The Rajini legend is hardly on the wane, his stardom not one bit at stake

RGVs insulting tweets about Rajini dont matter The superstar only blazes onPTI
Blog Tamil Cinema Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 18:29

Film producer and director Ram Gopal Varma, the man behind cult films like Rangeela, Satya, Company and Sarkar has always earned notoriety for his tweets that hit below the belt and take unwarranted digs at celebrities belonging to the celluloid firmament. Often enough, he bites off more than he can chew, and has been trolled to such an extent that he has had to repeatedly apologize for transgressing limits. 

A case in point is his admission, in a tweet, that he lusted after Sridevi’s thunder thighs during his youth, which got him a tongue lashing from her husband Boney Kapoor, who was hardly amused by the director’s revelation.  But despite having to eat humble pie on numerous occasions, the maverick director has not learnt his lessons.

His latest series of tweets on Tamil superstar Rajinikanth have set the cat among the pigeons. And they have elicited a fusillade of protests from Rajini fans — and their number is legion — which has found Varma running for cover.

The director added insult to injury by dubbing these fans as ‘dumb’ and unable to distinguish between compliments and rabid criticism. What the bloke has not realized is that Rajini fans abhor any kind of reference to the actor’s looks, his complexion, body structure, proficiency in dance and the like, and would not hesitate to tear apart anyone who dares to direct barbs at him.

By the way how can one be so naïve as to think the following quote a compliment: “He is a bad looker, doesn’t have 6 packs, short with a disproportionate body n knows just 2nd half dance movements.”  Now who is being dumb, Varma or Rajini’s fans? 

In fact, none of the comments made by Varma are even remotely complimentary. And though Rajini himself would deem it infra dig to respond to such unwarranted comments, Varma will continue to face a lot of flak from the Tamil film industry which dotes on the superstar, and from his fans as well.

While there is no clue as to the genesis of these remarks and why Varma made them in the first place, it perhaps could be the result of Varma’s failed efforts to direct Rajini in a film. This is plausible as Varma has worked with the bigwigs of Bollywood like Amitabh Bachchan (Bachchan’s misplaced trust in Varma resulted in his blotting his copybook with Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, a pathetic take on the masterpiece Sholay) and Aamir Khan (Rangeela).

He could have dreamt of adding a Rajini film to his filmography. Now all that has gone up in smoke and in one more tweet, Varma has observed that Rajini fans would kill him if he even thought of directing him in a film. And Rajini who chooses his films and directors with great care is hardly likely to oblige the likes of Varma, more so after this aberration by the latter.

It is quite another matter that Varma is not the only one who is perplexed and bamboozled by the stupendous success of Rajini, who rose from being a bus conductor in Bangalore to the greatest superstar in the South Indian film industry, the highest paid actor in the country, and second only to the likes of Jackie Chan in Asia in terms of remuneration. To top it off, he is also one of the very few film stars to be awarded the country’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.

Even insiders in the Tamil film industry, over which he has been striding like a colossus for several decades now, would not in their wildest dreams have imagined that this actor from the Madras Film Institute could reach such astronomical heights and also build up a fan base that could exceed the fan following of all other top actors in Kollywood (Kamal Haasan included) put together. After all, his first role in Apoorva Ragangal was a “blink and you miss it” bit, and Balachander, who directed the film, had toyed with the idea of casting Malayalam actor Soman in the role eventually done by Rajini.

Having interviewed the superstar for several publications even before his career had taken wings, as well as later when he reached the apex, this scribe can aver that Rajini’s rise —usually attributed to his style and mannerisms — had much more to do with his hard work, never-say-die spirit and his ability to bounce back after reverses.

Every time a film of his flopped, critics have sharpened their pens for an obituary. But Rajini has never once abandoned hope, and has always come back into the limelight with a super duper hit. Roles are written especially for him and one cannot imagine any other actor in the kind of roles that Rajini did in Padayappa, Sivaji or Endhiran.

The transformation of this simple, unassuming man of the masses into a titan who electrifies the screen with his performances is not just due to the technological advancements of the film industry. It is the capacity of the actor to rise to the heights expected of him in a spectacular fashion. And with films like Kabali and Endhiran 2 earning good reports, the Rajini legend is hardly on the wane. The superstar’s stardom is not one bit at stake.

The likes of Ram Gopal Varma can continue to break their heads speculating on the reasons behind Rajini’s superstar status but like the proverbial caravan that marches on, Rajini will continue to blaze his own trail, advancing age or the advent of new heroes notwithstanding.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article.


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