Rajini-Vishnu Vishal starrer Lal Salaam promises intense political drama

In a significant line in the trailer Rajini says, “Keep religion and faith in your hearts. Keep humanity above both. That is the identity of this nation.”
Rajini in Lal Salaam trailer
Rajini in Lal Salaam trailerTrailerScreengrab/SunTv
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The trailer of the much-awaited Lal Salaam is finally here and the film seems full of political statements. More than for lead actor Vishnu Vishal, audiences have been avidly waiting to see Rajini’s character of Moideen Bhai, after his cameo appearance was announced last year. The trailer does not disappoint and is full of moments of Rajini delivering his trademark one-line-political-messages, beating up bad guys and blowing up things. The trailer also comes in the wake of Rajini’s ‘Sanghi’ controversy making people all the more curious about how he’d represent a Muslim character. 

The trailer is set in the backdrop of a village temple chariot festival. Two factions seem to be warring over the chariot which spills out into a fight during the festival. Erstwhile comedian Senthil can be seen for a few seconds in a tragic scene talking about how it is only during the festival that he gets to see his grandchildren. Vishnu Vishal can be seen alternating between getting in fights and playing cricket. Also, a woman character scolds a man saying, “Whichever land a god is from, no matter whose god they are, god is god.” The dialogue intercuts between scenes from the temple festival and Moidheen Bhai offering prayers in a mosque. 

In one particularly significant line in the trailer Moideen Bhai says, “Keep religion and faith in your hearts. Keep humanity above both. That is the identity of this nation.” And just before this scene, a character describes him in these words: “Do you think he’s the kind of man who wears white veshtis and shirts, says ‘allahu akbar’ five times a day while offering namaaz and speaks about peace and harmony? Bhai is a different kind of man in Bombay.”

In one more significant line in the trailer, a character says, “Someone whom people choose to stand behind is more dangerous than the one who tries to pull crowds to them.” And in another scene Moidheen Bhai is asked “How can even you not respect the courts?”, to which he replies, “Who says I don’t trust the courts? I said I don’t have faith in some of the people within the courts.” 

Rajini’s real-life political inclinations have routinely been a matter of controversy. The actor has not been shy ever about his closeness to the ruling BJP and his attendance of the Ram temple’s consecration in Ayodhya stirred a fresh row with many calling him a ‘Sanghi’. The actor even lauded the consecration as “unforgettable day in history”. During Lal Salaam’s audio launch, the film’s director and Rajini’s daughter responded to the criticism and defended her father saying that her father is “not a Sanghi” and added that “If he were a ‘Sanghi’, he would not do Lal Salaam. This film can be done only by a man with a lot of humanity.” Bafflingly, days after, Rajini seemed to undo Aishwarya’s defence of him telling media personnel that “Aishwarya never said ‘Sanghi’ is a bad word.” He went on to add that “She meant that I am a theist and am fond of all religions and asked why everyone calls me a Sanghi.” 


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