India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Happy Birthday Rajnikanth

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Blame it on “Robot“. Last year, when Rajnikanth’s film opened in cinemas, not only did it become a huge hit, it also unleashed another pop culture phenomenon on the rest of India — Rajnikanth jokes.

Soon, it was all you would hear — in local trains, on your Facebook feed, over lunch in the office cafeteria and in your SMS inbox — each instance starting with: this is the best Rajnikanth joke ever.

You have to hand it to them though, most of them were pretty funny, even though they were copied from the Chuck Norris brand of jokes. And what they did is reinforce to a whole lot of people who don’t live in south India — what a phenomenon Rajnikanth is, if you didn’t know it already.

My favourite one is: Rajnikanth wanted to play cricket, so the rain was delayed due to start of play (or something to that effect).

Six-step guide to making India’s most expensive film

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Tamil filmmaker Shankar’s last project “Sivaji – The Boss” was reported to have a production budget of a billion rupees and his latest “Robot” is being pegged at 1.5 billion rupees, which would make it India’s most expensive film ever.

Starring Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, “Robot” is set for worldwide release on October 1. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making India’s most expensive film – from director Shankar himself.

How Rajni became Robot

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We Mumbaiwallahs hear so much about the big guns down south – Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, etc, but hardly get to hear them. So of course, I didn’t know Rajnikanth has such a great sense of humour, in addition to being a huge star and a great actor. The veteran charmed everyone off their pants at the music launch of his new film “Robot”, and had the audience in splits with his explanation of how he came to do the film. “If I hadn’t known Shankar (the director) before, I would have said no to the film, because it is a very tough role. You Kamal Hassan was to do the role initially, and even Shah Rukh Khan was approached, but ‘daane daane pe likha hai khane wale ka naam’ (every grain has the name of the person who is going to eat it),” he said, leading to hoots and claps from the audience. I wonder if I have seen so much candid humour from any Bollywood superstar. He described “Robot” as a never before seen experience in Indian cinema, and said he “guaranteed” that it would be a great film. Touted as the most expensive film made in India (with an official budget of 1.5 billion rupees), “Robot” also has special effects similar to the one used in the Oscar winning “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, and of course the presence of former Miss World Aishwarya Rai as the film’s leading lady. But that is not why it will be a hit, at least according to Rajni. “‘Sholay’ was not a hit because of the budget or the stars, it was a hit because of the story and characters. In the same way, Shankar has created such lovely characters and such lovely moments, that I am sure, people will like it,” he said. With a guarantee certificate by Rajni himself, you don’t need much more motivation t

rajni We Mumbaiwallahs hear so much about the big guns down south – Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, etc, but hardly get to hear them.

So of course, I didn’t know Rajnikanth has such a great sense of humour, in addition to being a huge star and a great actor. The veteran charmed everyone off their pants at the music launch of his new film “Robot”, and had the audience in splits with his explanation of how he came to do the film.

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