It's D-Day for fans of the Biggest Superstar of the country out there. An actor who is adored for his on-screen charisma and off-screen persona. The man who is revered as a demi-god by millions of his fans and followers. The star who changed the dynamics of South Indian cinema. Yes, he is the Superstar of Indian Cinema, Rajinikanth.
On the occasion of Thalaiva's birthday, let us devote a small chunk of our time in quickly going through his 6 decades of fruitful life.
Shivaji Rao Gaikwad was born and brought up in Bangalore where he started of his life with a humble beginning. The exuberant lad had to work in various capacities in order to manage a decent square of meal. The present day Superstar was once a Coolie, Carpenter and a Bus Conductor.
Who would have probably prophesied that a conductor, who whistled and distributed tickets for his bread and butter would, one day make millions of people frantically whistle and cheer for him by grabbing his movie tickets?
Entry Into Cinema
Shivaji Rao entered Tamil cinema with the aid of his Bangalore friends and methodical guidance from his mentor, K. Balachander. But life wasn't a bed of roses for the young aspiring actor.
Tamil cinema was inundated with formidable stars like MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Jai Shankar, Sivakumar etc., who were conventional actors complimented with appealing physical appearance.
Kamal Haasan was already an established star who was deemed as the youth heartthrob. Amidst such stiff competition, there entered a beginner with a rugged look, messed up hairdo and an unconventional Tamil diction.
Tamil cinema witnessed a change with the introduction of this young aspirant. Until then, the actors were seen to be performing accordingly to the camera's convenience while he made the camera follow him.
Be it the effective dialogue delivery, flipping action of cigarettes, twirling his shades or sophisticated walking style, Rajinikanth swayed the audience (younger generation in particular) who were mesmerized and swooned by the actor's on-screen antics.
K. Balachander's Apoorva Ragangal, had featured the then established star, Kamal Haasan as the protagonist. Rajinikanth, who played the role of a cancer patient, appears for a brief window of 15 minutes. It did not take much time for the industry folks to witness the birth of a new rising star in the Tamil cinema.
Rajini's introduction scene involves himself in opening a wide gate of a house. But that could be deemed as a symbolic representation of him opening the gate of cine fans hearts where he later went on to cement his place eternally.
A Steep Rise And A Supposed Fall
The period, 1975-1980 witnessed Rajinikanth working relentlessly in as many as 53 movies. Rajinikanth, suffered a nervous breakdown and had even decided to quit the industry.
Probably, the stardom, work pressure and adulation was way too much for him. Few critics had even opined back then that "The Gold Glittered For A Brief Time". But he returned to the silver screen with Billa, which went on to become his career biggest blockbuster.
Rajinikanth rose to enormous stardom by making movies which entertained the mass and family audiences. He was seen as one's family member for the roles he portrayed and for the type of movies he rendered. He, alongside Kamal Hassan, was seen as the prime two stars of Tamil cinema.
He elevated himself to be noted as one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema. Rajinikanth was successful in delivering notable hits in Hindi and some unmatched Blockbusters in Tamil and Telugu languages during the said phase.
Post the colossal success of Baasha, Rajinikanth occupied the king's throne of South Indian Cinema. The Superstar was a popular face in all the four regional states of South India and in many overseas markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka etc. Rajinikanth commands a commendable legion of fan following in Japan which no other Indian actor is blessed with.
Thalaiva became one of the prominent faces of Indian cinema with his movies making staggering business at the Box Office. His movie openings surpassed that of the Khans and he stood just behind Jackie Chan as the second highest pair actor of Asia.
The box office records of Enthiran & Kabali, set by Rajinikanth are still as sturdy and strong as an ox and it would take Rajinikanth himself to shatter his records.
Popularity And Fan Following
The scene is much similar to Indian cricket. If stars like Dhoni, Kohli and Rohit Sharma are the biggest icons of the present generation who boasts of fans in multitude with unprecedented craze, a mere mention of one name, Sachin Tendulkar, generates instant goosebumps as he is an emotion.
Likewise, we have a long chain of actors who are well trained and equipped thoroughly. Every star of the present generation command a humongous fan base and the release of their movies result in eruptive celebrations. But, release of a Superstar's movie attracts audience of all age groups to theatres irrespective of the star cast, technical team and the word of mouth.
Audience throng into theatres just to catch a glimpse of the man who oozes maximum dynamism. The mere display of his screen name charges up the audience while the entire territory will be decked up by the actor's fans much similar to a festive season.
Off Screen Image
Thalaiva is one of the very few actors who is well-regarded for his off-screen image. It requires courage to walk in the public avenue with real appearance and a simplistic image. Rajinikanth has not endorsed any commercial brand as he firmly believes that he could just entertain his fans and not influence them.
He also advices his fans to take care of their lives and respective families as the same should be pinned as the top most priority. Rajinikanth, though was bestowed with two prestigious Padma awards never bothered to flaunt them against his name.
With 2.0 and Kaala gearing up for 2018 release, fans of Rajinikanth would be in for a sumptuous feast next year. We from FilmiBeat wish Rajini Sir a very happy and prosperous birthday!