Introduction Rajnikanth is today's Superstar, whose movies mostly get released in three languages - Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi. What makes him so special is a superbly crafted script that makes very interesting reading. He is positively not the run-of-the-mill hero. He does not pretend to be everything. In fact, he often attributes every single success of his to God. He has even played the perfect comedian in a few movies.
Still, what is so special? There are so many complex answers. However, chief among them are a) A perfect person to fill MGR's vacuum b) Robust health and hard work c) His ability to match huge expectations d) His humility and personal qualities and e) His ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
A perfect person to fill MGR's vaccuum Rajnikanth's rise in Tamil cinema coincided with the decline of MGR who took to serious politics. Rajnikanth had indeed acted in a few significant roles. He played the perfect brother to the late Shoba, the superb actor. The movie was called Mullin Malarum. Rajnikanth does not approve his sister 's love for his own boss. Yet, he satisfies her wishes. The family drama had all the trappings of a deeply intense family subject.
However, it was becoming very obvious that Rajnikanth was gradually slipping into MGR's shoes. His movies like "Pollathavan" reinforced his image of a youthful hero, who was out there to destroy all evil. He had all the MGR formula intact in each of his movies. For instance, unlike other heroes, he would never ever chase a single female actor to fall in love. This was the typical MGR formula. In his early movies, he even tried the MGR formula of singing entire songs that highlighted values such as love and affection for one's mother. His superb song in his movie called "Maapilliah", which "Amma endrazhaikkatha uyirillaiae" had such a meaning. This opening sentence translates into" is there any soul that does not cry for his or her mother?".
He then switched to pucca masala movies, with a huge story built around only his image. This was also MGR's formula. However, the times of MGR were different. The songs of that era were so meaningful. Rajnikanth made deep inroads into the new wave cinema of huge action and some melodrama. The family sentiments were also there. These were intelligently woven into the main story. For instance, in Baasha, he plays a don with a good heart. He loses his good friend and seeks revenge. He quits Mumbai at one stage and with a group of close friends, comes to Chennai, where he becomes an auto driver. Local goons take him on in a bitter right. This fight sequence was simply superb and launched him into a different league altogether. However, his own brother, who is a police official, starts digging into the past and discovers that he was once a don. However, he finally proves that he was innocent and the story ends with a familiar climax where the good prevails over the evil. The film also had superb acting by the late Raghuvaran, who was the main bad boy.
Yet another movie that actually took Rajnikanth to heights never reached before was a movie called "Padaiappa". In this movie, he took on a female who was totally arrogant. There were noises that this character resembled the late Jayalilatha, whose arrogance was well known. This family drama went on to become a super duper hit. Similarly, another gripping movie, called "Arunachalam", where he was shown as a person with a larger than life image, also made him quickly slip into MGR's shoes. However, his fans always claimed that he was "at a different level".
Robust health and hard work It is said that Rajnikanth swims every day, does a good amount of exercises and keeps himself fit. He has flashback scenes in many of his movies and has to look young. He does this to some extent. Although he is aging, there are hundreds of female actors who openly swear that acting with him in at least one movie is their life ambition! He does take on hundreds of goons and wins in each and every fight scene. His dialogue delivery goes along with some punch or the other. He has acted in quite a few movies directed by Shankar, the big boss of direction in Tamil Nadu. His hard work has been documented by thousands of writers.
Ability to match huge expectations In recent times, Rajnikanth has started to star in movies where he is shown as a person nearing fifty years, with a daughter, who is twenty-five years old. In the movie "Kabali" released a couple of years ago, Rajinikanth carried the entire film on his shoulders. The movie went on to become a super duper hit. It did have at least one melodious song. It was shot almost entirely in Malaysia and he was shown as one fighting for the rights of Tamil workers in the plantations.
This is not the only movie. In each movie, he manages to satisfy both the young and the old. His audiences are across all economic classes.
His humility and personal qualities Rajnikanth is very well known as a very simple person. He interacts with all the people who work for him. His ability to build rapport with hundreds of artists across the entire film industry has won him many admirers. He is growing from strength to strength. However, his humility remains what it has already been. He never talks ill of anyone and is easily approachable. He is also known to contribute to social causes. However, in this respect, he is streets behind MGR, who gave away his wealth to millions of people.
Ability to adapt to changing circumstances This is one remarkable quality with Rajnikanth. He does not hesitate to act as a father in movies now. He does retain the action sequences but does seem fit enough to still do all the action sequences in each of his movies. He seems to be quite willing to change with the times that are rapidly changing. His main advantage is that his competitors are still years behind in terms of reach. The nearest competitor called Vijay is now trying to act in all mass audience movies with a heavy political background. However, even he cannot match the reach of Rajnikanth.
Conclusion The making of Rajikanth, the Superstar with a huge ability to rope in masses in millions to watch his moves in films, has taken three decades. Yet, the story is not complete. There is no big competition to his present position. This might change when he enters politics!
However, Rajnikanth will be remembered as a legend after MGR. For all times to come.
Sorry, I am commenting on an unapproved article. Most probably the author is discussing Rajinikanth. He must correct the spelling in the title of the article.
Thank you Patha Sir. I have since made the correction.