An old-fashioned, overstretched sermon on Hindu-Muslim unity, Aishwarya Rajinikanth's directorial venture Lal Salaam falls flat despite Thalaivar's energetic cameo appearance. Rajinikanth takes on the role of a Muslim man advocating for religious unity in the sports drama. His portrayal was expected to be a unique and refreshing experience for fans but in vain. According to a Sacnilk report, the movie accumulated Rs 3 crore on its second day in India. Across all languages, Lal Salaam grossed Rs 3.55 crore on its debut day at the domestic box office. The film explores the interconnected themes of cricket and religion, depicting how a village politicizes this cherished sport. The movie struggles to make a mark with a total earnings of Rs 6.55 crores.
The film is expected to surpass India's Rs 10 crore mark (net) today and Rs 22 crore globally. According to trade analyst Ramesh Bala, 'Lal Salaam' has collected Rs 22 crore worldwide. He wrote, "#LalSalaam grosses Rs 22cr+ Worldwide in the release weekend! One of the highest collected movies for Actors @TheVishnuVishal and @vikranth_offl (sic)."
In the film, Vikrant and Vishnu Vishal play the role of cricketers. The supporting cast includes Jeevitha Rajasekhar, Senthil, Nirosha, Thambi Ramaiah, and Dhanya Balakrishna with Kapil Dev playing a cameo. AR Rahman's songs are already ruling the charts with Mozart's recreation of the voice of a few late singers being the key highlight. Produced by Subaskaran Allirajah of Lyca Productions, the story is penned by Vishnu Rangaswamy.
The Plot: In the fictional town of Murrabad, where Muslims and Hindus coexist peacefully, religious tensions arise due to reasons unrelated to faith but rooted in ego and personal vendettas. The mastermind behind the turmoil is a politician's son-in-law, who exploits the animosity between two young men and local cricketers—Thirunaavukkarasu (Vishnu Vishal) and Shamsuddin (Vikranth). He manipulates their differences to sow tensions between Hindus and Muslims for political gains. This cunning scheme takes advantage of the vulnerability of certain individuals in the community.
Lal Salaam received negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office outside Tamil Nadu. Collections were dismal in the Telugu states, leading to numerous show cancellations over the weekend. Rajini fans are disappointed with the film, especially after the blockbuster success of Jailer the previous year. In 2014, Rajinikanth's second daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth faced a similar outcome with the movie Kochadaiiyaan. Fans expressed disappointment on social media, suggesting Rajinikanth should refrain from acting in their daughters' films.
Earlier, the audio launch arena of Lal Salaam turned out to be the centre of unwanted controversy after Aishwarya's "My dad is not a sanghi," remark. Later, Superstar had to intervene to clarify that his daughter did not consider the term 'Sanghi' as a 'bad word.' She expressed her view that her father is a spiritual person. She mentioned, "Dad is a spiritual person who loves all religions, so why should he be described as a Sanghi?" He also dismissed accusations that Aishwarya spoke on this matter to promote the movie.