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Sivaji
 
The views expressed in the article are those of the writer.
By Shoaib Mohamed
September 24, 2007
Surprise, surprise, it’s yet another 100 for the master and in case you are wondering, I am not talking about Sachin Tendulkar. I am referring to the completion of a 100-day run of yet another blockbuster of Indian Cinema’s impregnable superstar Rajnikanth.
Sivaji

I have reason to believe that Tendulkar’s record of international hundreds in cricket will be beaten in the not too distant future, however I can’t for the life of me imagine any other star in Kollywood even coming close to matching Rajni’s incredible run of blockbusters exceeding 100 days in his illustrious career spanning more than three decades.

As far as the movie Sivaji the Boss is concerned, today is not merely a 100th day celebration but rather it has been 100 days of celebration. Diwali is still a good month and a half away but for the millions of Rajni fans in India and worldwide, the last 100 days have been equivalent to 100 days of Diwali.

Sivaji

Sivaji the Boss, during the course of the past hundred days, has re-written every established Box Office Record in Kollywood and is likely to continue to do so for many weeks, months and years to come as well. The producers and the distributors of Sivaji have not been able to wipe that ever-present smile off of their faces owing to the unprecedented and never before seen financial success of Sivaji the Boss, worldwide. In the movie, actor Vivek refers to the BOSS as Bachelor Of Social Service. However, as far as the producers and distributors are concerned Rajni is a different type of BOSS. To them he has always been and always will be the one and the only Box Office Super Star who effortlessly gives them a maximum guarantee on returns every single time. On the one very rare instance that he failed to do so as in the case of Baba in 2002, Rajni shocked everyone when he decided to return the monies to the distributors so that they would not incur any losses. Such is the magnanimous and principled nature of this awesome human being.

Superstars like Rajnikanth do not fade away. They seem to get brighter with age. In his 32nd year in cinema, the Indian movie industry’s greatest and most enduring crowd-puller has delivered yet another mega hit that is infinitely bigger than anything ever seen before. No other Indian movie star, not even the redoubtable Amitabh Bachchan, another showbiz supernova, can match this 57-year-old man’s ability to single-handedly spearhead box office money-spinners. Rajnikanth’s latest film, Sivaji the Boss released world-wide on the 15th of June, is still running to packed houses in many parts of Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. The only rival / challenger of some substance to Rajnikanth’s unprecedented success in the Indian movie industry is Rajnikanth himself. What Rajni has achieved and continues to achieve in his glittering and incredibly successful career spanning more than 30 years can only be emulated and / or beaten by Rajni himself. Nothing illustrates this point better than the following sequence of events. Chandramukhi became the highest grosser in Tamil movie history beating another Rajni classic, Padayappa and now Sivaji has eclipsed Chandramukhi as the biggest grosser in Tamil film history. One will have to wait for Rajni’s next release to see more new records being established.

Long before Shivaji Rao Gaekwad became Superstar Rajnikanth, he was a humble bus conductor in Bangalore. His passengers loved him. They knew him as the man who doled out tickets like no one else could. He was free entertainment in the otherwise jerky state transport. Shivaji was happy, life was beautiful until an angel crossed his path – his colleague. The colleague became his friend, and urged Shivaji to challenge his horizons. A hesitant, Shivaji took his first tremulous steps into the tinsel town’s Tamil chapter and before he knew it, he was swept off his feet and by the time he came back down, Shivaji Rao Gaekwad was Rajnikanth the Superstar. A new era dawned upon Indian Cinema, an era that promised style, charisma, charm and a never before seen electrifying screen presence that would go on to enthral and captivate audiences in India and all over the world, movie after movie, year after year.

Rajnikanth

Long before there was Matrix, there was Rajnikanth; performing tricks not even Neo dared attempt in his sanest mind like lighting a cigarette mid-air as it flipped or slicing a bullet into two with a half blade. Unbelievable? The audience didn’t think so. For them, he was the ubiquitous Robin Hood, friend of the poor and enemy of the State. With his dark skin, and guy down the road looks, he was the hope for the masses, suppressed by the age-old caste politics of the higher ups in the dog-eat-lesser-dog pyramid. As it has been said in one of the James Bond movies, 'No one does it like you do, no one does it half as good as you'. That is why Rajnikanth is the Superstar, that is why he reigns in the hearts of the masses and that is why no one, and I mean absolutely no one can take his place as the emperor of Indian Cinema. Ore oru chandhiran, ore oru suriyan, ore oru Superstar and that is Rajnikanth.

Arunachalam

As he continued devouring the baddies on screen, the shrieking mass frenzy off-screen put him on a pedestal, idolized him and made him a temple. He was officially declared and bestowed upon the Demi - God status in Indian Cinema. He had power, and he wielded it with aplomb befitting only the larger than life Royalty. From Durban in South Africa to Tokyo in Japan, the Rajnikanth fan following grew to unimaginable proportions. Movie after movie, Rajnikanth’s conquests grew. Alexander the Great’s own escapades pale in comparison and with each of his conquests, his fan following, both in India and overseas grew by the millions. To say that Rajni’s incredible fan following is unmatched and the biggest by far for any Indian star is truly an understatement. To the masses Rajni on screen was the new Krishna, not an idealist, but a man who will achieve his goals with the help of illicit loopholes in the system.

He is not Rama, who did everything right, as per the moral code of conduct. People are not moved by mighty speeches that beckon them to arise, awake, and take action. They’d much rather connect to someone who shows them how it’s done. Through Rajni, people live vicariously, exacting retribution for all the wrongs they see around them.

 
 
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