Rajni as the hero is good. But Rajni as the villain is better.
This actor's metamorphosis from a baddie to a hero and vice versa was quick and unique, which could not be replicated by any other Indian actor so far.
We take a look at some of the unforgettable roles:
After meeting Rajni at the Adyar film Institute, filmmaker K Balachander saw the potential in the actor and cast him in a negative role in his debut film Apoorvaragangal, in 1975. The director also rechristened him Rajnikanth.
This film with Kamal Haasan and Srividya in lead roles had an offbeat theme dealing with complex relationships.
The film heralded the beginning of the anti-hero phase of Rajni's career, lasting from 1975 to 1977. Here, his was a comparatively insignificant cameo role, where he dies in the end. Towards the climax he is seen wearing rags with a beedi in his mouth.
Rajnikanth impressed many though some thought it an inauspicious beginning. But time proved them all wrong, and how!
Text: Saraswathy Srinivas