The excitement over Rajinikanth’s latest film’s title was rather subdued, as people debated whether it was just Kaala or Kaala Karikaalan. In the 12 minutes it took producer Dhanush to issue a clarification, both titles began to trend on Twitter.
An hour later, fans of the star took to social media to offer up several theories over the nature of the film, and the reason behind the title.
This #Kaala is Yama or Black or Time?
— Subramaniam Mohan (@yessmohan) May 25, 2017
With Pa Ranjith’s revelation that the film would focus on the life of Thirunelveli Tamils in Mumbai, several fans suggested that the title could refer to Lord Yama. Yama is allegedly worshipped as Kaala in Thirunelveli.
Ranjith confirmed the theory, and told Silverscreen, “Rajinikanth is a protector and destroyer in the film. He is a massive supporter of social causes, and at his most furious, he destroys opponents for the betterment of his people. That’s why we chose Kaala as the name. Kaala denotes Yama.”
A few even suggested that the film’s title could denote ‘black’ in Hindi. South Indians are discriminated against for their dark skin in North India, and this would form the basis for the film, reports said.
— Md Jafer Sadiq ? (@iam_jaffer) May 25, 2017
Meanwhile, others took it to denote Rajinikanth’s pachcha Tamilan status. Karikalan is a storied Chozha King, who ruled during the Sangam era.
#Kaala At last the sub title says Thalaivar is a pachai thamizhan
— Vignesh Selvaraj (@vignesh6194) May 25, 2017
Rajinikanth reportedly plays Karikalan, a Tamil gangster who becomes a protector of the Tamil people. Set in Mumbai, the film aims to show the plight of the Thirunelveli Tamils who settled in the area. Rajinikanth and Ranjith’s last film Kabali was themed on the life and struggles of Malaysian Tamils.