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Time To Ride Off Into The Sunset For Rajini?

It was an occult October for superstar Rajinikant. He was chosen for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for outstanding contribution to Indian cinema: stellar recognition for the bus conductor from Bengaluru who made it big in films. Driven by his passion and undiluted dedication, he is still in the superstar bracket at 70, paid Rs 100 crore per film, with a phenomenal fan following. This year’s Diwali release, the much touted and promoted Annathe, by Sun Films whipped up a crescendo of expectation. Rajini viewed his magnum opus with family on October 28. If one were to believe in déjà vu, his falling ill hours later with a carotid stenosis, hospitalisation and angioplasty set tongues wagging. Did Annathe disappoint? We cannot guess what his reaction was. But the film with all the marketing blitz, opened to tepid response — with a diehard fan mourning, “What a fall Thalaiva.” The film received negative reviews from critics and audiences but reportedly performed well at the box office. Legendary Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman said: “The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit.” Rajini, you have achieved far more than many privileged stars; wish you had ridden into the sunset, stylishly with a white Stetson on like the Marlboro Man. Films and casinos are alike; quit when you are up.