CHENNAI: After a squally morning, theatre owners agreed to release Vijay’s Kaththi, despite attacks on two theatres, on Monday night. Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association (TNTOA) joint president Abirami Ramanathan confirmed it in a statement, which AGS multiplexes’ Archana Kalpathi tweeted, “Advance booking for Kaththi to begin in 10 mins. Can’t wait to get my FDFS ticket.”
“We opened the booking at 1 pm, and by 4 pm, we sold over 10,000 tickets. It has been an amazing response for Kaththi,” said R Rangarajan, Director of AGS Entertainment.
Vijay’s Kaththi has had a horrendous couple of weeks as pro-Eelam groups have been calling for the film to be banned as they believe Lyca Productions is owned by a benami of SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa. All the protesting has done wonders in generating interest for the film - within 48 hours, the film’s trailer has been viewed nearly 13.5 lakh times on YouTube.
Safety is a matter of contention here. On Monday night, two groups of vandals pelted stones and old bottles at the Sathyam Cinemas (SPI Cinemas) and also Woodland Theatre - both in Royapettah area. Woodland is an old haunt for Vijay fans and often hosts Rasigar Mandram shows on the morning of a film release.
“We bore the brunt for releasing Vishwaroopam when our booking counter was attacked. We have been provided with police vigil from today, so things would be peaceful,” he added.
This came a little after Vijay broke his silence and issued a statement to the effect that ‘all is well’. Just like he did when his previous film Thalaivaa was caught in a quandary, he profusely thanked AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa for her assistance in reaching an amicable settlement.
Vijay and director A R Murugadoss have been keeping a measured silence as producer Lyca Productions and the Tamizhar Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) have been locked in combat. Hours after they announced that they had conceded, Vijay’s statement reinforced their stance, albeit with a more diplomatic tinge than reality would suggest. “A few days ago, Tamil groups had asked that Lyca Productions’ name be removed from the posters. Acceding their request, Lyca Productions has agreed to remove their name from the film. Thus the matter has been solved amicably. All the fans and lovers of cinema who have been eagerly awaiting the release of Kaththi for Deepavali can go watch the film and enjoy it safely.”
Even as Lyca and Vijay are patting each other on the back, the protestors are cautious. TVK leader T Velmurugan sent a statement through his associates calling Lyca’s claims as “lies” and followed it up by saying that they would watch the first show and only then call the protest off.