Tamil composer Ilaiyaraaja set the stage for a musical evening a week ago to celebrate film star Kamal Haasan’s 60 years in the industry. But the tenor was usurped by actor Rajinikanth when he said, “Miracles are happening all around us. Two years ago, Edappadi Palaniswami could not have imagined becoming the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. When he did, many said his rule may not last for more than a couple of weeks. However, it has been two years now and he is still in power.”
This was in continuation of his diatribe recently that there was a political vacuum in the state after the death of J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi. Kamal echoed his views. The TN chief minister decided to draw battle lines with his retort that Kamal’s political foray was on the ruins of his film career and he would meet the same fate as legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan, whose political career bombed.
While Kamal undersigned his political aspirations with the launch of his Makkal Needhi Maiam last year, Rajnikanth continues to keep people guessing on floating a political party. But earlier this week, they delivered identical lines at the airport, sending the political and film fraternity into a tizzy. On November 19, both actors said they may join hands for the “betterment of people in TN”.
This could turn the 2021 Assembly elections into a blockbuster, but coming as it does from stars who are on two ends of the ideological spectrum, fans and political observers are equally shocked. Rajinikanth is a votary of spiritual politics. Kamal, on the other hand, is a rationalist. Will this alliance work? The last time two stalwarts came together only to splinter away was when Karunanidhi and M G Ramachandran got together for the Dravidian cause.
Rajnikanth and Kamal have been filmmaker K Balachander’s proteges and have shared screen space in his films. But sharing the political stage is a different ballgame. While the trailer appears interesting, would the film actually be shot? To capture people’s imagination, they need to deliver more than punch dialogues.