Rajinikanth - The name evokes hysteria. The crowd goes berserk on his screen appearance. He is the quintessential Thalaivar. For everybody in the moviedom, "Rajnikanth is my favourite actor" is the safest answer. Shah Rukh Khan praises him as the Thalaivar. He pays tribute to the Thalaivar with a song. So, what is it that makes Rajnikanth so special. He has completed 39 years in filmdom. He is the superstar unparalleled in Tamil Cinema. There is always a talk about the next super star, the first being Rajnikanth.
This article tries to demystify Rajnikanth.
Rajnikanth born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad in a poor family, had no connection whatsoever with filmdom. He worked as a bus conductor and he came to Chennai to join the film institte.
For a person of his background and stature, the decision to quit a safe and secure job and move on to movies is a big risk. Rajnikanth took that risk and it paid..
He met Balachander, got a cameo in his movie "Apoorva Ragangal" and the rest as they say is history.
Rajnikanth is not hero material - well, at least not in the conventinal way. He is not fair, he is not well built. His Tamil diction is fast paced. Probably, all these factors worked for and not against Rajnikanth.
In the moviedom, where a hero is fair and well built and thus does not look like a common man, Rajnikanth was different. He probably gave the feeling of "one amongst us" to the common man. A common man could identify himself with Rajnikanth. Rajnikanth is what all that a common man wanted to but could not become. He is righteous, he retaliates against malpractices, he is a family man and most important of it all, he always wins.
There is a bone we have to pick with Rajini. He is a fine actor. His acting poweress is well exhibited in movies like "Mullum Malarum", "Aarilirundhu Arubadhu varai", "Jhony", "Thalapathy" and "Basha." Of late, his movies exhibit only his star power and not his acting power.
Well, as one fan famously said "Enga thalaivar vandhale podhum nadika ellam venam (His presence is enough, he need not act)"
That sums it all.