Senior film journalist Sreedhar Pillai looks back at Rajinikanth's contribution to Indian cinema on the actor's 62nd Birthday in an interaction with IBNLive readers.
Q. Sir how do you manage to get tickets to a FDFS Rajini movie? In a sense this question answers it all about the Rajini phenomenon isn't it!!! Asked by: Karthik
A. I make it a point to see Rajinikanth films FDFS, as I book in advance. It was Rajinikanth who really started the FDFS craze in TN.
Q. Is Rajinikanth the biggest star in the Indian industry? If yes, whether he deserved for this position? Asked by: Charan
A. I think he is truly a phenomenon and what makes him one of the biggest stars is that coming from south he has got a worldwide audience and reach.
Q. Sir.. is there any reason for super star Rajini sir to not promote brands through TV ads? Asked by: gokul
A. Rajinikanth himself is a brand. He does not want to dilute his brand equity by doing ads.
Q. After Sivaji only, all north Indian channels started looking towards regional cinema. Endhiran made it more. Rajinikanth - Man made regional cinema recognised. That's why veteran journalist like you has been called by CNN-IBN. Your thoughts sir. Asked by: Hariharan
A. Rajinikanth movies especially Endhiran opened the craze for his movies in North. Remember the Hindi version Robot was also a super hit. Now regional cinema is helping Bollywood's remake factory.
Q. Is there any other star who has this kind of success an fan following in India other than Rajini? Asked by: kartigayan, london
A. I have not seen this kind of dedicated crazy fans for any other actor in Indian cinema.
Q. Why Rajni is considered as demigod and literally worshiped. Asked by: nikhil
A. His mass reach and box-office power across all territories has made him demi-god of sorts.
Q. Do you think Tamil cinema or south cinema to over shadow Bollywood? Asked by: preetam
A. Tamil cinema is box-office wise only one third of Bollywood. I don't think it will overshadow Bollywood.
Q. Just to revive the tn box office is there any chance Rajini Kamal combo again? That would just rake money @box office.. Asked by: gokul
A. I do not think that will happen again. Chances of Rajini & Kamal coming together look remote at the moment.
Q. Hi sir, Rajini sir is the highest paid actor in India and how much his salary Asked by: s.vishnu
A. He is definitely one of the highest paid actors in Indian cinema. Unconfirmed sources say he was paid Rs 20 Crore for Chandramukhi2005).
Q. who do you think has the most fan following apart from Rajini in Tamil industry at present Asked by: karthik
A. Nobody has as many fans as Rajinikanth. Period
Q. As a critic, if Superstar would have choosed a path Mullum malarum kind of films, whether he would have succeeded this stature and won more laurel as an actor comparing to Mr Kamal Hassan? Asked by: Sridhar
A. Rajinikanth did Mullum Malarum just to satisfy his urge as an actor. He has always made it clear that mass commercial films is the way he will go. So the question is hypothetical.
Q. Hello Sir, There is a rumour miled around that thalaivar might join hands with Mr Manirathnams next flick .. Is it true? if so is it a role in ponniyin selvan or any other.. Asked by: Sridhar
A. These are just rumours as I doubt whether both will do another film together.
Q. As north Indians, we have always been mesmerized by the genius of Kamal Hasan while considered Rajni's movies mediocre or even less (blasphemy unintended). Is it because his best work is not available in Hindi or something else? Can you typecast him? Can you give me a parallel with a bollywood star? Asked by: Kamal Agg
A. I think Rajinikanth always modelled himself as a one-man entertainment troupe something which Mr Bachchan did in 80's in Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra type of mass commercials. Kamal on the other hand was more innovative and willing to experiment.
Q. Sir I am a big fan of Superstar Rajinikanth & my favourite movies are Thalapathy, Mannan, Thillu Mullu, Baatcha, Guru, Sishyan,
nettrikkan, Sivaji, Billa, Mullum Mallurum. Which according to u is his best performance? Asked by: shya mark
A. As an actor Mullum Malarum and as an entertainer Baatcha.
Q. How to interact with Rajini Sir directly (Twitter/FB, etc.,). Does he have any of social networking accounts. If No, then i would request you to put this across to Rajini Sir & request him to interact with fans once in a while. Asked by: Ullas
A. He is not in any social networking sites. Today morning he interacted with media and his fans.
Q. People down here always say multi-starrers are difficult since the scripts cannot do justice!!How about this for a script!!Aamir khan the other day talked about recreating Mahabharath. Aamir, Srk, Salman, Amitabh, Rajini, Kamal, Mohanlal..how is this star cast? Wont it be the biggest hit? Asked by: Karthik
A. Yes it has potential to be a blockbuster if you rope in all the above stars.
Q. I read a lot of Rajni jokes. Are they real or just imaginaries? Asked by: SBH
A. A mixture of both :)
Q. Does AR Rahman & Rajinikanth have a special combo. It seems most of the movies in recent have music by ARR. Feels after Mani Ratnam, Rajini sir has more confidence and patience at ARR. Even shankar went to Harris for his movies. Asked by: Pradeep Kumar
A. Early days who can forget Rajini-Ilayaraja combo and in 90's Rajini-Deva combo. Now Rajinikanth-ARR is the new combo which has delivered.
