Movie News

Updated on : 20 May 2015

Rajinikanth is an Indian actor, media personality, and cultural icon.[1] Rajinikanth has acted across various film industries such as Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and English.[2] He began acting in plays while working in the Bangalore Transport Service as a bus conductor.[3][4] In 1973, he joined the Madras Film Institute to pursue a diploma in acting. During his stay at the institute, he was performing in a stage play and got noticed by Tamil film director K. Balachander.[5] He made his debut with the 1975 Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal directed by K. Balachander. The film was critically acclaimed upon release and won three National Film Awards, including the award for Best Regional Film at the 23rd National Film Awards,[6] and the Best Tamil Film at the Filmfare Awards.[7]
During the initial phase of his career he played negative roles before graduating into a lead actor. Though Rajinikanth always refers to K. Balachander as his mentor,[8] it was S. P. Muthuraman who revamped his image.[9] Muthuraman first experimented with him in a positive role in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri (1977), as a failed lover in the first half of the film and a protagonist in the second half.[9] The film won two Filmfare Awards.[2][7] The success of the film brought the duo together for 24 more films till the 1990s.[9] By 1980, he became a popular actor in South Indian cinema.[10] Billa (1980), which was a remake of the Bollywood film Don (1978), had Rajinikanth playing dual roles and eventually became his first ever commercial success.[2][11] Thillu Mullu (1981), which was the remake of the Bollywood film Gol Maal (1979),[12] was Rajinikanth's first full-length comedy film and broke the action-hero mould for which he was known at that time.[11] Nallavanuku Nallavan (1984) won Rajinikanth his only Filmfare Award for Best Actor till date.[2]
Throughout the 1990s, Rajinikanth starred in a series of commercial films with most of them being successful. Muthu (1995), which was directed by K. S. Ravikumar and produced by K. Balachander, had Rajinikanth playing a father and son. It became the first Tamil film to be dubbed into Japanese, as Mutu: Odoru Maharaja.[13] The film grossed a record US$1.6 million in Japan in 1998 and was responsible for creating a large Japanese fan-base for the actor.[14] In the 2000s, Rajinikanth starred in Baba in 2002, for which he was also the scriptwriter and producer.[15] The film, however, fell short of market expectations and incurred heavy losses for the distributors. Rajinikanth himself repaid the losses.[16] Rajinikanth made a comeback with P. Vasu's Chandramukhi (2005), a remake of the Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu (1993). Upon release the film was highly successful at the box-office and its theatrical run lasted 890 days at Sivaji Ganesan's family-owned Shanthi theatre, beating the 62-year record set by the 1944 film Haridas, which ran for 770 days at the Broadway theatre.[17] It is the first Tamil film to be dubbed into German and Turkish.[18] Rajinikanth received a salary of ₹ 260 million for his role in the film Sivaji (2007), which made him the second highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan.[19] In 2010, he played the lead role in Enthiran, India's costliest film till date. The film went on to become one of the highest grossing films ever made in India.[20] Rajinikanth played triple roles in the 2014 film Kochadaiiyaan. It was the first motion capture film to be made in India.[21]


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