Digital pirates more brazen with ‘Kabali’

PETALING JAYA, Aug 4 — Piracy has plagued the release of Rajinikanth’s mega movie Kabali. Leaks of the movie have been making the rounds online, and now, digital pirates, possibly in Malaysia, have released the film in high definition — with a chilling note to the film’s sole distributor in the country.

The note said: “Malik Streams Corporation Sdn Bhd. If you send gangsters to CD shops to ‘collect’ money, then this will be the gift for all the movies you distribute.”

It is believed to mean if shops selling the pirated movie are threatened by “gangsters”, the pirates will release every film from the Malik stable in HD format online.

Malik Streams Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Malik Dasthigeer said: “The article was brought to my attention on Monday night. I don’t understand why such a threat has been made. I have made a police report”.

Malik said he employed an enforcement team which worked closely with the authorities to help curb the distribution of pirated copies of Kabali. However, he denies the team has been extorting money from shops.

“They have visited several establishments since the movie’s release and to my knowledge, only two were issued a warning, as they were not big traders, that they should not distribute pirated copies.

“We know who made the threats and they will be arrested soon. Then, I will find out what the pirates are accusing my team of,” he said.

In regard to the Bahasa Malaysia version of Kabali, which was released last week, Malik said viewership had not been promising.

He said Malaysians should support the local version as it was the first Tamil movie to be dubbed in Bahasa Malaysia.

“It looks like an original Malay movie, not a dubbed version, that’s how good the syncing is.

“People should go just to hear Rajinikanth speak in Bahasa Malaysia — ‘paling dahsyat’,” said Malik, who also prefers the local version.

While local TV presenter Arun Kumaran is the voice of Rajinikanth’s character Kabali, Malaysian fans can also hear Datuk Jalaluddin Hassan and Fathia Latiff’s voices in the movie, which has reportedly raked in over Rs650 crores (RM39.4 billion) in India.

Largely shot in Malaysia, the movie also features local actors Datuk Rosyam Nor, Norman Hakim, Zack Taipan and Tony Kasim as gangsters, and has four songs in Bahasa Malaysia.

Malik said in the first three days it was released, the Tamil version collected RM10 million, excluding in Brunei and Singapore.

At press time, he had not received the total collection figures for both versions.

The movie is scheduled to run in cinemas for another two weeks. – MMO.

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