AV: Guess what Madh! I recently saw Jai at Sathyam cinemas! He was so good-looking.
MD: Did you say Sathyam cinemas? You are lucky, man. You get to see actors; I don't even get a ticket there.
AV: Apart from Sathyam cinemas, I mentioned Jai, too. Why the long face? What happened?
MD: Well, it’s December 12th, and I am not celebrating it properly.
AV: Oh, Thalaivar’s birthday! You shouldn't be calling yourself a fan if you don't celebrate.Tsk. Tsk. Which plan of yours went awry?
MD: You don't read the news, do you? I thought you would have figured it out by now. Baasha is getting released digitally, and I haven't been able to get a ticket for myself.
AV: Wow! I really like Baasha! His style and mannerisms leave you mesmerized. It's a pity you are stuck at home on his birthday. Dude, get a ticket in black at least!
MD: Style and mannerisms! Tell me about it. You think anybody wants to sell off those precious tickets? I wonder why I didn't get one when the bookings opened three months ago.
AV: Whoa! Three months? Bookings opened that long back? I am guessing the tickets got sold out in a day. Remember the highly-priced tickets for Kabali? I had to write off my entire pocket money for one ticket! They were sold out so fast despite the price.
MD: Yeah. I remember how we got up at 3 AM to check if the website was open. It wasn't that tough for his other movies though.
AV: Now that you say, I notice the FDFS of Rajini movies is a big craze in recent times. Do you wonder why the sudden change?
MD: Well, as a fangirl, all I can say is, it’s Rajinikanth! The man releases films once in two or three years, so we get crazy.
AV: Precisely my point. The one movie he does in a year or two are mostly with a commercial element, such that the star in him is highlighted. These movies use his stardom to become a hit. Moreover, he keeps us waiting for one movie, thereby creating a hype. There isn't any other appealing factor to it apart from Rajinikanth.
MD: Woah, woah! That's so not true. He doesn't do films for commercial aspects. He can't help it when it earns more in the box office, can he? Moreover, he chooses movies for the story and not only to showcase his style. Come on, Kabali was from a director who had done only two movies previously!
AV: But, Kabali didn't go down well with the audience. It wasn't what the people expected from Rajini. I regret squandering my pocket money for that movie.
MD: See, it's clear that the audience is the one giving him this star image. I loved the movie for it brought his acting side shunning the star image. But, I don't think this generation wants ‘Rajini the actor’ anymore.
AV: You are right. We got to see only the superstar side of Rajinikanth and we wouldn't want to settle for anything else. The recent 2.0 poster is a standing example for his magnanimity, don't you think?
MD: Yes, the budget speaks for itself. Costliest movie made in Asia is something huge. But, it is disappointing that he has settled to do commercial films again.
AV: Well, I don't think it's his doing. The producers choose him for his stardom and fame. Then, they use his popularity to hit jackpot with a single movie.
MD: Well, glad that you got it. I hope everyone realizes the same. Why else do you think Shankar roped him in for 2.0?
AV: It's the sequel to the blockbuster Endhiran, dude. It has to have Rajini!
MD: See, that's why you should talk to the fangirl. In the first place Endhiran was written for Kamal Hassan. Remember how Shankar tweaked it for Rajini later?
AV: Yeah. But, how is that connected with 2.0?
MD: Well, 2.0 has a similar history. It seems it was not written for Rajini, but for somebody else. Also, it had a different storyline and a relatively smaller budget.
AV: What? Really? Then how did Rajini come into the picture?
MD: As you said earlier, the producers wanted the jackpot once they bid higher.
AV: Now, stop beating around the bush. You get some pleasure with riddles, don't you? Out in the open now. Come on, tell.
MD: Try solving one, lazy bug. Shankar got the producer changed to Lyca and they let him improvise of his own accord.
AV: So, the mystery behind the big budget is solved, I guess. Now, I think we know why Rajini was on board for 2.0. A movie of such grandeur needs to be promoted well, and who better than The Superstar! To put in short, Rajini is a guaranteed money launderer.
MD: Yeah. If you notice, any big budget movie is now trilingual, and the directors don't rely much on their story. Unlike films like Baahubali, they need a Rajinikanth to get them the money back.
AV: Ah! I've now figured out why Akshay Kumar was given equal importance in 2.0. It is a trilingual film! So, they need to have a selling factor in Bollywood apart from Rajini.
MD: When Arnold asks for a pay that is same as the whole budget, who better than one of Bollywood’s superstar? But, it is sad that cinema is now all about business and no longer an art.
AV: Times have changed and so have the audience’s perception. I can understand your feelings as a fangirl. Don’t you cry. Things will change for the better. You never know what is in store.
MD: I feel we are talking too philosophically. Today is Thalaivar’s birthday, let us not let anything hinder our celebrations. I still haven't forgotten your black ticket idea, and when everything else fails, I have you with your pockets, don't I?
AV: You forget my pocket has a hole!
MD: It is not that great remembering your pants, anyway.
AV: Enough with you, fangirl. Go and get yourself a ticket on Thalaivar’s birthday! Don't embarrass the fan club, please.
MD: Okay, I won’t. But, I will go only if you come with me.
AV: Anything for you, dear.