In all the usual hyperbole which surrounds every Bollywood release — major or minuscule — we often forget that the man who is arguably India’s biggest star lives down south. But every time a Rajinikanth film releases, we are reminded of the enormous, incredible, phenomenal hold which this superstar has on his fans.
The public response to Enthiran (titled Robot in Hindi) should be barometer enough. Fans in Chennai woke up at 2.45am to make it in time for the 4am show. Which Bollywood hero can boast of such fidelity? Even in Mumbai, Bollywood had to take a backseat to this new film, apparently the most expensive ever made in India and full of special effects and the tricks which the star is famous for. It is not just Mumbai’s sizeable Tamil population which rushes to see Rajinikanth (born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad) in action but all film buffs as well.
Some time ago, Amitabh Bachchan had commented that Rajinikanth was India’s real superstar. Enthiran, which has been released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, shows why. It provides welcome relief to a people filled with manias of different kinds. Rajinikanth rocks.