Rajinikanth's Kaala: Decoded
Decoding all the hidden elements of the first look posters of Rajinikanth's Kaala
Thursday was a day of joy for the fans of Rajinikanth, when his son-in-law and producer Dhanush, revealed the title and the first look images of Superstar's next film after 2.0, Kaala: Karikaalan, which is to be directed by Pa Ranjith.
Two images were released, and while one had a bleeding, furious-looking Rajini, that didn't give away too much, the other, with the star on a jeep, gave the curious a lot more to chew on. It's now confirmed that the film will be set in the backdrops of Mumbai as the first look has shots of one of the largest slums in the world, Dharavi. The word Kaala, in Sanskrit, has two meanings - black, symbolising that the story is about 'dark' and downtrodden people, Ranjith's forte and, secondly, death and destruction, a metaphor to denote what will happen to those who stand against him. This could also explain all black worn by Rajini - kurta, shades, sandals and watch. Plus the jeep itself, which is also black. From the two images, it can also be safely assumed that this will be the look that Rajini will sport throughout the film.
Kaala can also be connected with the deity Kaala Bhairava, who is the supreme ruler of time of this universe as per Hindu scriptures. Kala Bhairava's vahana is the dog and that's indicated by the mongrel dog sitting right next to Rajini in the image. It's also the second time a dog features in a Rajini movie poster - the last time this happened was in Baashaa's poster which is also about a Tamil don in Mumbai. The deity is also considered to be the protector, giving more weight to the claim that he'll guard the destitute Tamils in Mumbai. The god is also known as the guardian of women, so don't be surprised if that's incorporated in the film as well. The deity is also said to sport a tiger skin and that could explain the similarly coloured kaavi (orange) veshti.
The tagline, Karikaalan, which might be Rajini's name in the film, also denotes the 'dark' factor. But it might well be a reference to the great king Karikaala Cholan, who was part of the Chola dynasty, which ruled today's Tirunelveli. Interestingly, Tirunelveli is the origin of most of the Tamil speaking inhabitants of Dharavi. The fish eye panorama shot of the image could also represent the Tamilians being a part of the fishing community. After all, Dharavi was once a swamp and a fishing village. This is more plausible considering Tirunelveli's history with fishing.
Digging a bit more into the image itself, the jeep's number plate reads MH 01 BR 1956. While the MH denotes the Maharashtra registration, the fascinating detailing that has Pa Ranjith's stamp all over it, is in the latter half of that number plate. The letters BR are the initials of social reformer Ambedkar (Bhimrao Ramji), who the director looks up to - his Twitter handle (@beemji) stands testimony to his admiration for the man who played a pivotal role in the fight against social discrimination of dalits. MH could also stand as a tribute to Mhow cantonment in Indore, which happens to be Ambedkar's place of birth. The numbers that follow, 1956, is the year in which Ambedkar died. The rising sun behind Rajini's head might symbolise him being the 'ray of hope' to his people.