Panaji — As India-West exclusively reported a year ago, Rajinikanth’s adoring fans have inspired Amsterdam-based young filmmaker Rinku Kalsy to make a feature-length documentary on the Tamil superstar.
Titled “For the Love of a Man,” the documentary features the madness of the “Lingaa” star’s admirers in Tamil Nadu during his illness. It also shows how fans exhaust their life’s investments on him before the release of a film.
"The whole idea of this documentary was looking at Rajini through the eyes of his fans. I spent four years with the fans in Tamil Nadu, trying to understand how they and their household function when their star is ill and how it affects their households," said Kalsy.
Kalsy conceived the idea of making a documentary through a friend who travels all the way from Michigan to teach kids in the small villages in Tamil Nadu.
"Joyjeet Pal, who is also the producer of the documentary, used to tell me how small kids in Rajini’s state are affected by his stardom. Joyjeet teaches at Michigan University and he was traveling a lot to small places in Tamil Nadu to teach young kids.
"They aspire to be like his characters portrayed in the films. They look up to Rajini and parents are also happy with their children’s decision of becoming like him. So, we thought we should explore this further," she said.
Though Kalsy did not get the chance to meet the 63-year-old actor, she believes that Rajinikanth has an idea about the documentary being made on him.
"I have seen him at many venues, but I haven’t reached out to him personally yet. I do believe he knows that we are doing this documentary on him," she said.
The film, which is presented through the eyes of his fans, explores the journey of four main characters — Ravi Anna, Kamal Anand, Sugandhi and Mani, and N. Ravi.
"There are four main protagonists in the documentary and each of them represents social aspirations — how people are using their own investments doing a big poster release of Rajini which had nothing to do with Rajinikanth, his company or the distributors of his films. There is also a mimicry artist who is actually not a fan of Rajini, but the fandom gives him three meals a day," she said.
The filmmaker is also planning to hold a special screening for Rajinikanth before the film’s February 2015 release.
"We definitely would like to show our film to Rajinikanth before releasing it worldwide," said Kalsy, who has also become a fan of the actor after meeting his crazy admirers.