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What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?

Rajini's new movie on screen is called Jailer, but his fans know that he releases them—even if momentarily—from their troubles and into feelings of ecstatic abandon in darkened halls

Published: Aug 11, 2023 06:11:29 PM IST
Updated: Aug 11, 2023 06:13:11 PM IST

Offices declared a holiday in Chennai as superstar Rajinikanth's new film Jailer hit the screens worldwide yesterday. Ardent fans grabbed a first-day first-show seat to devour their action hero on screen, as opening day box office rang in over Rs72 crores globally. With a racy screenplay laced with humour and Rajini's amplified presence, Jailer whipped up the elation of the fans as they flooded out of cinema halls last evening.

In any case, as these photos below testify, does the box office matter to a fan who can shut out his world for a couple of hours, becoming one with a hero who fights the fight for him? Ensuring justice to the lowliest on screen, Rajini embraces the common man—burdened with his shameful, hidden bundle of life's hurts—and releases him into cathartic, ecstatic abandon in a darkened hall.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Punit PARANJPE / AFP
Fans pour milk in a gesture of offering to a large banner of actor Rajinikanth before the screening of his new Tamil-language movie Jailer on the first day of its release, outside a theatre in Mumbai on August 10, 2023.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Punit PARANJPE / AFP
Fans react ardently during the screening of actor Rajinikanth's new Tamil-language movie Jailer on the first day of its release, inside a theatre in Mumbai on August 10, 2023.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: AFP/Arun Sarkar
Residents line up to collect water from a free distribution tanker organised by fans of actor Rajinikanth during a drought in Chennai on June 22, 2019.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A priest performs aarti on the release of the Rajinikanth film Kabali at Matunga Murugan Temple on July 22, 2016, in Mumbai, India. The earliest show in the city started around 4 am, with fans waiting the whole night in queues to get the ticket.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?
A file photo of a Japanese fan Yasuda Hidetoshi and his friends arriving in Chennai from Japan to catch the first-day first-show of Rajini's Lingaa in 2014. Yasuda, who is a leader of a Rajinikanth fan club in Japan, was in Chennai yesterday too.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A fan dances, displaying his body painted with Rajini's portrait on the first day of release of his new film Kaala at Carnival Cinemas IMAX Wadala, on June 7, 2018, in Mumbai, India.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Female fans of Rajinikanth make a religious-like procession with decorated pots to ensure the success of Rajini's movie Kaala on the first day of its release at Carnival Cinemas IMAX Wadala, on June 7, 2018, in Mumbai, India.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
A man counts tickets for Tamil film star Rajinikanth's new movie 2.0 on the eve of its release outside a cinema in Mumbai, India, November 28, 2018.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Sajjad Hussain/AFP
An AirAsia aircraft, with an image of Indian actor Rajinikanth on its fuselage, is parked on the tarmac of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on February 28, 2023.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
The Aurora Cinema hall's circular lobby is decorated with Rajinikanth's flags for his new movie opening in Mumbai on July 22, 2016.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: MANJUNATH KIRAN / AFP
Giant cut-outs of star Rajinikanth decorate a movie theatre where fans jostle to get in and out on the first day of releasing his new Tamil-language film Kabali in Bangalore on July 22, 2016.

What can the superhero Rajinikanth not do for the masses onscreen?Image: REUTERS/P. Ravikumar
Actor Rajinikanth greets his supporters after announcing the launch of his political party, Rajini Makkal Mandram, in Chennai, India, on December 31, 2017. Rajini's short stint with politics ended on July 12 2021, when he dissolved the party.

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