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Critics kept writing me off, but I bounced back every time: Rajinikanth

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

Reflecting on his failures in the last few years, said critics have tried to write him off over time but he has come back stronger every time.

The 67-year-old said his films such as daughter Soundarya's motion-capture "Kochaidaiyaan" and KS Ravikumar's "Lingaa" did not work at the box office.

said he was wary of "Kochadaiyaan" failure after watching the film's final version.

"is a genius. Working with intelligent people is easy. But, we should be careful with geniuses. She listed out a post-production budget to enhance the film's final version. But, I was sure that this wouldn't be successful. So, I insisted on releasing the with the same version," he told reporters yesterday.

The was speaking at the audio launch of his upcoming "Kaala". Santhosh Narayanan has composed the music.

About "Lingaa", said that he agreed to do the film as the subplot of interlinking rivers was a dream come true on-screen.

"I agreed to the story because the main story revolved around building a dam and interlinking of rivers was also a subplot. Interlinking of rivers is my lifetime dream, so I gave my nod immediately. However, the film flunked at the box-office. Critics, in no time, wrote me off. They have been doing that for 40 years of my career. But, I bounced back every single time," he said.

The said it was who introduced him to They first collaborated on "Kabali" in 2016.

"I instantly liked him when I met him for the first time for 'Kabali'. But, when he narrated the story, I was sceptical about the sluggishly-paced screenplay and asked my producer to watch the film. He was jumping with joy after listening to the story. So, I nodded, and the film emerged a success."

Rajinikanth revealed that it was he who suggested the idea of "Kaala" to Ranjith.

"First, I listened to a script from Vetrimaaran ("Visaaranai" director). He narrated a fantastic script, but it was politically-driven. I was not planning to make my political foray then. So, I wanted to do a different film. Then, I called Ranjith and told him about the slums in and the Tamil population who are residing there for years."

The actor, who announced his political plunge on New Year's eve, clarified that the film is not political in nature.

"I warned Ranjith that 'Kaala' should be a Rajinikanth film in Ranjith's style unlike 'Kabali' which was a Ranjith movie. There's politics in 'Kaala' but it's not a political drama. Ranjith is a great human being who cares for his community and his people a lot."

The actor said the camped in slums for weeks to do research on the film.

Rajinikanth also praised his "Kaala" co-star Nana Patekar, comparing his performance to his powerful on-screen adversaries Raghuvaran and

"In my entire career, only two actors challenged me as villain in my films. One is Raghuvaran's character of in 'Baasha' and Ramya Krishnan's portrayal of Neelambari in 'Padaiyappa.' Now, has done a great job. I was thrilled by his performance and thoroughly enjoyed it," he said.

About the impending announcement on the name and other details of his political party, Rajinikanth said the date is yet to arrive and "good days" are not far off for

Ranjith said "Kaala" would be a memorable film for those who have faced discrimination.

"'Kaala' is a film for the people and of the people. It will be an important film in which talks about inequality," he said.

Produced by Dhanush's Wunderbar Films, the film also features Huma Qureshi, Anjali Patil, Samuthirakani and

"Kaala" is slated to hit the screens on June 7.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 10 2018. 13:40 IST