BENGALURU: Even as about 20 single-screen theatres and multiplexes in the city screened the Rajinikanth-starrer ‘Kaala’ amid tension and anxiety over being targeted by pro-Kannada outfits, it was a mixed bag of experience for Rajinikanth fans who watched the film on Thursday and Friday. Across the state, only about 100 theatres and multiplexes screened the movie amid tight police security.
In Bengaluru, the film was screened in multiplexes like PVR Orion Mall, PVR Forum Mall and INOX Lido, and single-screen theatres like Bhumika in Majestic, Kamakya in Banashankari, and Rex Theatre on Brigade Road. In many halls, the movie was screened in a tense atmosphere. For ‘Rajini fan’ Anand Varadaraj, one of the organisers of the Bangalore International Short Film Festival, getting inside the movie hall was not easy.
Anand watched the 9.15 pm show at the Lido theatre in Halasur on Thursday. Many protesters, including Vatal Nagaraj, had gathered outside the hall, but were kept in check by heavy security. Police personnel were initially stubborn not to allow Anand and others inside. But he and his friends lied that they were going in to watch the movie Jurassic World which was being shown at another screen in Lido. “Once inside, we were still apprehensive of watching the movie, but decided to take a chance. Surprisingly, it was a full house inside,” he said. However, once the movie started playing, he was immersed in it and faced no anxiety.
Another Rajini fan, Venkatesh R K, did not have to face any such anxiety at a theatre in Sudduguntepalya near Koramangala on Friday. He said there were neither protesters nor security personnel outside the theatre, and it was a full house. Geethalakshmi, another proud fan, watched a morning show at Carnival Cinemas, Jalahalli, without any hassles. “There was not a single poster outside the theatre, which is unheard of for a Rajini movie. But it was a full house.
The subdued frenzy this time is because of the protests, but hardcore Rajini fans will definitely watch it. Others will be a little scared now, but once the protests die down, they too will watch it, especially because it is a really good, intense film,” she added.On Friday, several screenings were possible as protesters were taken into preventive custody outside theatres at Kamakshipalya, Magadi Road and Majestic. Unlike on Thursday, tickets were available online on Bookmyshow on Friday.