CHENNAI: It’s been a while since two Kollywood A-listers had films out on the same day, making Pongal 2019 extra special for fans. After a year, Ajith’s Viswasam brought back 1am first day shows, making it theoretically possible for someone to also catch the 4am first day first show (FDFS) of Rajinikanth’s Petta.
At Porur’s GK Cinemas, where Viswasam was playing, cars lined the street for more than half a kilometre up to the theatre. While there was neither paal abishegam nor crackers, the wild chants of fans made up for the tamer celebrations amidst the unusually cold January Chennai is experiencing.
The best part about FDFS shows is the lack of advertisements, so the film’s certificate slide was enough to send fans into a frenzy. As Viswasam is a ‘rural’ film, several youngsters came to the theatre clad in veshti and bright-coloured shirts. Expectedly, once the screen came alive, few in the audience were willing to remain seated. Unexpectedly, there were more people in the hall than there were seats, so people sat in the aisles.
Phone cameras replaced the traditional confetti and flower petals, as fans waited for the star’s appearance on screen.
The moment the production company’s logo appeared, the crowd went haywire and their screams reaching a fever pitch when Ajith’s name appeared and was followed by his introduction scene. In ‘mass’ moments such as Ajith mouthing punch dialogues and dancing, the fans erupted from their seats. These moments were many in the Siva film, and the audience ‘erupted’ every 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, at Kasi the huge cutouts of Rajinikanth virtually hid the theatre from view.
The atmosphere, here, was much more festive with fans blocking the entrance and dancing to a live music performance. So festive, in fact, that some, after getting past security and dodging the news cameras, missed the first few minutes of the film. But as a quintessential Rajini film, there was enough build up for the character leaving lots of fan frenzy still to enjoy.