Thursday, September 23, 2010
Why Rajni is possibly the greatest star in the world
Before you could rebut me, please let me explain.
I think Rajni has worked himself to a position where he qualifies for the title of the "Greatest star in the world". The operative word being "star".
By the way, who qualifies to be a star? A star is an actor who is super popular with the masses, and just by seeing his/her image on the poster or trailer, the audience will be half convinced to see the movie. Acting has nothing to do with being a star. There are stars who are great actors, and there are stars who couldn't act if their life depended on it. So, forget acting for a moment. Stars sell pictures. They are marketing tools. When someone is deciding which movie to watch, a star influences that decision and makes you shell out your hard-earned money and watch the movie. That doesn't mean they can make a movie successful - they can just make people aware that such and such a movie is releasing.
Okay, there are lot of actors who qualify for this definition. Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Mithun Chakravarty (no, I am not kidding), Amitabh, Amir, Salman, Shahrukh etc. etc. What makes Rajni so special.
Almost all the stars in the world sell their films like crazy. Any Hollywood release is prefixed by a 3-4 month world tour by the star, where s(he) gives dozens of interviews to TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, websites etc. etc. world over. Photo ops, magazine cover stories, talk show appearances etc. etc. They travel to pretty much every country where commercial airlines fly to and talk and talk about their movie. Most of the hollywood ones have these marketing gigs written into their contract. If they don't play ball and help in marketing the movie - then it becomes difficult to find investors who would put up the money.
With stardom comes power and glamour - but it also comes with months of living out of suitcases (for each film you act in), half-dead hotel food, uninspired journalists, publicists, and unending red carpets. Answering for the thousandth time...questions about your marital status, dating status, weight status, rehab status etc. etc.
Rajni does none of that. He chooses his projects, acts in them, and goes to the Himalayas when the movie is about to be released. Now that is the definition of cool. He doesn't give thousand interviews (some interview bites here and there he does - but the reporters catch him in airports or some place like that...he almost never goes to them), do promotional tours, countless TV appearances etc. No other star in the world can afford to do that.
One reason is that - Rajni understands his stardom, and understands the meaning of the word over-exposure. He does one film in 2/3 years. And then disappears and makes people want him more. He doesn't promote cell phones or colas during his spare time. He knows - stop when they want more. When you know when to shut up, the world starts talking about you.