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.


Anonymous said...

Yeah. From an ordinary Conductor in Bangalore to the Mount Everest of Tamil Cinema, nay, Indian Cinema! - Not an easy task.

Anonymous said...

Master craftsman of senseless entertainment.Many do laugh at his type of films, but he is laughing all the way to bank for decades.Whether his humility and eccentricities are true or fake for all the great changes in his life he has remarkably remained rooted to the ground.Not easy to cultivate an interest so as to spend/ waste 3 hrs at a stretch to watch his movies though.No other state could have produced a star like him, vaazhga thamizhagam!

magesh said...

@ Anon1- Indeed!

@ Anon2- 3 hrs of style and cool super bonanza. Yes, vaazhga thamizhagam

GB said...

Hi Chitti.

The Visitor said...

Hi M,

Just back from Endhiran. Mind-blowing. Super star rocks.

PS: Unconsciously you too have added to the Endhiran pre-release mania by this post of yours.

Have you both watched it?

magesh said...

@ GB - Roobo

@ Visitor - watched it. blown away by it. reeling from it.

Uncle Srini said...

Lovely! :)

Uncle Srini said...

and so true (forgive me... staggered thinking! )

magesh said...

@Uncle Srini: Rajni has that effect on people - you are not alone (the staggered part I mean).

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... That's a very good analysis.. And am sure Rajini is a superstar ..

கிருபாகரன் said...

//When you know when to shut up, the world starts talking about you. //

Well said buddy!!