We all know how much Rajnikant (or Rajinikanth) is respected and the extent of Rajni-fanaticism is just huge! One of my Tamil friends was eager to express his views on the hype and the popularity of the current Rajnikant blockbuster Kabali. So here it is, from the mind of the Rajnikant fanatic:
“If you are wondering why Kabali is so popular, the teasers of this movie showed Rajnikant playing a DON.
In 1995, a Rajnikant movie Baasha released. Many would not heard about this movie. He plays a Mumbai underworld benevolent Don in the movie who takes up his friend’s name after his death
After a while he gives up being Don because of the violence and decides to settle down with an adopted family as a simpleton auto rickshaw driver.
The movie has numerous moments where people recognize him as a don and tremble in fear. This movie Baasha is considered to be one of the best if not the greatest movie in Rajnikant’s career.
This propelled Rajnikant to insane levels of stardom. In 1996 Tamil Nadu elections, Rajnikant endorsed DMK alliance against ADMK headed by the current chief minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha.
In that elections the DMK alliance whom Rajnikant was endorsing had a congress splinter party who fought the elections on ‘CYCLE’ symbol. A seemingly insignificant election symbol if not for the fact by that time in that generation cycle was symbolic to Rajnikant after another iconic movie of him called ANNAMALAI where he plays a milk vendor betrayed by his best friend, then challenges that friend to become richer than him and succeeds
Coming back to 1996 elections ADMK alliance was reduced to 4 seats out of 225 assembly seats after Rajnikant openly said “If ADMK comes to power one more time nobody can save Tamil Nadu”.
Correction”even God cannot save Tamil Nadu”.
So when his movie PADAYAPPA which had strong political undertones, released in 1999, people expected to him to join politics, to everyone’s surprise he backed out after the disastrous BABA, a movie which mixed politics and his own spirituality
After BABA, he announced that he won’t be a part of politics, post which he has been doing movies that are mostly apolitical.
So now when this movie showed Rajnikant playing a Don, people’s expectations shot up and hence this reaction plus the crazy promotions. Can say it’s not political but surely people are yearning for that perfect Rajnikant movie.”
(As told to me by a Rajnikant Fan who wanted to be credited for this as “VV”)