EVENT The only premiere show for the film was held in Chennai for a cause

T he night before Deepavali. The biggest movie event of the year. The premiere of Ra. One. More than Shah Rukh Khan's dream project, Chennai was waiting to see Superstar again on the big screen after his long bout of illness and hospitalisation.

During his recent visit to Chennai, King Khan had given Suhasini Mani Ratnam his consent to hold the premiere of “Ra.One” in aid of her NGO, Naam Foundation.

Apparently, it was Mani Ratnam who suggested the name Naam for the NGO.

“‘You always say ‘I will do this, I will do that...' but when you say ‘we' or ‘naam', you make it more inclusive', he said. Naam is dedicated to the cause of single women,” said Suhasini introducing her NGO before the “only premiere” show in the country.

Naam was already taking care of 143 single women and their 151 children. “The money from this premiere will see most of those kids through college,” she added. Director Shekhar Kapur flew down to Chennai on her request to attend the “Ra.One” premiere. Stars, including Trisha, Abbas, Sneha, Parthepan, Prasanna, Naren, Bhagyaraj, Shantanu and Lizzy Priyadarshan, took the stage to show their support to Naam.

Parthasarathy, chairman and managing director of CADD, said that the Centre was happy to be associated with the cause and congratulated Suhasini and the Naam Foundation on their success.

Soon, it was show time.

“Ra.One” began with the opening credits that expressed gratitude to “Shahenshah Amitabh Bachchan” and “Superstar Rajinikanth” as the crowd cheered at the very sight of his name.

Shah Rukh Khan's entry scene was met with whistles and excitement and his laboured Tamil in the film — be it ‘Ayyoyo' or ‘Ingevaa' or ‘Romba nalla idea' — amused the local audience. Shah Rukh plays Shekhar Subramaniam, a geeky game developer who designs a game where the villain is more powerful just to please his son.

Ra.One, the villain of the game, wreaks havoc after escaping into the real world. And enter G-One, the superhero assigned to protect Lucifer (the nick Shekhar's son uses to beat Ra.One in the first level of the game). The premise and many visual effects sequences that followed reminded one of “The Terminator”. The loudest screams and applause were reserved for the Superstar cameo in the second half of the film. For one whole minute, the otherwise well-behaved audience burst into euphoric screams and hoots to cheer Superstar.

As a popular joke on social networks goes “Ra.One” actually stood for RAjinikanth's ONE-minute cameo.

At Sathyam Cinemas, that did seem to be true.

S. k.