It was 7.25 am and a huge crowd had gathered for the screening of Vijay’s Sarkar at GK Cinemas, Porur. One can’t miss those giant hoardings of ‘Thalapathy’ installed by his fans.
23-year-old Kannan Swaminathan tells indianexpress.com, “I had a sleepless Monday night, dreaming of watching Vijay on the big screen. Additionally, it’s Deepavali. I’ve not had a wink of sleep. I caught the 4.30 am show, and I’m watching the film once again.”
A 4:30 am show? Swaminathan rues, “There’s nothing illegal about it. Cinema is nothing but entertainment, and early morning shows are just an extension of it. Vijay does only one film a year, so it’s fine. When there are many pressing issues plaguing the society, I don’t understand why the Government focuses on cinema and stars all the time. When the Government can permit 5 am shows for Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, NOTA and Saamy Square, why not Sarkar?”
18-year-old Saravanan had skipped a family function as he had to watch Sarkar today. “My parents were quite upset with me for not accompanying them to our hometown, Thanjavur for Deepavali. As an ardent fan of Vijay anna, this was the least thing I could do,” he grins.
Vijay was literally everywhere… cut-outs, posters, T-shirts. The moment he appeared on screen, fans went crazy as they whistled, howled, danced and threw their hands up in the air. Half the hall took photos of their ‘action hero’ on their mobile phones and tablets. The flying squads kept telling them to not click pictures or shoot videos.
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As the film progresses, you get Vijay mouthing loud punch dialogues. At some point, you get tired of it. The fans lap up the lines with applause, and one could hardly hear what Vijay was speaking. You almost forget that you’re watching a film and he’s an actor. Sarkar seems like a cleverly-planned move to fuel Vijay’s future electoral ambitions.
As I walked out of the theater, I had a word with Darshan, a college student. “The best thing about the film was again Vijay,” he says. After a pause, he laughs, “Mersal pannitaaru!” Cheekily, he adds, “You don’t watch a Vijay film expecting narrative arcs. It’s all about the mass-y feel. I’ve been watching all of his films, but you got to admit there’s magic every time he appears on screen.” I slowly shook my head and got into my cab.
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