There is no celebration like a Rajinikanth film release. Small wonder then, the excitement around the release of his next film, Kabali, is so palpable. Even in regions which are not considered his traditional markets, like north India, people have shown keen interest in watching the film.In case you’ve been wondering what the Rajini-mania is, here are few reasons why Kabali is a must-watch1. The phenomenon called Rajinikanth
To his fans, he is ‘God’. To the more discerning cinema lover, he is funny. To the critic, he is a good actor lost in myriad mannerisms. After all, since his debut in 1975, Thalaiva (as fans adoringly call the actor) has been working non-stop.Following his last two films Kochadaiiyaan and Lingaa which flopped at the box office, Rajinikanth looks to reinvent himself with Kabali. First, he plays his age. If you have seen the teaser, it is pretty obvious that for most parts, he is shown as a man in his ’50s, even ’60s. There’s no attempt to colour his hair or iron out his wrinkles using special effects; they are there for the world to see.

With an author-backed role, which gives him ample room to display his histrionics, Rajinikanth should be in his elements.While little is known about the film’s story, what we do know is that it is about a Chennai gangster of the same name. He operates in Malaysia and through the course of his life, he ends up championing the cause of equal pay rights of Tamils in that country.A nugget of history will help here: Tamilians have lived in Malaysia since a millennium. The earliest settlements date back to the 11th century during the times of Chola and, later, the Pallava dynasties which ruled Tamil Nadu. At the time, most Tamilians went as merchants. However, they moved in large numbers during the British rule to work in the many plantations, never to return.Those of us who followed the works of director Pa Ranjith will know that he picks good stories but always gives it a local twist. Ranjith’s touch comes in the way he treats his subject. He gets the milieu of his story right, peppers it with funny dialogues and makes the hero’s journey believable.Ranjith also has the knack of picking the right actors. In Attakathi, Dinesh of Visaaranai-fame played the lead.

His next, Madras, may have featured the big star, Karthi, but its plot and how it was treated remained its biggest draws. Ranjith earned some serious praise for his understanding of the social-political milieu of north Chennai, particularly, the angst of its youth and how easily they become pawns in the hands of local politicians. And it all starts with a graffiti drawn on a wall where young people play football.The golden rule to know new things is to work with younger people they have more drive and just know new ways of doing things. So, one of Rajinikanth’s regulars, AR Rahman, was replaced by the 33-year-old Santosh Narayanan. His music is fresh and the song ‘Neruppu Da’ (there is fire) proves this.