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Thalaivaa Rajini ! December 3, 2010

Posted by Gomathi Reddy in Culture, Desi Indian, Love and Life, Personal.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the recent past, I’ve spent a lot of my time introspecting – About my life, both personal and professional, and also took time to complete reading some of those books left with almost dog-eared bookmarks , wrote and chatted up with long time friends who have given up on me, met a couple of telephone friends in person, and also watched lots of UTV World movies – A medium that I love!

Despite watching meaningful World Movies, what I didn’t want to miss on the large screen was Rajinikant’s ROBOT (Endhiran in Tamil). 

The much hyped–about Rajini and Aishwarya Rai starrer, directed by Shankar, promised too much fun to give it a miss at the cinemas.  When I made it to a cinema hall, it was the 5th day of the movie, apparently running chock-a-block, and getting the tickets at the hall was touted to be unthinkable.  But I did manage to see a lonesome ticket counter, with a premium above the regular price.  Eager I was to book the ticket for the next show, and I did, as my son was all glee that we managed to get a couple of tickets for this terrific one at the box office.  We finished our day of shopping, talking and munching all that we could lay our hands on at KFC, and went back to the cinema hall, and found that there was nothing called a crowd, let alone a stampede, and the current show tickets were minus the premium I paid!

As I was grimacing over my having to cough up a premium just because I believed in the hype the screen flickered to a few cheerful whistles, and it was definitely an experience watching Rajini’s Endhiran at the cinemas – Not for the so-called technical expertise, not for the so-called “out-of-the-world-graphics,” not for the so-called “Aishwarya Rai Bachchan” effect, not for Director Shankar’s eye for detail, but for Rajinikanth’s effort in making his original work look like that of a Robot’s!

Before watching the movie, I thought, how did someone get the courage to call the original Rajini a Robot?  Because Rajini need not act – he walks like a Robot, he talks like a Robot, he acts like a Robot, he puts up stunts like a Robot and he even looks steely like a Robot – this is so naturally Rajini!  So, why need a Robot to act like Rajini, or is it the other way round?  With Rajini round the corner, the line between human and humanoid blurs – absolutely.

Endhiran was typically Rajini.  He was awesome as the villainous Robot, was uncomfortable romancing Aishwarya Rai, was a delight to watch as he strides down the beaches with the aura that only a super star Rajini can carry  – And Wow Man, you will enjoy this movie, even if you are not his fan!  Both I and my son enjoyed the movie, laughing all the way, despite those C-grade movie graphics suffocating us, because it was a Rajini show all the way.   On my way back home, I had to answer a lot of my son’s inquisitive and logical questions about that highly illogical-first-Tamil-science-fiction-movie which left me wondering, as to when did I become a Rajini fan?

I learnt to appreciate movies quite early on, as ones that not only must engage us, but also help us escape on to another dimension.  Both entertaining and meaningful cinema shared space in our family’s watch-lists and for me Rajini starrers were a big no-no.  I did not enjoy his early movies, and I could’nt believe that people at home tagged him as a star to watch out for.  He was just another “long-nosed-toad” for me, despite getting back a mouthful from my brother, who was an ardent Rajini fan.

And then something happened after I watched Badshah, in Tamil.  It completely changed my perception of Rajini and I enjoyed his “Naan Oru Tharam Sonna Noora Tharam Sonna Madhiri” – which roughly translates to “When I say it once, it’s like having said that 100 times” – (quite a shortcut hey!)  and A.R.Rehman’s signature tune, added so much tempo to the movie that I for once believed that his screen presence had an aura about it, and it did endear a die-hard-anti-Rajini fan to become a true fan!

And from them on, there was no booing Rajini.  I made it a point to watch all his old movies where he dresses up in garish clothes, paints his dark face to look like he allowed someone to dip him upside down in a can of white paint, has cans of coloured powder swirling all around him as he romances the heroine, paints a railway track with glue as an out-of-the-box solution to stop a train, tosses that cigar in his inimitable style, talks like someone is chasing him all the time and he is in a hurry to deliver a couriered message, has great timing for humour and satire, laughs like a true villain, romances like a macho hero – but never for once acts!  Yes, he is so naturally himself, immaterial of the role, one only gets to watch Rajini and never the character he portrays.  In fact in most of his movies, you see him playing his emotions in that phase of his life and you get to watch this man called Rajini slowly becoming the superstar Rajini, as he evolves, matures and reaches his rightful place in the Kolly, Tolly, Bolly and even the Hollywoods of the world.

The Many Images of Rajini

The Many Images of Rajini

But I respect him more for the person that he is – simple, down-to-earth, so full of life and love, and deeply spiritual.  As he portrays a new role, the exercise of “performing and acting” allows him to empty some part of his persona, allowing the energy of love to flow through him, helping him  refresh his view of life and his purpose on this earth.  His anecdotes reflect his profound thoughts and one must be on a different plane to understand what he is trying to communicate, and understandably to most of the lesser mortals he looks like a lost maverick, when he actually talks sense.

But for me, for all that he is, he is truly, Thalaivaa Rajini!

So if you get a chance to watch some of his movies don’t miss out his Tamil list: Moondru Mudichu, Mullum Malarum, Avargal, Thillu Mullu, Dharma Yuddham, Johnny, Puthukavithai, Naan Mahan Alla, Thambikku Endha Ooru, Padikkadhavan, Naan Adimai Illai, Thalapathi, Badsha, Padayappa and of course Endhiran



1. Shaun Raghavan - December 3, 2010

I appreciate Rajni for hardwork, he identified his own formula of becoming a MASS hero and his films will be loved even by people in MARS!!!

2. james - January 7, 2011

i like it

3. Monex - January 24, 2011

In my opinion only Gentleman and Indian and Boys to an extent have stood the test of time..The post-Baba Rajinikanth films have all been about packaging. They obviously revolve around Rajini but that extra bit of effort is taken to package them well successful or not as salable products to avoid the kind of debacle Baba experienced.

4. Selvam,Sivagangai - April 16, 2011

belated response, but I mean “really”?

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