Has Rajinikanth's Kuselan bombed at the box-office? The distributors of the film have approached Pyramid Saimira who marketed it for a reimbursement of their losses. The film which released on August 1 carried mixed reports from day one.
By day two of its release, in NSC area the number of shows was reduced, as it was released in too many screens. The fans did not like the film, and the family audience kept away due to vulgar comedy scene of Vadivel.
The film just did not take an opening that one associates with a Rajinikanth film. On Monday, the film crashed by more than 50 percent. At the end of the first week in multiplexes like Sathyam cinemas, it was moved from bigger screen to smaller ones, and number of shows reduced.
No Rajinikanth films in modern times have taken such a poor opening. The trade blames Rajinikanth, director P.Vasu and producers K.Balachandar, G.P Vijayakumar, and Aswini Dutt for this fiasco.
Vasu diluted the essential spirit of the original (Katha Parayumbol) by introducing scenes and characters which were not there in the original.
The producer's piggy- back rode on Rajinikanth's larger than life image and sold it to Pyramid Saimira for Rs 60 crore, when they knew very well that he was only doing a special appearance.
Why did Rajinikanth after initially saying that he is there for only 25 percent of the film agree to keep a studious silence when the film was sold to PS as a full fledged superstar film like a Sivaji or Chandramukhi?
It lends credence to the story in the trade that he became greedy when he saw big money being traded on his name.
Anyway, coming back to the basic facts touted by the industry on why Kuselan was not appreciated by neither his fans, the youth nor his traditional family audiences.
* First and foremost Rajinikanth is a prisoner of his larger than life image. He cannot make a film run without his usual gimmicks- Punchline, clean comedy, subtle romance, sentiments and above all he needs a villain to fight him. These elements were missing in Kuselan
* The trade believes that the producers should not have gone against the industry sentiments of releasing the film during 'Aadi' month of August. Remember quite a few Rajinikanth films released in the month of August like the most famous of them Baba had bombed in the past!
* S.P Balasubramaniyam used to sing the superstar's introduction song which has a message that goes with his image. Who can forget SPB- Rajini magic songs, En Peru Padayappa… (Padayappa),Oruvan Oruvaan …(Muthu) , Bellellakka, Bellellakka… (Sivaji), Devuda, Devuda… (Chandramukhi)? In Kuselan the Cinema, Cinema… introductory number was sung by Shankar Mahadevan. Last time when he sung for Rajini Dippu, Dippu… in Baba, everybody knows what happened!
* The superstar does not require the glamour of Nayanthara and the crass and crude comedy of Vadivel to sell his films. The big mistake the director made was to include these scenes in the film.
* Finally, the industry believes that stories of cinema within cinema have never clicked in Kollywood.
The Moral of the story- Never tamper with an original script that has worked wonders in another south Indian language. And the superstar should only do one film in two years, where he is there throughout from the opening scene to the end titles!