Unlike other heroes down south or in the Bollywood, superstar Rajinikanth is never seen promoting his films. The only time we see him talk about one of his upcoming films is during its audio launch function. And most of the time he uses that platform to address the issues surrounding his personal life and stardom. But he does mention about the film at least couple of times during his speech in such events.
It was only for Shankar’s 2010 sci-fi movie Endhiran that Rajinikanth was seen making an exception. He appeared for a few interviews on television, he spoke about his experience in behind the scene videos, gave a few print interviews too.
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But, Rajinikanth didn’t even attend the audio release function of his recent blockbuster Kabali. The audio for the film was launched in a low key affair held at the Satyam Cinemas. His younger daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth presided over the event, while producer Kalaipuli S Thanu, director Pa Ranjith, and music director Santhosh Narayanan were in attendance. The Thalaivar was reportedly ‘holidaying’ in the US at that point in time.
And yet the film saw the biggest opening that cannot be achieved by most of the actors despite their stardom and aggressive promotional campaigns.
Rajinikanth movies neither require promotional campaigns nor a popular actor to promote them. Just Rajinikanth’s name is enough to capture the attention of the moviegoers. And filmmakers and investors in the country clearly understand this phenomenon and time and again try to cash in on it.
Here is a look at the Bollywood films that had Thalaivar’s endorsement.
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story:
India’s limited over captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with actor Sushant Singh Rajput have been going all out in promoting the film, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, which is set to hit the screens next week. However, their Chennai visit, arguably, created a huge amount of dialogue around the film. The reason was simple. The team met Rajinikanth and discussed about the film. Dhoni even did a live broadcast of his meeting with Rajinikanth on his Facebook page.
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Before calling upon Rajinikanth, Dhoni was at Sathyam Cinemas drawing applause from the crowd by mouthing some popular lines from the movies of Thalaivar.
Chennai’s adopted son, Dhoni, surely knows how to hit the ball out of the park while promoting a film.
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story is a biopic on the life of cricketing star, Dhoni.
Akshay Kumar’s Rustom:
Needless to say, Akshay Kumar is ruthless when it comes to promoting his films. And his last film Rustom was aggressively promoted online with the help of some leading A-listers of the Bollywood.
But, in a rare instance, Rajinikanth took to Twitter to promote Rustom.
“Dear @akshaykumar… I wish you all success for your forthcoming release #Rustom,” tweeted Rajinikanth.
“Thank you so much Rajni sir. Would love for you to see it,” responded Akshay with joy.
Full disclosure: Akshay is playing the main antagonist in Rajinikanth’s upcoming film Enthiran 2.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express:
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the marketing guru, had created a song for his 2013 film Chennai Express in tribute to Rajinikanth. Remember the song, Lungi Dance? It did succeed in captivating all the Rajini fans, besides giving them another reason to watch the Bollywood film.
If a competition for Bollywood actors who have tried to cash in on Rajinikanth’s popularity to its hilt to ensure his or her film gets a huge opening down south, Shah Rukh Khan will win it hands down.
The Bollywood Badshah had roped in Thalaivar to play a cameo in his 2011 sci-fil movie Ra.One. Rajinikanth appeared with Shah Rukh in a much-hyped scene as Chitti in the film.
Arguably, that was the first time, Rajinikanth was seen in such an appearance.
Not just celebrities, even corporates want to associate themselves with the brand Rajinikanth. It can only be described as a land rush, when brands vied to capitalize on the Kabali frenzy.