A Biographer Traces The Cinematic, Spiritual And Political Journeys Of Rajinikanth
Growing up in Tamil Nadu within the Eighties and ’90s meant rising up in a world that was polarised between Rajinikanth fandom and Kamal Haasan fandom. There have been simply two roads main into the woods and also you selected one, swearing life-long allegiance.
For the folks of Tamil Nadu, who’ve at all times most popular to separate their loyalties between well-matched binaries (MGR-Sivaji, Jayalalithaa-Karunanidhi, and later, Vijay-Ajith) these two rising stars have been completely poised to be break up into two polar recipients of that adulation. And on this State, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that stardom results in politics. The prophecy has performed out within the case of those two stars as properly. Only, they discovered themselves trapped in a post-modernist, dystopian model. Rajini’s ultimate (?) withdrawal from politics and Kamal Haasan’s rout within the current election is the place this story rests now. That was not the script although.
Which is why information of a biography on Rajini was thrilling. It’s not straightforward writing the life historical past of a celebrity, and with this bigger than life, reticent celebrity who has most popular to cloak his life in mystique, filmy dialogues, and smoke-machine fog, it actually couldn’t have been a stroll within the park. He’s star, wannabe politician, spiritualist — at all times multiple can chew. So, it was a daring transfer to try to chronicle this life, significantly with out entry to key dramatis personae.
The biggest power of this e book is presumably that it supplies the primary elaborate cogent account of the early lifetime of Rajinikanth, past his ‘conductor’ days — a trope even followers have seemed previous. Vaasanthi painstakingly places collectively tidbits, together with what the star let slip in a mellow temper on odd events over time, to painting intimately an formative years that may be a vital window to the character. She additionally creates construction from what might be a saggy monster of fabric, main us by way of his cinematic journey, interspersed with the shadows thrown on it by the important thing character’s spiritualism and the comb with politics, and politicians.
It wouldn’t be truthful to count on chronological sequencing in a later life, particularly one that’s fraught with flip-flops, however one can’t assist questioning if a extra cogent account, with an unabashed portrayal of Rajini because the central celestial determine round which issues spin, might need labored higher.
Yes, it’s true that the lifetime of Rajinikanth isn’t just the lifetime of a person, you could inform the story of a province, its political, social and cultural areas spanning a number of many years, with a galaxy of characters as well and a number of milestones. And but nobody will fault a author who grants Rajinikanth the celestial area that he anyway already occupies, actually not his followers.
The story, in traditional rags to riches development, is a style that’s inspiring due to its content material, and given on this case, the meteoric rise of the maverick Shivaji Rao Gaekwad right into a celebrity, little question it’s a vital work as profiles go. However, the e book is wedged someplace between blind followers so trapped in a assemble that obliterates actuality, and political watchers most of whom have justifiably been sceptical of the person’s precise entry into politics, given his flip-flops.
And, after all, if we have been to permit Bollywood to ship a punchline that’s in the identical league as Rajnikanth’s, then: Picture Abhi Baaki Hai, dost! Indeed, there are additional chapters on this biopic.