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Lakshmi Subramanian
Lakshmi Subramanian

Tamil Nadu

Will Kaala catapult Rajini to next level in his spiritual politics?

kaala-rajinikanth (File) Rajinikanth in Kaala

Rajinikanth’s Kaala, directed by Pa Ranjith and produced by the actors's son-in-law Dhanush will release on April 27. The announcement, made by Wunderbar films, has made Rajini fans ecstatic.

It is a year-and-a-half since his last blockbuster made it big in the box office. In 2016 when his Kabali hit the screens, Rajinikanth became much bigger than a superstar— he became a brand and his fans called him a phenomenon. And now, his next, Kaala, directed by the Kabali director himself, is all set to hit the screens. But this time, as the release date is announced, Rajini has moved from being a superstar to a being a budding politician.

With the registrations for his Rajini Mandram crossing over 30 lakhs, the actor Rajinikanth is now a half politician, banking on his larger than life screen image. In a state where politics and cult personality always go together, not just Rajinikanth, even his fans expect his box office verdict to turn into votes. And now his 164th film, Kaala, is not just another box office outing for Rajinikanth but a ladder that could help him make that climb to being a successful politician as well.

With the political vacuum in the state, the man who never experienced the incredible and the impossible and for whom these two have always come down as a blessing, hops that he would be blessed with political success as well.

With Jayalalithaa gone and Karunanidhi silent, Rajinikanth might think of making it big in politics too. The Rajini Mandram registrations and the fan clubs can set the box office on fire for Kaala, but it remains to be seen if the same crowd will connect to the Superstar when he sets his political ball rolling. Rajini is still to name his political party. While he has been appointing office bearers for the Mandrams in every district across the state, one after the other, turning cinematic celebrityhood to votes is next to impossible for the actor.

For a man who talks of spiritual politics for the first time in the Dravidian land, Kaala will be a stepping stone to make him look as a hero of the underprivileged and the downtrodden. Rajinikanth plays the role of a dalit icon in Kaala like in Kabali. The characterisation can catapult him to the leader of the masses, at time when his idea of spiritual politics had caused a shadow of the BJP, Hindu and Hindutva behind him. A man who called himself, Pachai Tahmizhan (pure Tamil) during his meet with fans last year, now ought to rise above Kaala even before its release on April 27, to “correct the system in Tamil Nadu,” as he says.

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