No Kaala release in Karnataka, fans devastated

Agitators outside theatres were seen requesting the moviegoers not to watch the movie. However, fans of Rajinikanth celebrated the release of "Kaala" in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. Media sources say that Kaala, which released in over 1,800 screens worldwide on Thursday, has had one of the lowest-recorded openings in recent times for a Rajinikanth-starrer.

But the issues around Kaala in Karnataka brought the movie under the spotlight and it was evident after the massive increase in the ticket sales just two days before the film's release. Reported to be made on a budget of Rs 140 crore, "Kaala" is produced by Dhanush's Wunderbar Films.

"Kaala" is set against the backdrop of Mumbai's Dharavi slum.

Hundreds of activists of pro-Kannada organisations, including the KRV, gathered outside theatres and multiplexes in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi, Mangaluru, Ballari and Belagavi to protest against the film's release."Cauvery water is more important than a Rajinikanth film for us".

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"If they forcefully release the movie they will have to face the consequences".

Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said the makers should avoid releasing it in the state "considering the situation".

Reports from Mysuru said the screening of the film was delayed by movie houses due to protests.

In other parts of the state, cinema hall owners in Mysore, Mandya, Raichur, Belgaum and Chikkaballapura districts did not screen the movie. Thalaivar's comments on the Cauvery water dispute upset several Pro-Kannada outfits, who threatened to stage protests in front of theatres screening the film. Kaala's release seemingly more impacted by politics than even Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavat, that was released after the Supreme Court's directions. The movie directed by Pa Ranjith also stars Nana Patekar and Huma Qureshi.

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