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Rajinikanth says reviewers should work without 'hurting anyone's feelings'

At the audio launch of the Vikram Prabhu-starrer Neruppu Da, the superstar said there was nothing wrong in an honest review, but reviewers should exercise restraint.

Shriram Iyengar

The audio launch for Neruppu Da has attracted a little more attention than usual for such events. The attendance of Rajinikanth and current Tamil Film Producers' Association (TFPA) president Vishal had a lot to do with it. Rajinikanth surprised fans and the media by issuing a warning to film reviewers around the country.

Neruppu Da is a take-off on a song from the superstar's recent hit Kabali (2016). Directed by first-timer B Ashok Kumar, the film is being produced by actor Vikram Prabhu's production house, First Artist. Vikram Prabhu, son of actor Prabhu and grandson of Sivaji Ganesan, scheduled the audio launch at his grandfather's palatial bungalow in T Nagar.

While the event saw the arrival of several top stars like Dulquer Salmaan, Dhanush, Satyaraj and Karthi, it was the new TFPA president who set the tone.

Speaking at the event, Vishal said, "I humbly request reviewers to give some breathing space to films. There are some online reviewers who rip apart all films on social media. Everyone can register their opinions, but do publish three days after a film's theatrical release. The media is also part of the film fraternity. I hope you understand that so much hard work and pain goes into the making of a film." 

Rajinikanth endorsed this view. He said, "Making films is our job and reviewing them is the media’s job, but there should be a right way of communication. There is nothing wrong in an honest review, but it should be done without hurting anyone’s feelings."

Praising Vishal on his recent victory at the TFPA general elections, Rajinikanth said distributors need to re-evaluate the films they buy. "Hats off to Vishal for his work so far and I have immense belief in his potential," he said. "Everyone should benefit from a movie and there should not be a sole winner with others losing out. When producers do some stunts and marketing to sell their film, distributors and theatre owners should think and decide before buying it. After buying it, there is no point regretting about the product."

The statement is seen as a reproach to recent reports of distributors protesting against the losses of films like Bairavaa (2017), and Si 3 (2017). However, neither Vishal nor Rajinikanth have spoken against the producers' accusation that it is the inflation of star salaries that has led to these losses.

Looks like another battle is in the offing.