Holding a matinee idol status in the popular culture of Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth has starred in several commercially successful films. Predominantly working in Tamil films, the actor has also worked in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali films. Rajinikanth made his debut in K Balachander’s Apoorva Raagangal and got his breakthrough with the film Moondru Mudichu. On his 71st birthday, here is a look at some of his all-time hits.
BHUVANA ORU KELVI KURI
Directed by S.P Muthuraman, Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri was released in 1977. The film was based on a novel by the same name. Starring Sivakumar and Sumithra along with Rajinikanth, the film focused on two friends with conflicting characters and lives. Rajinikanth’s role as a failed lover in the movie won him critical acclaim.
Veteran actor Billa played dual roles in the action thriller film Billa, which was a remake of the Bollywood film Don, featuring Amitabh Bachchan. The film became his biggest commercial success back then and gave Rajinikanth an action hero image.
Rajini’s Thillu Millu became his first full-length comedy film, which was released in 1981. Directed by Balachander, the film was a remake of the Bollywood film Gol Maal. It also starred Thengai Srinivasan, Nagesh, Poornam Vishwanathan, Sowcar Janaki, Madhavi and Viji Chandrasekhar in supporting roles.
Rajinikanth made his Bollywood debut in Tatineni Rama Rao’s Andhaa Kaanoon, which soon became the highest-grossing Bollywood film in 1983. The film also starred Hema Malini, Reena Roy along with Danny Denzongpa and Amrish Puri.
Becoming the highest-grossing Tamil film of that time, Kabali is an action drama film featuring Rajinikanth. Starring an ensemble cast of actors, the film won several awards. Rajinikanth played a Malaysian Tamil crime boss in Pa. Ranjith’s Kabali, which had the biggest weekend opening for an Indian film.