Rajinikanth's Kaala promotions style a departure from signature simplicity: His sartorial statements decoded

Sreedhar Pillai

May,03 2018 10:31:10 IST

After Kaala release date was announced as 7 June by Dhanush, a series of uber cool pictures of Thalaivar Rajinikanth surfaced on social media. One of them had the superstar coming down an escalator in a designer Nike sweat shirt, goggles and a stylish leather cross bag. In another picture it was all black and riding on a Washington DC Metro. The pictures looked stylish and went viral. There were also a few other casual pictures showing the superstar with unknown fans.

For the last few months,  Rajinikanth's public appearance pictures were all about the neta look in all-white attire, as he was busy preparing for the launch of his political party. His USA visit was said to be for his yearly routine 'medical check-up'. So suddenly, why were there so many stylish pictures of the superstar in US locations? The grapevine has it that the star wants to attract the youth audiences with his stylish get-ups and bring their attention to Kaala, which is scheduled for a June release.

North America, over the years, has emerged as Rajinikanth’s most important and highest collecting overseas market, crucial for success of any Rajini film. Please note among Indian diaspora in America, Rajinikanth has a following among not only Tamil but also Telugu and Hindi audiences, and his films get released there in all three versions. But younger heroes from South India like Telugu superstars Mahesh Babu , Pawan Kalyan and a few others are getting as big response as Rajinikanth in this market today.

On Sunday (6 May), a huge function is being organised by Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM). Its USA opening ceremony is to be held in Washington. However, Rajinikanth is unlikely to attend this meet as he is coming back to Chennai by the end of the week. In Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth  has already  created 38 district units for his Rajini Makkal Mandram - the precursor to his party and has appointed over 7,000 office bearers at various levels.   

It is highly unlikely that Rajinikanth will name and launch his party before Kaala release, as nearly Rs 150 Crore is riding on it. Rajinikanth, like MGR at the time of his party launch in 1970s, knows that ultimately it will be his movie popularity and opening at the box office that will get him the vote bank in Tamil Nadu. There are enough haters in Tamil Nadu among fringe political outfits that are gunning for him. Kaala is his first release after he made clear his intentions to launch a political party. A single from Kaala which has music by Santosh Narayan, a killer Rap track with ‘Tapori’ punchlines Semma Weightu or Bahut Bhari Hai (Hindi) was launched on May Day. In the film, Rajinikanth plays a Mumbai slum lord from Tuticorin in south Tamil Nadu.  

Kaala has to work at the box office so that the big budget Shankar-directed 2.0 can make it as a Diwali release. The superstar has also made it clear that he is not quitting acting, as his Karthik Subbaraj-directed untitled film produced by Sun Pictures starts rolling in June.  Rajinikanth will most likely be in Chennai for the big audio launch of Kaala on 9 May, and kick-start the promotions for the film.

Updated Date: May 03, 2018 10:31 AM