fans flew from Japan, where he has huge following, to witness the hype and drama typical of a Rajinikanth release.

“Naan vanthutennu sollu.. Thirumbi Vanthutaennu sollu… Kabali da” (Tell them I have arrived. Tell them I am back. It’s Kabali) was the favorite punchline that fans repeated when asked what caught their attention in the promo.

Rajinikanth had a special screening of the movie in the U.S. where he is holidaying.

The shows are reportedly full for the next couple of weeks as individuals and corporates have gone for bulk booking.

The shows are reportedly full for the next couple of weeks as individuals and corporates have gone for bulk booking.

Meanwhile, fans who had flown from Bengaluru to watch a special screening as part of an arrangement with Air Asia, complained of a rescheduling of timing and screening place.

They insisted that they wanted to watch the movie along with the actor’s fans in a Chennai theatre as promised but were offered a screening elsewhere.

The company said there was a mistake on its part in not informing the rescheduling and assured to compensate the fans.

The film has apparently allegedly uploaded online despite a restraining order from the Madras High Court restraining several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from illegal download. The full movie is said to have been uploaded on the Internet under the title “Tamil Gun.”

Producer ‘Kalaipuli’ S. Thanu said he will move the court through his counsel and mention about the illegal uploading of the film before the court.

On July 14, he had moved the court seeking to prevent illegal downloads of ‘Kabali’ through about 180 websites and “countless unknown sites.”

The film released to packed houses across Kerala, where tickets were sold in advance and many of theatres showed ‘houseful’ boards. It was released in over 300 screens across the Kerala.

Elated fans, who came out of the theatres after watching the movie, said the film has the real “Rajini touch” with stunt, music and typical punch dialogues.

It was released in over 300 screens across the Kerala, where there are a large number of Rajinikant fans.

While in Palakkad, bordering Tamil Nadu, in at least 25 theatres the film has been released, in the state capital, eight theatres are screening it with the first show starting at 4.30 am.

More number of shows, in different times, were arranged to manage the heavy rush of fans, theatre sources said.

Fans of the ‘Thalaivar’ celebrated the release of ‘Kabali’ in different ways including in social media.

A three-minute music video, brought out by a fan in Kochi, has become viral on the online.

Though nearly a 1,000 km away from the city where megastar Rajinikanth resides, his latest offering “Kabali” has opened to an unprecedented frenzy among the audience in the film capital of the country.

With shows starting from as early as 6 in the morning—and ticket prices at some places ranging anywhere from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500–the film was welcomed with euphoria by Rajini fans.

As it happens with most of the films starring the 65- year-old legend, single screens, especially the famous Aurora theatre in Matunga, had huge cut-outs of the actor and posters of the film which features Rajinikanth as a stylish gangster who is out to take revenge.

People were seen wearing t-shirts with “Kabali” printed on them outside theatres as a tribute to the charismatic actor who returns to the big screen after “Lingaa” which released in 2014.

The Hindi dubbed version of the film has released in nearly 1,000 screens across India.

“Kabali” clashed with Irrfan Khan’s “Madaari” and Rathi says though the latter has not recorded huge collections on its opening day, it will grow due to word of mouth.