Enraged Rajinikanth fans found the joke in bad taste and asked for the scene to be removed and for the team to apologise.

BoycottComali trends as trailer of Jayam Ravi film mocks Rajinis political entryYouTube Screenshot/ Sony Music South
Flix Controversy Sunday, August 04, 2019 - 08:38

Hours after trailer of Jayam Ravi’s upcoming film Comali released, outrage began pouring in from Rajinikanth fans. The trailer was released on Saturday evening and has over 1 million views as of Sunday morning.

Directed by Pradeep Ranganathan, the film stars Jayam Ravi, Kajal Aggarwal, Yogi Babu, Samyuktha Hegde and KS Ravi Kumar in lead roles. The trailer shows Jayam Ravi’s character waking up after being in coma for 16 years. The trailer has all the common comedy tropes that may be associated with depicting change in time periods - inflation, fashion, quality of cinema.

But what seems to have done the trick in enraging Rajinikanth fans comes towards the end of the 2-minute trailer when Jayam Ravi’s character, who has just woken up from his coma, asks for the year. Yogi Babu’s character turns on TV in which a news channel’s playing Rajinikanth’s press conference from December 2017. “My entry into politics is for sure,” proclaims Rajini on TV when Jayam Ravi’s character denies to believe that this is from 2016. “Who are you trying to fool? This is 1996!” he says with alarm in his voice.

It also takes a dig at Chennai’s most relevant and unresolved problem of constructing buildings over lake beds. “Shall we go and take a bath in the eri that we used to play in when we were young?” asks Jayam Ravi’s character as he’s walking outside an apartment building. Yogi Babu’s character quickly adds, “You’re walking on it now.”

#BoycottComali began trending on Twitter soon after by fans who found the joke in bad taste and asked for the scene to be removed.

Many called it a stunt by the film’s team to gain publicity.

Some pointed out that it was 2017 and not 2016 as the film's trailer says that Rajini made the announcement.

This dig comes from Rajinikanth’s infamous statement from 1996 when he reportedly said, "If Jayalalithaa is voted back to power, even god cannot save Tamil Nadu.” This statement is said to have sealed Jayalalithaa’s defeat in the elections that year. It was then widely speculated that the time was perfect for Rajinikanth to take the political plunge. The superstar, however, eluded fans for years, never commenting on the topic.

On December 31, 2017 Rajinikanth ended decades-long speculations of his political entry. In a hall filled with his fans, Rajinikanth then announced that he would officially begin his political entry. The actor has yet to make his political debut in the elections. Rajinikanth’s political outfit currently functions in the name of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM).

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