They’ve been rivals for decades. And now, when people thought there would be a clash between Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan’s new Hindi-Tamil bi-lingual, the two have decided to steer clear of one another in Mumbai and Chennai.
Apparently the two Tamil legends had a hush-hush meeting to sort out the rumours of an impending clash between Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam and Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiyaan.
It’s now been decided that Kamal Haasan will be seen on the big screen before Rajinikanth.
Says a source, “Both the films were slated for a post-Diwali release. That’s when the darling doyens of Tamil cinema decided to put their heads together.”
Apparently, at the meeting behind closed doors, Kamal Haasan decided to advance Vishwaroopam, so that there could be a clear gap of two months between the two releases.
Says a source close to both the mega-stars, “Rajini sir’s film is still undergoing rigorous post-production. Kamal sir’s film is almost ready. Kamal sir has agreed to prepone his film’s release. Vishwaroopam will be released in October while the tentative release for Kochadaiyyan is in December or January.”
Confirming that a clash with Rajinikanth has indeed been avoided, Kamal Haasan says: “We’ve made a pact not to clash. It would do no good to either of us to release films together. It’s because of economics that Rajini and I have not come together since our mentor K Balachander’s Ninaithale Inikkum in 1979. No filmmaker can afford to cast us together, except me.”
Interestingly, Ninaithale Inikkum is being re-released as a technically enchanced digital-dolby experience.
Kamal thinks it is pointless. “I guess the lure of watching me and Rajinikanth together is the motive behind this revamped avatar of our old film. But let me warn Rajinikanth’s fans that he only has a cameo in Ninaithale Inikkum. So there’s no big clash between us. And in any case, it’s not one of our best films, together or apart. It’s what I’d call a potboiler which has little relevance to present-day reality. It is like Love In Tokyo (the 1960s’ Pramod Chakravarty musical) if released in today’s times. Ninaithale Inikkum had some hit music. And Rajinikanth had a chartbuster song, Singapore singari.”
Kamal Haasan is a big Balachander fan. “He is by far the best filmmaker India has produced in the last four decades. I consider him my guru and my mentor. I happily served as a spotboy, choreographer and actor on his sets. In Balachanderji’s Hindi film, Aaina, you can catch me playing the clapper boy in a song. He has made all kinds of films. His range is as staggering as Vijay Anand, who made both Guide and Jewel Thief. At the age of 83, he is as passionate about filmmaking as he was 30 years ago.”
Kamal Haasan feels only Balachander can bring Rajinikanth and Kamal together.
“He discovered both of us. He’s our guru. We’d both obey him,” said the actor affectionately.