Whenever one talks about the Tamil Film Industry or Kollywood, the one name that pops in our mind is Rajinikanth. No wonder he is one pivotal face of the Tamil film industry, with hundreds of films to his name. He was born to a Maratha family and was named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad but is now fondly known as Thalaiva by his fans and followers.
The superstar had a very humble beginning, and he did several odd jobs of a coolie, bus conductor, and a carpenter in his younger days but now has an estimated net worth of $50 million. Yes, he is one of the actors who struggled a lot to attain success that he has today. The journey of his life as an actor began after pursuing a diploma in acting from Madras Film Institute, and the rest is history.
And today is one special day for all his fans and followers as the actor turned 69. So, on this occasion, hashtags like #HappyBirthdaySuperstar, #HappyBirthdaySuperStarRajinikanth, #HBDSuperstarRajinikanth, and #HBDThalaivarSuperstarRAJINI, started trending on all social media platforms.
And that’s not it, even theatres across Chennai began screening Baashha in their evening slot, ahead of Rajinikanth’s birthday. This gesture of their indicates the kind of craze the actor has built among followers over the years.
At the audio launch of Darbar, Rajinikanth himself spoke about his legacy, in which he said,
“The time, the period, the opportunity, the situation and the people around me are the reason for my success.”
In the new millennium, his track record at the worldwide box-office is remarkable. All of his movies have grossed over ₹100 crores, from Sivaji (2007) to Petta (2019), except for Kochadaiiyaan. Even at the US box-office, Rajinikanth is one of the top 10 grosser.
Moreover, at 69, he is one of the very few Superstars in Indian cinema, who is still commercially viable. Even global superstars like Sylvester Stallone (73) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (72) seem to have lost their charm but not Rajini Sir. Yes! If we talk about the films which made him the Thalaiva of Indian cinema, few names that come under the list are:
- Mullum Malarum
- Sivaji: The Boss
- Thillu Mullu
Once in an interview, a veteran director who has worked with the actor, had said about him,
“Rajinikanth understands the pulse of the audience. He will never do another film with an ’80s or ’90s director, since their thought process and filmmaking styles are not in sync with today’s generation. In fact, in the last couple of years, Rajinikanth has been acting his age. It is not easy to remain at the top of his game when today’s stars like Vijay and Ajith are eating into his box-office. He knows that. I’m sure he will switch to politics soon.”
Also, Santosh Sivan, a veteran cinematographer, who first worked with Rajini sir in Mani Ratnam’s Thalapathi (1991), and again reunited with him after 28 years in Darbar. He said about his experience,
“Thalapathi was during the early days of the emergence of Rajinikanth, the Superstar. He was younger and had that fire in him to succeed. Today, he understands the craft and is always eager to learn more. He is the coolest man on the set; his success is not only because of his hard work, but he also enjoys his work. He has this aura around him that makes him the Superstar.”
Maybe Rajinikanth is about to be 70. But his star power and charisma have not diminished even by an ounce. Hence, for a superstar like him, we can say that age is just a number.
Wishing You a Very Happy Birthday, Rajini Sir! Lots of Love from Bollywood!