If the readers think that I am writing this post as a marketing strategy for "Endhiran/Robot" ,HaHaHa! they 've mistaken my intentions because Rajni doesn't need Padma's Brainspace for promoting his film.It's already breaking records.
Warning 2:If you are a Rajni fan, please continue reading.If you are not a Rajni fan,you should continue reading this :-) to clarify your doubts,why we south Indians are obsessed with our matinee idol (and we are not ashamed of it).
Warning 3This is a Big post!
This post is to analyze the human psychology behind a normal, average looking ,dark man's colossal rise in an industry which gave importance to wheatish complexioned men during his time.
Rajni kanth, born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad ,in a maharashtrian family had very humble beginning with situations forcing him to do some odd jobs as a 'Coolie' to help his family.He joined Bangalore Transport Service as a Conductor.Later on, he joined Film Institute,Chennai to do a course in acting.He completed his basic course in acting, and started his career with supporting roles,especially negative.He gave a refreshing change to the typical negative characters with his stylized delivery of dialogues and mannerisms.I think this was a turning point in films when spectators started loving a negative,wicked character.
When his potential was experimented by some famous directors for roles of a protagonist, Rajni was welcomed with open hands by Tamil public.I contribute his partial success to the Tamil nadu's geographical location which almost kisses the equator.We Tamilians are dark skinned people and of course largest consumers of 'Fair and lovely' :-) and want to become somewhat wheatish ;-)
But Rajnikanth transformed this fairness fixation of Tamilians by proving that a dark horse can also see a huge success in Life.People of Tamil nadu could easily associate themselves with Rajni, a dark hero who was capable of beating and thrashing down the villains.I think we had a great image boost, increased self esteem about our looks and in fact accepting and feeling proud of our dark complexion with Rajni's entry.This huge psychological boost paved way for many dark heroes with normal looks in Tamil film Industry.I don't deny that before rajni,there were no dark heroes.There were...but had to apply loads of pancakes to look fair.You may wonder why I am emphasizing on Complexion behind Rajni's victory,the reason being, he couldn't make a great impact in Bollywood,because hindi movie viewers are still obsessed with fair complexioned,good looking heroes and if you want to contradict my statement ,show me one dark hero in Hindi film Industry. Let it be..I am not here to discuss the Great North / South Divide of our Country which is still wide with a great rift.That is a very sensitive and painful topic for me.I ll proceed with the core point of my post,Rajni's success.
Next important factor is his spiritualism.Are you surprised? Yes,Rajni is a very spiritual person with deep belief in his faith.When one sect of people enjoyed his style,spiritualsts saw the rising of a man by the miracles of his Saint Shri Raghavendra swami.A positive boost for their belief strengthened by his success story.
Next,his movies are designed for family audience.Parents take their children to Rajni films without much fear of getting embarrassed by vulgar scenes.When his contemporary Kamal Hassan tries to kiss all his heroines with such passion ;-) leaving the heroine choked and breathless:-):-) ,On the contrary ,Rajni's films are very decent with only entertaining intentions.
I like to confess that I was a huge fan of Kamal but got repelled after his kissing ventures started.And there is no doubt that Kamal, as a performer is great versatile actor.
If u think that each and every Tamilian is a fan of Rajni,you are thoroughly mistaken because there are many people who don't bother about his films and are more fond of other Tamil films which cover different topics in different styles.There is much more in Tamil films than Rajni's masala movies.
Rajni Movies' Entertainment Quotient is very high. His Dialogue delivery, Style , Great Humour, Stunts is loved by all sections of society.He has a huge fan following among children.My son Aditya is also a great fan.He became a fan when he was 4 years old after watching film 'Padayappa'.
Super Human stunts which are criticised by many people is also a big factor behind his victory.
When Rajni pulps down the villain with all stylized,super human stunts, people like me sit back, watch,whistle and feel happy.Reason being,I am a normal human being who reads newspaper,gets agitated by the atrocities of the bad elements in our day to day life. So,when a reel life villain gets thrashed with such a style, I am out of my tensions for 3 hours.
Rajni also has given hits in emotional melodramas in few Tamil films.So,his non masala movies have also become a hit.
Simplicity, such an awe inspiring simple man who still knows his roots well.In today's materialistic world, we see successful friends who love to forget their normal old pals ,when there is a clash of status .But this man,with such a gargantuan image still reaches out to his old conductor friends. Hats off Rajni!
Last but not the least,his philanthropy.Sharing his profits with the ace directors and actors of yesteryears who are cruelly dumped into poverty by film industry for their failures.He is known for his innumerable charities.He reimburses all his distributors if his film doesn't click in the box office .Is there any other actor who compensates for losses caused due to him?
But,one doubt prevails in my mind.Japanese and Germans who are much fairer than our looks obsessed Indian counterparts love Rajni and his films 'Muthu' and 'Chandramukhi' were a cult hit in Japan and Germany respectively. I am puzzled by this point.What is the psychology behind this? I give you a chance to analyze and tell me.Ok? Bye! CU in my next post!