Rajinikanth (Tamil: born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad on December 12, 1949) is an Indian film actor, media personality, and cultural icon. He made his debut as an actor in Apoorva Raagangal (1975), a Tamil film directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers his mentor. It was K. Balachander who re-christened him as Rajinikanth after a character in his play Major Chandrakanth. He then worked in Tamil cinema often portraying antagonistic characters and gradually rose to acting in lead roles. Other than acting, Rajinikanth also worked as a producer, screenwriter, and playback singer. Apart from his film career, he is also a philanthropist, spiritualist and serves as an influence in the politics of Tamil Nadu.
(Source - Wikipedia)
Hmmm, I have been sitting for 10 minutes trying to figure out what to write about Rajini. He means a lot of things - he has always been there, right from school days when I was in Chennai. I think at that time I was not too impressed by him (I hope he doesn't read this :-) It wasn't like I was going to give up playing with the other kids to watch a re-run of Billa or some other 3-hr movie where one hour was spent on fighting, forty five minutes on weeping, shouting and other emotions, thirty minutes on songs and some story interspersed in the meantime.
Unlike my friends from Tamilnadu, I think I missed the good phase of Rajini movies because I left Chennai in 1989 and all the major hit movies and some of the greatest dialogues came after this time.
1991 Thalapathi; 1992 Annamalai; 1993 Yejaman; 1995 Badsha; 1995 Muthu; 1997 Arunachalam; 1999 Padayappa
I went back to Chennai in 1995 for college but never got into a Rajini craze. I think it was only after starting work and having real access to cable TV that I managed to see some Rajini movies. I found them quite entertaining. I realised that his movies are quite entertaining (the ones I mentioned above). The storyline is strong and keeps moving. It does get a bit monotonous because it is usually e centered on Rajini overcoming evil and great hardship. The theme is rags to riches or sometimes riches to rags to riches. The comedy is quite good and Rajini does have a great sense of timing. Of course, his dialogue delivery is superb. I am guessing the reason they are called punch dialogues is usually cause they invigorate the watchers interest. The songs are catchy and the cinematography / editing etc seem to be really slick.
I have seen two videos of Rajini on YouTube, which were taken during the launch of Endhiran. I would like to think that the first one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rP18sTg-Ds&feature=related shows the kind of person he is and what he continues to be. The second one, no doubt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USopIY5IK84&feature=related shows him to be a crowd pleaser, masterful with his timing and totally at ease with what he is.
Conclusion - catch a few of the movies I have mentioned. I don't know if you can get it but I would recommend watching it in Tamil, subtitled in the language of your preference. Only then will you get the PUNCH, the thrill, the satisfaction of watching a Rajini movie. Leaving you with a few famous dialogues of his to get you going
Baasha - What I say once, consider it said hundred times...
Arunachalam - God proposes...Arunachalam disposes...
Muthu - When I will make an entrance, where and how.. nobody will now. But when I do make one, it will be at the right time.
Baba - An explosion is caused only when a bomb is thrown. "Baba" just has to say something to cause an explosion.
Shivaji - Pigs come in a group, Lion walks by himself