Sondarya Rajinikanth Speaks To Subhash K Jha On The Success Of Her Father’s Kabali
Congrats, Kabali is breaking boxoffice records. Was there some anxiety in the family about its success considering Rajiniji’s last two films hadn’t done well?
First of all ,thank you and thanks to all the wonderful people whose best wishes made Kabali a success. No, there wasn’t any anxiety .Every film has its own destiny. Dad was very confident about Kabali and of the team that handled it. But still the response to the film has taken him by surprise.
Celebrations for the success of Kabali?
(laughs) Actually the film’s producer Kalaipuli Thanu is a very dear family friend. During the release my father wanted to underplay the marketing and promotion. But now Thanu Uncle is planning a big celebration very shortly.
Critics and fans are surprised by the subtle but sudden sartorial and image changes in Kabali?
I think what attracted by Dad to the role was the whole idea of playing a Don in Malaysia . The changes that you’re talking about came about with the role.He was a little apprehensive about the part because he had to play someone close to his age.Also, there was message on the downtrodden. He also had concerns about the lack of comedy element in the script. But by God’s grace it’s all turned out really well.The bottomline is, my father liked the director Ranjith and he liked the subject that Ranjith came up with. They instinctively took to one another.
Was there a sense of dismay when Rajinikanthji’s last two films didn’t do well?
Of course it makes a difference to the artiste when his film doesn’t do well.Just like a successful film makes a difference to everyone concerned, a failure affects everyone too. But my Dad is not the kind to mope around wondering what went wrong. After he completes a film he moves on, whether it is a hit or a flop.He is always wondering what to do next.Even after the response to the last two films he moved on quickly.Sure, there was minor dip in the graph. But these things happen in every artiste’s life.
There are serious questions being asked about Rajinikanthji’s health. Would you clarify?
I’d like to say once and for all that my Dad is in fine health. But for the first time in a very long time he was shooting two back-to-back films Kabali and Robot 2. As you know Robot 2 is a sci-fi film with lots of costumes and action scenes. Dad was shooting round-the-clock. Kabali required a lot of night shooting.And my dad doesn’t normally shoot at nights. The physical strain was getting to be too much for him.So we whisked him away for a holiday.
Wasn’t it odd that he wasn’t here for the release of Kabali?
It wasn’t planned that way.It just happened.My sister and I took him away because he needed to be on his own away from the limelight and needed to rest and get his energy .
Would we see him play more socially relevant roles?
My Dad never made any career plans. He goes by the subject.As of now he is only doing Robot 2:0.
Why do we only get to see Rajinikanthji in dubbed films?Why hasn’t he done a Hind in film for so long?
The Robot sequel will have an independent Hindi edition. The language is a cultural mindset. The language should not make any difference. Having said that, I must admit Dad has not done a Hindi film in a long time. If he gets the right project in Hindi, he will do it.At the end of the day he’s aware of what his fans want from him.And he works in the films that he feels will please his fans.
How does Rajinikanthji remain so down to earth?
He is a very simple human being. He never forgot where he came from. As his children, my sister Aishwarya and I learnt this from him, to never forget our roots. With our Dad there are no two faces. What you see is what you he is. Weather it’s a fan or a producer, he treats them all the same. He has been down to earth all his life.He will never change.We his children try to emulate that trait of our Dad.
Do you think Rajnikanthji needs to take it easy?
He has cut down on action scenes. Before he did Kabali and 2:0 simultaneously he was doing only one film at a time. The family is very conscious of his health.We are making sure he doesn’t strain himself.After 2:0 he won’t do two films at the same time. We are aware that he is as precious to his fans as to his family.
Is your son his grandfather’s fan?
Right now he’s too young to know who his grandfather is. My son Ved is just 1.