Movies

‘Bigil’ FDFS: What a 4 AM screening amongst Vijay ‘veriyans’ feels like

Fans throng the premises of Vettri Theatre in Chromepet for the release of ‘Bigil’   | Photo Credit: K V Srinivasan

Has Bigil been the most promoted Vijay film yet? The pre-hype reached a crescendo of sorts over the last week, with some or the other iteration of a #Bigil hashtag trending nationally everyday on social media.

After some debate, the state government announced that special shows could be held, and fans of the actor were overjoyed when several theatres (including multiplexes like AGS) quickly introduced new shows into their Friday schedule, that opened for booking online on Thursday night. This meant that many longing for a quintessential FDFS experience didn’t need to throng outside the customary hotspots for an early morning show to buy tickets in black.

Fans take a selfie together at the ‘first day first show’ of the movie

Fans take a selfie together at the ‘first day first show’ of the movie   | Photo Credit: KV Srinivasan

A quick visit to some of the prominent Chennai theaters playing Bigil in the wee hours of Friday morning (the earliest show was scheduled to begin at 4 am, but after rumours of a delayed KDM did the rounds — alarming everyone — began only around an hour later) was an experience at itself as fans began assembling outside the gates around 2 am itself.

On Twitter, videos of Vijay fans gathering around in French multiplexes and Sri Lankan single screens did the rounds, as their Tamil Nadu counterparts did their best to ensure their celebrations got noticed too.

And so, it began. The FDFS show at one of the traditional Vijay strong houses in the city — Vettri Theatres in Chromepet— didn’t disappoint.

“I’m going for four shows of Bigil today — at 4 am, 10 am, 6 pm and 11 pm — today is the real Deepavali for us. We are showing our love towards our anna in a very dignified way; we hope others see this and realise that we want to change the normal perception surrounding us, that we are unruly and so on,” quips Ramesan, a mechanic, who is present with his friends.

Vijay in ‘Bigil’ caters to his fandom perfectly

Vijay in ‘Bigil’ caters to his fandom perfectly   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Somewhat surprisingly yet reassuringly, fans of the actor kept up their word to follow their matinee idol’s request: no cutouts or banners that could endanger the safety of any passers-by on the road. Similarly, apart from a couple of 500 walla garlands (that was quickly snuffed out by cops monitoring the situation) the lack of fireworks during a Diwali release was conspicuous. Several fans could be seen posting TikTok and Instagram live videos stating that they didn’t overdo celebrations as ‘Vijay anna’ had instructed fan clubs not to waste money unnecessarily and use it for a social cause instead.

They instead reserved their energy for the dancing and singing before the doors opened. A series of Vijay hits ranging from Elaa Pugazhum to Verithanam played continually on the speakers as youngsters sporting ‘Michael’ and ‘Bigil’ red jerseys showed off their moves; some even bought footballs to boot!

A special cake to celebrate the release of ‘Bigil’

A special cake to celebrate the release of ‘Bigil’   | Photo Credit: K V Srinivasan

Inside, it was a riot. Atlee’s masala-sentiment storyline with a strong women empowerment angle utilises Vijay’s formidable skills as a performer to the hilt, and the actor looked to be enjoying playing to the gallery in several scenes. The interval block, as is customary with Vijay movies these days, earned the loudest cheers for a scene that pushes the actor to really dig into his acting repetoire. Lots of shirt twirling, whistling and confetti throwing ensued. A surprise appearance in a song in the second half too incited similar cheering as well.

 

After the first show, audiences were stunned to discover that director Atlee was among them, and converged towards him for selfies as the filmmaker left quickly to check out the response in other centres. Actor Varalaxmi Sarathkumar who starred in Vijay’s previous film Sarkar, was also spotted.

Outside the hall, huge crowds eagerly awaited the next show, some enquiring for reviews, while others were too afraid to ask for spoilers and ruining the experience. “We honestly don’t want to hear any opinions or reviews. We are here for our Vijay anna only, and considering he has taken on a progressive role that bats for women in this film, that’s reason enough to declare this a winner already,” said Albert Manickraj, a college student who was present with his friends.

And the Vijay roulette goes on.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:32:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/bigil-fdfs-what-a-4-am-screening-amongst-vijay-veriyans-feels-like/article29794876.ece

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