21 June, 2021

New Dawn Or A Lit-Up Screen

Acting is all about timing. Jaya’s absence and DMK’s dismal bypoll show offer Rajinikanth a grand entry.

Photograph by PTI
New Dawn Or A Lit-Up Screen

During Rajinikanth’s early days, the biggest challenge his mentor faced was the actor’s speed. If the scene required Raj­ini to walk across a hall, iconic director K. Balachander would rep­ea­tedly shout at him, “Medhuva, medhuva” (slowly!) so the camera could pan him leisurely. Yet the actor would have whizzed past, leaving the cameraman shake his head and throw up his hands calling for a retake.

Veteran filmmaker S.P. Muthuraman recalls how (late) Balachander eventua­lly managed to solve the matter. “Yet there was no controlling him the mom­ent the director said ‘cut, shot okay’,” says Muthuraman, 82. “Rajini would typica­lly whizz off to his chair or sneak out for a smoke—all in a jiffy.”

Rajini, even at age 68 today, moves on lightning feet. It was obvious from the way the superstar sprint-walked after a recent ‘meet and greet’ with the media two days after he announced his political entry. Maintaining that momentum in the political arena would be...

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