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Is Rajinikanth Still A Superstar?

It has been 39 years since superstar Rajinikanth entered the film industry and he has been entertaining us ever since.

After playing the baddie successfully in some films, he moved to play the leading man and Lady Luck favoured him quite early in his career. Superstar status came easily to him and he has retained it with equal elan. 

In over four decades, he has steered clear of controversies, barring the much-hyped and equally denied professional rivalry between his contemporary Kamal Haasan and himself. And that’s precisely what makes him a star who is globally celebrated and followed. 

Over the years, he has been careful about his choice of films and has gone that extra mile to retain his Superstar status by mesmerizing the audience in his inimitable style.

The fact that a star like Shah Rukh paid ode to the grand old man of Tamil cinema by immortalizing him in the Lungi dance song shows the respect he reckons from actors across the globe.

He also broke the language barriers by becoming a hit in Japan and that speaks for his international stardom. 

One of the few top actors who made a smooth transition from being a villain to a hero, his is a story that is fit for story books.

In his long career, he has played varied roles and after starting with a salary of a few hundred rupees, now commands Rs 25 crore per film. Goes without saying, he is the undisputed Superstar of the box office.

But all that was in the past or at least till a couple of years back. Now, there is one question that he is unable to shrug off. Blame it on his age or his recurring health problems, there is a huge question around his superstardom.

Many feel Rajinikanth the superstar has come to a stage where he must gracefully retire and call it a day.

With younger actors like Suriya, Vijay, Ajith in Tamil and Mahesh Babu taking over the box-office and enjoying a large fan base, Rajini's position at the box-office is no longer secure. The disastrous performance of Kochadaiiyaan at the BO could be the end of the superstar, predicted many trade analysts. But he bounced back and announced the launch of Linga with two leading ladies much younger to him, sending out strong signals to his distracters that he was still in the race.

In fact, Rajini is said to have grown very conscious recently, when a popular Tamil magazine announced Vijay as the next superstar and even planned to organize an event to celebrate the same.

As a superstar who still aspires to entertain his fans, Rajini took it to heart and started working on Lingaa at a brisk pace and decided to release it during Diwali in direct competition with Vijay’s Kaththi. Though his stature is unreachable, Rajini still wants to beat Vijay at the box office and reclaim his superstar status before taking the final bow.

But isn’t it time for the superstar to focus on strong character roles like Mr Amitabh Bachchan up north. Having reigned as India’s superstar for nearly four decades, Amitabh Bachchan saw the change coming and smoothly transited into doing author-backed character roles that suited his age and image.

Like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth too will be loved irrespective of the roles he plays. The audiences simply cannot help loving them. Period. And that’s what he wants at the end of the day as a man who played for the masses for four decades, right? 

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Tags: Ajith Kamal Haasan Rajinikanth Superstar Suriya Vijay