Kalaipuli S Thanu, credited with giving Rajini his much-deserving title of ‘superstar’, has said that the ‘golden age’ of Tamil films had started in right earnest from 1975 onwards, the year when superstar Rajinikanth debuted in films. Thanu has issued a statement on the eve of the celebration of the centenary of Indian cinema in which he has thanked Jayalalithaa, the chief minister, for donating Rs.10 crores for the celebrations.
“The Tamil film industry profusely thanks Amma for taking it upon her responsibility to host the function in such a grand manner. Tamil films have seen legends such as MGR and Sivaji Ganesan rule the roost for many years. Amma herself debuted as actress with the film Vennira Adai; the title (white is the symbol of peace) is symbolic of her heart which is full of kindness and affection.
“Rajini debuted in 1975 and 38 years after that, he is still on top now and is the eternal superstar. Rajini starred as villain in a few films and debuted as hero with Bhairavi which released in 1978. I released the film in a grand manner and put up a 35-feet cut-out of Rajini outside Plaza Theatre. Rajini was mighty pleased about it and when I advertised for the film in the next day’s newspapers as starring the ‘great superstar Rajini’, Rajini got tense and said he felt that I shouldn’t have advertised so, while MGR and Sivaji were the actual legends.
“I now feel that what I said that day is true even now. Rajini has the habit of listening to his stories/scripts not once but twice and once he commits to star in a particular project, he never goes back. I know a few close friends of Rajini who have told me many a time that Rajini deserved his billing as a ‘superstar’ as he had never forgotten his past and would always treat his friends with respect and regard.
“Despite his stature, Rajini is very down-to-earth and simple which is a trait others stars must try to learn from him. Rajini loves two places the most: one is the pooja room in his house and the other is the Himalayas! Truly, Rajini is the ‘treasure’ Tamil films have found in recent times,” Thanu’s statement concluded thus.