At the movies

Allu Arjun has swag but smoking is socially irresponsible

The Allu Arjun poster for his Sankranti 2020 release `Ala Vaikunthapuramulo’ (AVPL) was released at 9 am on Sunday. Predictably, it created excitement among Allu Arjun fans, drooling over his swag.

It shows Arjun sporting a tramp-like look in a Charlie Chaplinesque trousers and coat, minus the hat. He is seated on a stool that bears the paint marks, an indication that it is a much-used stool, the accomplice of a workman, not a seat of comfort. 

Perhaps in sync with the present grim scene of job losses, Arjun’s look suggests the character of an educated but unemployed man. Arjun’s shabby presence is juxtaposed against a flashy car and a stylish skyscraper. To put it in Telugu film industry lingo, the poster has both mass and class.

The movie that stars Pooja Hegde as the female lead is directed by Trivikram Srinivas. The last Arjun-Pooja outing Duvvada Jagannadham in 2017 was an action entertainer that did well at the box office

The problem is with Arjun, easily one of the most popular stars in south India, seen lighting up a beedi in the poster. That’s hardly the kind of stuff Arjun as a role model should be seen doing. It is not being socially responsible. What makes it worse is that a security guard is helping him and that completely violates the ban on smoking in public places in India. 

Last July, Vijay’s first look poster of `Sarkar’ similarly showed the superstar smoking. It provoked protests from many individuals and groups in Tamil Nadu, particularly Dr Anbumani Ramadoss of the PMK, forcing the makers of the movie to withdraw the poster. 

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