It was a long wait to see stars descend on earth for a glitzy evening at Park Hyatt, Hyderabad. It was worth it too, the build-up towards Kaala’s press meet in the city was gradual and steady. The amplifiers captured the metallic twist in Santosh Narayanan’s score to the hilt, a mashup of Rajinikanth’s popular dialogues played in the background; we surely weren’t complaining.
By Rajini’s standards though, the event was subdued. It looked like the cast and crew of the Pa. Ranjith directorial (also starring Huma Qureshi and Easwari Rao) preferred their film to do the talking. Yet there were a few moments to be cherished.
Kaala marks Dhanush’s first association as a producer for a Rajinikanth film. The actor-producer added that he was nervous but took this up as an honour to tell to the story of a leader who represents the fight of a common man. “Kaala is a film for the people, about the people. It’s a bold, well-researched film. Director Ranjith has captured the unique lifestyle of Dharavi, their struggles, fights and day-to-day survival. The problems aren’t of Dharavi alone; it’s a universal story about the oppressed, neglected masses. Who better to represent the fight for a common man than Rajini?”
Easwari Rao stated that she owed this platform and stage as an actor to Rajinikanth, and added that she was a part of Kaala only because of the trust of director Pa Ranjith and Dhanush in her abilities. “If there was one wish as an actor, it was only to be Rajini’s on-screen jodi. We rather want you to speak about our film than us talking about it.” Huma Qureshi felt indebted to the director to have been cast as Zarina in a “beautiful script”. “Most of my co-actors in the film are friends now,” she remarked.
Rajnism to the fore
Pa. Ranjith understands that his film comes with a lot of expectations; he insisted the film will bring forth a different dimension of ‘Rajinism’, where Rajinikanth deals with issues concerning slum dwellers in his fight for certifying land as a right.
Composer Santosh Narayanan further added, “One of the biggest problems in today’s society is the politics of land. Over 60% of people don’t own land in the country, the film deals with that mystery. This is among Rajini sir’s best. Most of them have done their best work in the movie. We worked with different rappers for various languages to mirror politics of different regions. I felt happy to work with Pranav Chaganty for Telugu.”
Like his ‘late and latest’ dialogue, Rajinikanth’s speech was a high point of the event as he went on a nostalgic trip, remembering his Telugu debut Anthuleni Katha in 1978 and a host of Telugu films like Annadammula Sawaal, Iddaru Asadhyule, Tholi reyi gadichindi that did well. “Many know the dilemma I faced in choosing between Telugu and Tamil cinema. I chose the latter because that’s where I got my first break from director K Balachander. I’ve received great love from Telugu viewers over the years, as much as the Tamil audience; it’s a blessing.
The only political reference that Rajinikanth threw was of missing NTR’s blessings. He hinted, “I am missing him more now, you know the reason. Dasari Narayana Rao too treated me like one of his own.” Referring to Dhanush’s line earlier in the event, ‘There’s one and only Rajinikanth’, the actor said the same was applicable to Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, Nagarjuna and Balakrishna for their individuality. “Opportunity makes people bigger, be it any field. People use many words to describe it — luck, blessing…”Many wondered why Rajini had chosen in a story by a young director for Kabali. “His story narration bowled me over,” says the actor. He confesses to have watched Kaala twice, adding it’s a commercial film with an artistic, real bent and offers a wonderful message. “Dharavi is one of the biggest slums in Asia; the film gives you a concrete idea of their struggles. Characters stay with you beyond the screening. It is emotional and real, and the unit members worked like friends.” Rajinikanth also found Kaala to be Santosh Narayanan’s best. “Easwari Rao was extremely good as a performer, so was Huma Qureshi — cooperative and didn’t bother much about continuously shifting between Mumbai and Chennai.”
Rajini claims to have had his own doubts about Dhanush as the producer, but mentions, “I would say he’s both a good actor and a producer. I am sure you will like the film.”
Producers N V Prasad, AM Ratnam, Dil Raju and Maruthi also graced the event.
Source by thehinduShare: