This article explores the ontological politics of the image in Tamil cinema. Its focus is a particular scene from the 2011 film Mankatha (Venkat Prabhu) in which the protagonist, played by the "mass hero" Ajith Kumar, is slapped by a character played by Vaibhav Reddy. Taking the image not simply as diegetic representation but as performative act, Ajith fans were enraged at Vaibhav. As I show, multiple ontological and political claims on what an image is intersect in and manifest as this performative image-act. This multiplicity provokes rethinking of arguments by André Bazin and others about "the" ontology of the film image.