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RECYCLING RAJINI
It’s inevitable that a burgeoning industry is built around the star power of celebrities. It makes use of the celebrity’s fame to generate business, mostly by way of mass-manufacturing merchandise. These merchandise range from printed t-shirts, mugs, caps, school bags, notebooks and similar such goodies. This industry might not sprout around every single celebrity’s star status because only a few are bankable in this matter. Like the superstar Rajinikanth.

There are only a few like him in India whose exponential star presence percolates into almost all walks of life. He is omnipresent – be it animated ad films, product commercials (although he has never done any himself) or anything that needs emphasis. Rajini’s star status is often used
  Dhanush
to drive home the point and it works more often than not.

Obviously, Tamil film fraternity is privy to the fact and uses his name and fame liberally to often grab attention. For instance, there are some films that portray their lead men as hardcore Rajini fans and so on and so forth. So the recent bug that seems to have bitten Tamil films is recycling Rajini film titles. More often they are done in the hope to replicate the success his movies achieved years ago.

Billa kind of started that trend, a trend that has only grown till the recently released Mapillai. However, not every movie that used Rajini’s earlier titles followed either Billa or Mapillai. The difference being, Billa and Mapillai are rehashed versions of earlier movies of the same title. Often, the name is enough to create a positive buzz around the movie’s success.

After Billa, Polladhavan followed suit but apart from the title and the Engeyum Eppodum song (from Ninaithale Inikkum) director Vetrimaaran stayed away from the Rajini quotient and delivered a slickly and grittily told movie. But it remains a fact that Polladhavan garnered huge publicity owing to borrowing its name from the Rajini starrer film of yesteryear.

As if realizing his luck with naming titles after his father-in-law’s movies, Dhanush started showing interest in naming films after Rajini’s. Padikkathavan and the recently released Mapillai stand testimony for this. Padikkathavan only had similarity with name, whereas Mapillai was an adaptation.

There are other films in the industry tried to hop-on to the Rajini franchise. Lawrence’s Rajadhi Raja, Suseendiran directed Karthi starrer Naan Mahaan Alla, upcoming Sundar C flick Murattu Kaalai and a slightly modified version of a Rajini film title was used in the Bharath starrer Thambikku Indha Ooru (this movie ran into trouble and hence the modified title).

Many of our directors would by now realize that it’s not enough to use Rajini’s ubiquitous star power to reap success. Yes, it’s enough to promote a movie but not to make it a success. Success depends on a movie’s indigenous skills.

On the other hand, the superstar is not fussy about letting people riding on his name and fame. He is always prompt to endorse movies that use his titles. Most of them have Rajini’s blessings. As Henry Miller would have said, “Fame is an illusion -- here today, gone tomorrow.”
Tags : Suseendiran , Rajini, Naan Mahaan Alla, Murattu Kaalai , Rajadhi Raja
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