Tamil star's return to big screen draws mega crowds

Long queues formed yesterday at Rex cinema in Mackenzie Road which was screening Kabali, the highly-anticipated new movie starring Tamil movie superstar Rajinikanth.
Long queues formed yesterday at Rex cinema in Mackenzie Road which was screening Kabali, the highly-anticipated new movie starring Tamil movie superstar Rajinikanth.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Bookings for the opening day of Kabali, the highly-anticipated new movie starring Tamil movie superstar Rajinikanth, threatened to overload and slow down the Cathay Cineplex online ticketing system, prompting the operator to add extra sessions for the show.

Long queues also formed yesterday outside Rex cinema in Mackenzie Road, where fans arranged a flower garland around a 4m-tall cutout of Rajinikanth.

They celebrated the 65-year-old actor's return to the big screen by performing aarti, an offering normally reserved for Hindu deities, in front of a smaller cutout in the cinema to cheers and applause.

Anticipating large crowds, Rex Cinema had stepped up security.

Tickets for yesterday's screenings were sold out at the Mackenzie Road cineplex, which has 736 seats across its three halls, all showing Kabali, as well as at Rex's other cinema at Golden Mile Tower which seats 1,000.

 
 

Cathay Cineplexes is showing Kabali at five of its branches.

Both Rex and Cathay are pricing tickets at $18 each, over the normal price of $10 to $15.

Kabali is a gangster drama directed by Pa Rajinth, and marks Rajinikanth's first movie in two years. Shot predominantly in Malaysia, it also stars Taiwanese actor Winston Chao.

A 29-year-old engineer who watched the movie with two friends said he had bought his tickets online a day before.

He said: "This is the first time Rajinikanth is working with a new director, so I'm excited to see what this movie will be like."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline 'Tamil star's return to big screen draws mega crowds'. Print Edition | Subscribe