The 100-odd technicians of forthcoming Rajnikanth-starrer Tamil film Kuselan got a windfall of Rs.4.5 million as its hero, producer and director pooled part of their fees and donated the amount to them during the movie’s audio release here.
“In my endeavour to help the unsung heroes of the film industry – the technicians, I have networked with producer Vijay Kumar and director P. Vasu to donate Rs.1.5 million from their overflow and fees, respectively, and added a similar amount from my emoluments,” superstar Rajnikanth announced Monday night.
His announcement was received with thunderous applause from the audience of technicians who were being recognised in such a fashion for the first time in the south Indian film industry.
According to the movie’s publicists, Kuselan is an effort on Rajnikanth’s part to help his mentor and director K. Balachander.
“When producers said I had to do it sans a big advance on a shoestring budget, I agreed because I liked its story,” Rajnikanth said.
Balachander, who partly owns the film’s rights, was overwhelmed by Rajnikant’s efforts and said, “Though I cannot claim to be as great as Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, I can say with pride that Rajni is my Vivekananda.”
Remake of Malayalam hit Katha Parayumbol starring Mammooty, Kuselan is said to have been made at a cost of Rs.600 million, according to industry sources. The storyline is about a film star helping an old acquaintance. It also stars actresses Nayanthara and Meena.
Director Vasu told reporters that though the movie depicts Rajnikanth in 20 different get-ups, including as an Egyptian Pharaoh, it is not an effort to belittle Kamal Haasan whose Dasavatharam featured him in 10 roles.
“The two films are totally different in nature,” Vasu said.
Asked the secret of his young looks in the promos, Rajnikanth modestly said, “I take the necessary dietary precautions, avoid excessive salt, sugar, milk and think positive.”
The Tamil and Telugu versions of the film are expected to release later this month with over 450 prints in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, said a spokesman of its distributors Pyramid Saimira.