Jul 22, 2008

Rajnikanth, at the invitation of the Tokyo International Film Festival

‘Mind it! Mere fans hai Japani’

Rajnikanth ready to wow Japanese fans with new film and appearance at Tokyo Film Festival

Rajnikanth is going to Japan! In, and probably with, his new film Kuselan that was completed in a record five months, and in which the ageing actor has a rocking new image. Rushes from the film that has Japanese subtitles show that the flamboyant star looks younger and more dynamic than what he did in Sivaji — The Boss a year ago.
Rajnikanth has never been to Japan but the South superstar is already quite an iconic figure there. The Japanese believe he’s India’s answer to Jackie Chan. An actor who delights the audience with his exciting fighting skills, energetic dancing, and abundant talent for comedy, drama and emotion. No wonder they call him the Dancing Maharaja!

Japan has a sizeable South Indian population that, naturally, worships Rajnikanth; but surprisingly, the Southie legend’s following is also huge among the Japanese. Local stores have DVDs of all his movies. And the release of a new Rajnikanth film, is cause for celebration. Ten year ago his film Muthu ran for 23 weeks at a Tokyo theatre and was seen by over 1,27,000 Japanese.

Now Rajnikanth, at the invitation of the Tokyo International Film Festival, is preparing to take Kuselan to Japan. In it, he changes 20 costumes in two songs, which should amuse the Japanese considerably. But better still, Rajnikanth romances nine Japanese models in one song, and that should make him a household name. Modestly, the actor told us from his home in Chennai, “I don’t know whether I can make it to Tokyo. It’ll be great if I can. Otherwise, I’m excited that the Japanese are waiting for Kuselan with as much passion as they had for my films a decade ago. They are high on emotional content and comic action, it’s a treat to be watched by them.” Kuselan, incidentally, is also being made in Hindi as Billoo Barber with Shah Rukh Khan playing Rajnikanth’s role. Both films are based on friendship and are slated for release internationally in the first week of August to coincide with World Friendship Day.