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Despite the #BoycottVikramInKarnataka trend, Kamal Haasan's 'Vikram' runs to packed halls in the state

The film has been simultaneously dubbed and released in Telugu and Hindi in Karnataka but not Kannada, thus enraging many fans

  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 06.03 PM, Jun 03, 2022

Despite the #BoycottVikramInKarnataka trend, Kamal Haasan's 'Vikram' runs to packed halls in the state
Kamal Haasan in Vikram

Kamal Haasan's return to the big screen, in the form of Vikram, has been nothing short of momentous. Despite the stiff box office clash posed by the other two big releases Major and Samrat Prithviraj, Vikram has emerged as the clear winner and is well on course to become a massive commercial success. However, the lead-up to the grand release across India hasn't been devoid of disapprovals and boycott threats as the #BoycottVikramInKarnataka trend found traction on social media.

Aside from the Tamil original, Vikram has been simultaneously dubbed and released in Hindi and Telugu in the prime movie centers of Karnataka - namely Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Mangaluru. This has led the local Karnataka audience to feel "snubbed" with many asserting that the makers are warranted to present a Kannada-dubbed version of the film. "No Kannada, No Business," claimed a few on social media and vouched to not watch the film unless the Kannada release is made available. The #BoycottVikramInKarnataka trend has since gained some heat on the internet. Alongside, Adivi Sesh's Major too has been simultaneously released in Telugu (original), Malayalam, and Hindi in all the big regions of Karnataka with the Kannada version finding no room.

That said, the social media trend has had little or no bearing on the box office performance of Vikram. Having been already adjudged the clear box office winner in the southern regions among the three big releases, Lokesh Kanagaraj's action-thriller is running to almost-packed houses and the advance bookings in Bengaluru alone have been very encouraging so far. Aside from the hype surrounding the film and its critical merit, it would seem that fans in Karnataka have taken kindly to Kamal Haasan's grand silver screen return. The actor is no stranger to the local audience and has previously acted in films like Kokila and Rama Shama Bhama, and many in the past have lauded his efforts to dub for himself in Kannada. 

And yet, this wouldn't be the first instance of online displeasure from the Karnataka audience. The 2021 Telugu film Pushpa was a subject of a similar controversy when the Malayalam and Tamil dubbed versions found more theatrical slots than the Kannada counterpart, thus resulting in the #BoycottPushpaInKarnataka social media trend. Similarly, S.S. Rajamoul's RRR too miffed the local audiences when, despite the prior promise, the Telugu version of the film found a much wider release across Karnataka.