Kaala – Art or mega political start!

Head down south and the world can really go upside down over the launch of a film. Rajnikanth doesn’t come with entertainment alone, a movie starring the megastar could have as much public frenzy as much as political undertones to rub a lot many people on the wrong side. It is little wonder that Kaala has attracted a ban. 

It is not unfortunate though. Because that has never served the cause of the ruling behind imposing the ban. It has only accentuated the publicity and anxiety over the content. Think of movies or books from the past that have attracted ban – be it the Bandit Queen which was categorised as offensive, indecent, soft porn and the Censor Board banned it for sexual content and abusive language, or Deepa Mehta’s Fire which gathered critical acclaim and yet severe criticism from Shiv Sena with the touchy subject of sister-in-law indulging in a lesbian relationship, or Unfreedom which was another lesbian love story entangled within Islamic Terrorism related angle, or the more recent Lipstick Under my Burqa … these movies have not only generated tremendous curiosity amongst people, but are also freely available for viewing all over the internet.

Source :-Wunderbar Studio

Banning Kaala from Karnataka is an exemplification the foolhardiness of the state government. If Kannadigas have to demonstrate their anger or hatred towards Rajnikanth and his stand on the Cauvery river water dispute, all they have to do is boycott the movie. The distributors would themselves take it down in 2 days owing to business losses. But having said that, artistic freedom seems to be crossing the lines more frequently than ever before. Freedom of speech is important, but when someone of his stature comes out and just around the time when his imagery is transitioning from being a movie star with unparalleled fan following to that of a Tamil Nadu based politician, things can get sensitive. 

There are few artists who have used movies to send socially-relevant and politically sound messages, Rajnikanth’s Kaala appears more like a manifestation of his political wit and will favouring Tamil Nadu over a cause that has been the contention in judiciary and masses alike. This cannot be seen purely as an art form in expression. There is political weight behind the statements; statements which could come crushing on to his political opponents as his outfit gets more active in Tamil Nadu. 

While the truth behind the rumoured screenplay and dialogue will be out as soon as the movie hits the screens, one thing that is cast in stone is the impact it could have on Rajnikanth’s political career. And Karnataka banning the movie would make him an instant Robin Hood championing the cause neighbourhood state of Tamil Nadu. Casting aside the financial losses the movie might incur in Karnataka, the political mileage Rajnikanth will ride in Tamil Nadu could be unprecedented and his political outfit could make for a daring springboard in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and even more in the state elections in 2021.

Rating a film purely on assumptions would be unjustified. But then, being a star with mammoth following comes with unmatched implications in every word you utter. Lets hope Kaala proves to be more of ‘kalaa’ than a political statement. 

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