" \\r\\n<br><p>\\n<h2 class=\\"intro\\">\\nA biographer traces the cinematic, spiritual and political journeys of Rajinikanth\\n<\\\/h2>\\n<\\\/p><div id=\\"content-body-14269002-35759280\\">\\n<p>Growing up in Tamil Nadu in the 1980s and \\u201990s meant growing up in a world that was polarised between Rajinikanth fandom and Kamal Haasan fandom. There were just two roads leading into the woods and you chose one, swearing life-long allegiance.<\\\/p><p><strong>Also Read | Get \\u2018First Day First Show\\u2019, our weekly newsletter from the world of cinema, in your inbox<\\\/strong>. <a href=\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.thehindu.com\\\/navigation\\\/article31595262.ece\\" title=\\"\\">You can subscribe for free here<\\\/a><\\\/p><p>For the people of Tamil Nadu, who have always preferred to split their loyalties between well-matched binaries (MGR-Sivaji, Jayalalithaa-Karunanidhi, and later, Vijay-Ajith) these two rising stars were perfectly poised to be split into two polar recipients of that adulation. And in this State, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that stardom leads to politics. The prophecy has played out in the case of these two stars as well. Only, they found themselves trapped in a post-modernist, dystopian version. Rajini\\u2019s final (?) withdrawal from politics and Kamal Haasan\\u2019s rout in the recent election is where this story rests now. That was not the script though. <\\\/p><p>Which is why news of a biography on Rajini was exciting. It\\u2019s not easy writing the life history of a superstar, and with this larger than life, reticent superstar who has preferred to cloak his life in mystique, filmy dialogues, and smoke-machine fog, it certainly could not have been a walk in the park. He\\u2019s star, wannabe politician, spiritualist \\u2014 always more than one can chew. So, it was a bold move to attempt to chronicle this life, particularly without access to key dramatis personae. <\\\/p><p>The greatest strength of this book is possibly that it provides the first elaborate cogent account of the early life of Rajinikanth, beyond his \\u2018conductor\\u2019 days \\u2014 a trope even fans have looked past. Vaasanthi painstakingly puts together tidbits, including what the star let slip in a mellow mood on odd occasions over the years, to portray in detail an early life that is a significant window to the personality. She also creates structure from what could be a baggy monster of material, leading us through his cinematic journey, interspersed with the shadows thrown on it by the key character\\u2019s spiritualism and the brush with politics, and politicians. <\\\/p><p><strong>Flip-flop account <\\\/strong><\\\/p><p>It would not be fair to expect chronological sequencing in a later life, especially one that is fraught with flip-flops, but one can\\u2019t help wondering if a more cogent account, with an unabashed portrayal of Rajini as the central celestial figure around which things spin, might have worked better. <\\\/p><p>Yes, it is true that the life of Rajinikanth is not just the life of an individual, you need to tell the story of a province, its political, social and cultural spaces spanning several decades, with a galaxy of characters to boot and multiple milestones. And yet no one will fault a writer who grants Rajinikanth the celestial space that he anyway already occupies, certainly not his fans. <\\\/p><p>The story, in classic rags to riches progression, is a genre that is inspiring because of its content, and given in this case, the meteoric rise of the maverick Shivaji Rao Gaekwad into a superstar, no doubt it is a significant work as profiles go. However, the book is wedged somewhere between blind fans so trapped in a construct that obliterates reality, and political watchers most of whom have justifiably been sceptical of the man\\u2019s actual entry into politics, given his flip-flops. <\\\/p><p>And, of course, if we were to allow Bollywood to deliver a punchline that is in the same league as Rajnikanth\\u2019s, then: <em>Picture Abhi Baaki Hai, dost<\\\/em>! Indeed, there are further chapters in this biopic. <\\\/p><p><strong><em>Rajinikanth: A Life<\\\/em>; Vaasanthi, Aleph Book company, \\u20b9699.<\\\/strong><\\\/p><p><em>firstname.lastname@example.org<\\\/em><\\\/p>\\n<\\\/div>\\r\\n\\r\\n<br><a href=\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.thehindu.com\\\/books\\\/books-reviews\\\/rajinikanth-a-life-review-the-many-lives-of-a-superstar\\\/article35759280.ece\\">Source link <\\\/a>"