By: Settu Shankar
Friday, June 29, 2007
Talking about Rajini always is an exciting experience for a journalist. Shivaji has broken barriers like never before, with the film reaching out to crowds that don't even understand the language. After his debut film Apoorva Ragangal in 1975,one didn't expect the Superstar to carry on and conquer Tamil filmdom the way he has done. But he has managed to work his magic and remain on the top.
The only time that his popularity was ever tested was when Baba failed. It was thought that his career was over but he came back and shattered records with Chandramukhi. It has been running for 804 days now making it the longest running Tamil movie ever.
Despite being 56 years old (an age when actors usually calls it quits), he rose again to never before heights and in the process won the hearts of one and all, young and old. When Baba failed, he went on record saying that if an elephant falls down, it will take a while to get up back up on its feet. But if a horse falls down, it simply gets up and carries on - and he has proven to be the horse in this case without a doubt.
How this movie has sent shockwaves across the world is not new to even the most ignorant of people. Being a Tamil film, it was in the Top Ten list in the UK. It also was the No. I film in Kerala after its release there and ever since. Europe, Srilanka, Japan, USA...the list goes on. The success of the film internationally has stunned Box Office pundits
Now taking this further, Shivaji fans can get their own Rajini ring tone on their cell phones, courtesy iTunes. And many of the people who have downloaded the tones are non-Tamil speaking people. As a matter of fact, the service providers are getting requests for the punch dialogues in Shivaji especially the one that goes like - 'Pera Ketta Udane Chumma Adhiruthilla..."
Hungama Mobiles, the right holders of iTunes and the digital soundtrack of the film, have enabled 33 countries to popularize the soundtrack of Shivaji via 70 mobile operators worldwide. Also available to subscribers are games, images and videos. This has become a rage among mobile users and they have been getting more than a whopping 50,000 plus requests per day. This is another record by itself that Rajini can add to his list of records broken yet.
The same has been witnesses in the Asia Pacific region and European countries. The Shivaji craze is especially high in the US and Japan. - both the film and the mobile content bringing in the dough. Based on these reports we can say that Rajini is truly an international superstar and the most valuable - roping in 25 crores for his role in Shivaji.
And it seems that the servers, which enable the digital, downloads cant handle the craze over Shivaji. The CEO of Humgama Mobiles has been quoted saying, "The response from the subscribers for Shivaji digital content is amazing. It was so huge that our servers crashed for 37 minutes due to the over load. No doubt, Superstar Rajini is a phenomenon in Indian Cinema, may be in the global cinema!"