Cult of a Superstar


Rajnikanth is a phenomenon whose heights cannot be reached by anyone and rarely will you see someone aping the star correctly. This for the very fact that the superstar has always believed in versatility, despite some very classic signatures of his own.

Rajnikanth has remained aloof and he is not like those who would be part of starry shows or walk the red carpet at functions. Very rarely will you see the King of South interact with media ahead of his release. But for those who are religiously following the actor, he remains the much loved Thalaivar. In real life a bald ageing star, but in reality he still remains the class act, who you would watch time and again.

His fans watch out for him when he is ill, pray for him when his movie releases and expect only that the superstar retain his larger-than-life avatar. Rajni means money for the makers of films and his appeal does it all. This time Rajni mania has been taking the country by storm.

The star plays an ageing don in Kabali which releases on 22nd of this month.

Be it the much publicized song Neruppu (fire) Daa which now has an ice age version, gossip and juicy discussions all are making the Rajni mania ever so interesting.

Many have never missed a single film of the star and this time for them too things are no different.

Rajnikanth has churned out hit after hit for three decades now. His films have set box office records for highest grossing Tamil film on four different occassions.

Over the years stories have been whispered, you wuld find a facebook page called Rajnikanth vs CID jokes, you would hear about him as if it is folklore. Every aspect of his personal life has been mytholigized making him no less than a legend. His rise from a humble bus conductor in Bangalore to being the benchmark for superstardom still remains an inspirational story for all.

Amidst all the hoopla Rajnikanth has had his share of failures as well. The much hyped Baba (2002) tanked, as did Kochadaiyaan (2014) and Lingaa (2014). Kabali’s 1 minute long teaser has become the highest watched Indian teaser on YouTube. The crazy, hip-hop centric soundtrack has already become part and parcel of radio stations.

A mega star from the 70s Rajnikanth is one of the highest earning actors in Asia. He has worked in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and even in an English film. Rajnikanth made his debut in Katha Sangama (1975) and became a star with Apoorva Raagangal (1975). Directors cannot ‘kill off’ his character in the movie for fear that the theatre will be burnt down to prevent future runnings of the movie by his ‘crazed’ fans who consider him almost a god. He is said to “explode like a tiger on screen”.

Will Kabali be as great as Basha or Enthiran, is something everyone is wondering.

After Shivaji (2007), Kabali is the first ever Rajnikanth movie that enjoyed a similar pan-India hype.

The superstar known for his style and charisma has already attracted Big brand endorsements. Air Asia and Airtel have jumped onto the Kabali bandwagon while FM stations are pitching in feverishly, offering free tickets for an SMS from a listener.

Airtel offers unlimited 2G services for an hour at Rs. 5, a ‘Kabali recharge pack, Kabali special caller tunes, Kabali start-up kits for new customers, an opportunity for subscribers to send SMS-wishes for Rajinikanth.

Ticket prices for first few days have gone from Rs 300 to Rs 500 in Chennai city. Corporate and IT firms have made bulk bookings.

While media firms are joining the Kabali fever, even aircrafts are painted with Kabali posters ahead of its release.

The Rs 70 crore movie has already ensured a pre-release recovery of Rs 200 crore.

Kabali releases in more than 750 theatres across the state including some 40 screens in Chennai region alone.

Cadbury is tagging the 5 star chocolate with Kabali besides advertisement panels on Tamil Nadu buses plying with posters bearing the tagline `Superstar ka 5 star’ and ‘Superstar in 5 star’.

Amazon has started sale of key chains, wax statue, posters, photographs and other Kabali-memorabilia.

As Kabali gears up for  a Friday release, the buzz around the film is growing.

On July 22, when Kabali will hit the screens, a fan Annamalai will be watching the earliest show of the film in Chennai.

It will be screened across 4,000-plus screens in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The running time of the film is 2 hours, 30 minutes and 20 seconds.

As many as eight major brands have tied up so far with the film of the decade: AirAsia, Airtel, Cadbury 5 Star, Muthoot Fincorp, Amazon, Emami, Shop CJ and PVR Cinemas.

A new cafe  has been set up in Coimbatore called the Kollywood cafe. The cafe has Rajinikanth written all over. The tables are scribbled with super cool facts and portraits.

A man name G Shiva has named his puppy Kabali.

Recently Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, whose film Madaari will clash with Rajinikanth’s Kabali has said there is no competition between him and Rajni adding he will have to take another birth to compete with him.

Will the star do justice to his fan’s expectations only time will tell, but there is no denying that Rajni is Rajni for his fans and he is worshipped like none other. So are you catching up with Kabali this weekend. You better book your tickets.



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