Q. I am from North India and fail to understand the Rajnikanth phenomenon. He is not in the same league as Amitabh then why the massive following even exceeding Amitabh Asked by: SBH
A. He has larger than life image in south which has helped his films to garner huge success at the box-office. His image & box-office power has given him a bigger fan base.
Q. Some say Rajni owns half of Tamil Nadu- is it true? Asked by: SBH
A. I don't thing so.
Q. Can we have a Rajni starrer Punjabi movie? Asked by: SBH
A. He is comfortable doing Tamil movies.
Q. Are there any temples dedicated to Rajnikanth in South or in US? Asked by: SBH
A. No. He will not allow such things.
Q. Can we have a movie with 3 brothers - Amitabh, Rajni and Shah Rukh? Asked by: SBH
A. Depends on the director and his equation with the 3
Q. Sir, Questions are shooting up to you & this shows the interest & love people have towards Rajiniji. Asked by: sudheendra_sr
A. Rajini the most loved actor in Indian cinema.
Q. Is Rajni coming again in Bollywood as Amitabh's younger brother like in HUM? Asked by: SBH
Q. Should we recognize Rajni with Padma Bhushan or Vibhushan or Bharat Ratna? Asked by: SBH
A. He is priceless but has never hankered after official recognition. That's why people love him for his simplicity and humbleness.
Q. Why North Indians cant understand Rajni phenomenon? Asked by: nikhil
A. Every industry thinks in a different way. Nothing wrong in it.
Q. Where do you put him as an actor? Asked by: Kamal Agg
A. I think like good wine he has matured as an actor over the years, but people like him as king of entertainers.
Q. Can Rajni become the CM of TN or PM of India in 2014? Asked by: SBH
A. No he will never venture into politics.
Q. I was watched kuselan movie in theatre all people are really enjoyed.But why was kuselan movie flop. Asked by: ashoder
A. It was marketed by the producers as a full length Rajinikanth movie when actually he appears only in a special appearance. Obviously his fans and audiences felt cheated.
Q. Sachin has wished the Superstar in Facebook. This says what the rajini phenomenon is? Asked by: Pradeep Kumar
A. Sachin knows the superstar and has interacted with him earlier.
Q. Why cant all the Tamil films, atleast films of big stars release in hindi dub? Asked by: nikhil
A. I don't think it is a good idea as Tamil films should b enjoyed as it is , may be with subtitles.
Q. I must admit you are a great ambassador of the Tamil industry and Rajni sir! Kudos to you. Very well done.. keep it up sir Asked by: SBH
A. Thank you.
Q. Why Rajini sir is choosy about movies? He waits for the story or health is not allowing him to do so. Asked by: Pradeep Kumar
A. The more you are elusive and selective in making appearances or doing films, the halo around the actor increases. The box-office potential of the film goes up.
Q. What surprises me is his humility. He comes out just the way he is in actual life. No wig, make up or false mannerisms and the people accept him for what he is. Amazing. Asked by: Kamal Agg
A. It his humility that comes across, which makes the common man crazy about him.
Q. Will Rajni son in law eclipse him? Asked by: SBH
A. No, how is it possible? The son-in-law himself has said he cannot hold a candle to his father-in-law.
Q. Is he the most successful actor in Indian cinema according to film trade analysis 90% of his movies are hits where the Distributor/Producer/Theater Exhibitor/Financers..All these people make profit. Is it true? Asked by: Shyam
A. I would rate him as the most successful actor with the highest strike rate at the box-office. A hit film of his makes the trade happy from the cycle stand/Canteen operator to theater who have paid MG's to distributors
Q. Sir, India's highest grossing film? Asked by: nikhil
A. It is 3 Idiots the only Indian film to do Rs 203 Crores at the box-office.
Q. Sir, since Sivaji has been converted to 3d and well recieved, is there any chance for Enthiran too? It will be another BB from him! :) Asked by: Praveen
A. I'm sure Sun Pictures will start work on Enthiran 3D conversion after seeing Sivaji 3D which opened to pack houses today.
Q. Robot, 3 idiots, Dabbang- among these three films, which one is the highest grossier? Asked by: s.vishnu
A. 3 Idiots
Q. Where will you put Rajnikant amongst greats like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bacchan, Kamal Hasan? Do you think as star actor he matches acting caliber of the greats mentioned above? Asked by: Akshay S
A. He is India's biggest one-man entertainment industry. Period.
Q. Any update on his next movie Kochadaiyan. Heard rights has been sold at heavy price inspite of animation genre. Asked by: Pradeep Kumar
A. Rajinikanth himself has said today that Kochaadiyan will release for Summer 2013.
Q. What are Rajnikanth's memorable movies, artistically? With or without box office success. Asked by: Kamal Agg
A. Mullum Mallarum, Aarumuthal Aarupathu Vare, Thillu Mullu etc