With barely a day to go for its release, Kabali has been dragged to the courts yet again. Mahaprabhu, a distributor for Lingaa, has moved the Madras High Court to ban the film. In his petition, Mahaprabhu has alleged that his company, Sukra Films, had secured the distribution rights to Lingaa from Vendhar Movies for the Coimbatore, Erode, Nilagiri areas for Rs. 13.25 crores, and that they suffered losses to the tune of Rs. 7.45 crores. After repeated requests to producer Rockline Venkatesh, and Rajinikanth, a sum of Rs. 3 crores was paid to Sukra Films. Speaking to Silverscreen, Mahaprabhu claims that Kabali producer, Thanu had promised to give him the remaining amount, “We staged protests in Chennai for over a month in 2014. Money was paid to us only about six months later. When Kabali began filming, Kalaipuli S Thanu told us that he would settle the remaining amount of Rs. 89 lakh, but so far, there has been no news of it. I would like to get what is owed to me, I’m not doing this for publicity.”
Interestingly, the release of Vendhar Movies’ Paayum Puli too had been in trouble over the Lingaa issue. After Lingaa’s release, a section of the film’s distributors, led by Singaravelan, who distributed the film in Trichy and Thanjavur, went on a well-publicised hunger strike in Chennai. Several negotiations were held, mediated by Tirupur Subramanian, and a clear plan was put into place for compensation. Mahaprabhu says that the whole process was mismanaged and that some distributors have still not received their portion of the payout. “The team monitoring the compensation was itself clueless about it. A lot of people I know have become completely bankrupt. Almost two years have gone and there is no end in sight to this matter.”
Kabali has faced its share of lawsuits this week alone. A Chennai man, Devarajan filed a writ petition to restrain Kabali’s release on account of its exorbitant ticket prices, while a Madurai resident Maharajan sought to remove ‘insensitive lyrics’ from the movie. If all goes well, the Rajinikanth-Radhika Apte starrer will release tomorrow, 22 July, worldwide.