Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Big Boss ???

A large part of the newsprint and airtime in the media the past week has been dominated by that phenomenon from Chennai and the release of his forthcoming blockbuster. I call it blockbuster, because, if the media reports are anything to go by, its no longer a question of whether 'Sivaji' would be a hit or flop. The only question is, how big a hit ?? The debate in the media (and not just the sensation-loving Zee News and Aaj Tak, but also NDTV and their breed) was whether Rajnikant had been treated unfairly by the rest of the country and has been unfairly denied his rightful place amongst India's superstar clan. And, oh yes, the inevitable comparisions between Rajni and the Bollywood Badshahs were all over the channels. As far as the people in question were concerned, both played politically correct: Rajni calling himself a King and Big B the Emperor, while Mr. Bachchan lauded the heights reached by the former bus conductor.

In this context, today's article in the DNA provides interesting insights into the debate over 'Who's the Boss ???'. For me, the key line in that article is : "Earlier, you used to rush to the loo only during the commercial break in an Amitabh flick. Now, you rush to the loo during any commercial break, and be sure that an Amitabh commercial is on air". Surely, there can be no comparison between the two. Someone who does 7 movies a year + endorses around 25 brands simply cannot be the The Boss. The larger than life aura simply wanes off. You simply do not look forward to the release of his next movie. Now consider a person who appears in a movie roughly every two years. Who dares to appear on TV not in designer clothes and shades but in a simple lungi and white shirt with hair almost unkempt. Who does not appear in all-over-the-place commercial. This is the way Rajnikant maintains that halo around himself. And his almost hypnotic smell transcends all barriers of class and caste. An office colleague of mine, an MBA at that, had nicely built the hype about Sivaji much in advance by forwarding every article about the movie. And this weekend, he is in Hyderabad to (or so he claims) catch the first weekend shows, tickets obviously booked much in advance by his folks there. Such is the sway you hold over the masses because you are choosy and careful and you know better than to over-expose yourself by appearing in every second movie and commercial. Thus, as I said, there can simply be no comparison.

Rajnikant rules !!!! Period.


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