Rajinikanth – not a name, an identity!

Rajinikanth – not a name, an identity!

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When Thamizh cinema was being ruled by fair-and-handsome heroes, no one would have thought of a superstar-entry in Rajnikanth’s form. The gates of Thamizh cinema opened to welcome a dark complexioned, rustic looking man in Apoorva Ragangal. Yes, the voice of Thamizh cinema was the Apoorva Raaga from then on.

The moment he entered the Thamizh film industry, he lost his identity - There can't be two Sivajis.  On Holi day, Thamizh cinema found its color - Rajinikanth was born. Many of his performances were overshadowed by stalwart Kamalhaasan, during their collaboration in earlier years. After playing the villain opposite Kamalhaasan in many movies, he changed shades to play the hero in Bairavi, which fetched him the superstar title from Kalaipuli S.Dhanu.

The audience went crazy over his cigarette style. There is nothing he can't do with a cigarette - A flip of a cigarette from one arm distance to his mouth, lighting a flying cigar with a bullet shot from the gun, taking out a cigarette from a folded tongue, lighting a cigar with just his eyes and what not. Everyone would have tried the signature cigarette style at least once. The gap between "audience" and "fans" suddenly became a cigarette's length and Rajinikanth had no trouble filling it. His audience turned into his fans. His speed and style became his USP and he became unstoppable. The mere mention of his character name can trigger the "mass-appeal" he has - Alex Pandian, Maanick Baadshah, Kaali, Kabali.

"Rajini does not do stylish stuff... What Rajini does becomes style". Every film of his, had a signature style, be it a cigarette flip or a coolers twirl. There was style in every scene he enacted. The way he opens the door in Thillu Mullu (when he enters Thengai Seenivasan's house), the way he closes the door behind him in Netrikann (when he walks inside his bedroom along with Lakshmi) are two contrasting instances to prove that there is style factor in everything he does.

He has often had dialogues which raised questions on his entry into politics. There has always been suspense about his political entry. This "suspense" only adds to his personality both in reel as well as real life. Yes, the reel and real life. There is stark difference in his on-screen and off-screen appearances. He is always seen in public sans his makeup. He takes a huge transformation from off-screen to on-screen and this transformation again adds weight to his personality. Transformation is BAU for him as evident from the epic transformation scenes in Baadshah, Annamalai, Sivaji and Enthiran. Transformation from a bus conductor to a superstar is just another sample.


His on-screen persona transfers energy to the already-high voltage audience. A Rajini movie never ever disappoints. There is no suspense in his movies. Though the next scene in his movie is evident, there is always a Rajini stamp in it which makes the audience erupt with whistles and screams. This connect he has with the theatre going crowd sets the box office on fire. His screen presence is brilliant and he grabs the audience's eyes in every frame of his. What does a Rajini movie give you? What more do you need other than the man himself?


The songs in his movies have lyrics written for his fans, especially the opening song. His intro itself is a dharisanam for his fans.


After a point of time, there was nothing Rajini can't do. His image transformed from a man-next-door to God-next-door. His fans celebrate him. These are not mere celebrations, but this is the famous hero-worship of Tamil Nadu. The tradition of Tamil Nadu has had live instances of saviors, elders, leaders worshipped as God. He is only next to MGR to achieve this status.


The news of a Rajini film not faring well at the box office makes crores of people unhappy. His illness after Enthiran showed the world what hero worship is. He uses cinema as a medium to interact with his fans.

Many might doubt the actor within Rajinikanth. But, there are some movies where he clears off the doubt with ease like Mullum Malarum, Aarilirunthu Arubadhuvarai are testimonies.

A Rajini movie release is a festival in Tamil Nadu. Yes, punch dialogues are nothing new to his fans. They are what he is. He is what they are. Ruling a cinema industry for 40 long years sustaining a huge fan base is no mean achievement. He has become an identity for Tamil Nadu in his 40 year career, a humongous effort!

Happy birthday superstar!!




Bharathi Arun

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