Last Friday (18th August) was the 42nd anniversary of the release of superstar Rajinikanth’s debut film Apoorva Ragangal. Rajini, as well all know, spoke in chaste Tamil in that film and didn’t even play the lead role in the film directed by his mentor K. Balachander.
He later starred alongside Kamal Haasan in many films before starting to play the solo leads in films. Within 2-3 years of making his debut, Rajini was given the title of ‘superstar’ by producer ‘Kalaipuli’ S. Thanu though Rajini was wary of this. Slowly but steadily, Rajini became the ‘numero uno’ box-office star of Tamil films and his rein at the top changed drastically in the 90’s with films such as Baashhah & Padaiyappa.
Rajini’s stunt sequences in the eighties were vastly different from the ones seen earlier in films. He was the first hero to break the glass and jump through it during the shoot. The kind of response Rajini evokes in his fans when they watch him on big screen is indescribable and has few parallels in film history. Even Rajini’s latest film Kabali, which released last year, was a colossal success!
Business of his films has increased by leaps and bounds during the last decade. At 67, Rajini still holds the record for starring in a film which is made with the maximum budget (Shankar-directed 2.0). Though the film is releasing only next January, it has already netted Rs.250 crores by way of distribution in many zones and by the profit accrued through sale of satellite broadcasting rights.
Thought many heroes have completed 25 years in films in the country, Rajini remains the only hero in the country who has been staying on top for more than 42 years, still playing only the lead roles. Rajini’s fans have created hashtag #42YearsOfRajiniEra on the internet which has become a leading trend across the country!
Let’s congratulate Rajini on this momentous occasion!