Because Rajinikanth Fans Deserve to Have a Film of Their Own!
A Rajini fan does an extreme stunt for the love of the actor in a scene from <i>For The Love Of A Man</i>
A Rajini fan does an extreme stunt for the love of the actor in a scene from For The Love Of A Man

Because Rajinikanth Fans Deserve to Have a Film of Their Own!

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth’s fans are stars in their own right. Their obsession with the actor beats all reason and practicality. Rinku Kalsy, a filmmaker based in Amsterdam was so inspired by their fandom (which frankly, is borderline craziness) that she decided to make a documentary on the impact that the megastar has on their daily lives. The film titled For The Love Of A Man, has gained entry into the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.

Interestingly, the film depicts how Rajini fans take extreme steps to make each one of their idol’s films, a blockbuster hit. While one fan sold his house to contribute money towards the printing of massive posters of the actor, another mortgaged his wife’s jewellery. Their families might not be pleased with them for it, but the fans themselves have great conviction in their loyalty and love for Rajinikanth.

The documentary is a crowd funded effort. This appeal video will give you a sense of the insanity that goes behind making Rajini the phenomenon that he is!

Rinku Kalsy has been working closely with her friend Joyojeet Pal, who travels all the way from Michigan to teach kids in small villages across Tamil Nadu. It was Pal who sparked the idea in Kalsy’s head and they’ve been researching and collaborating on the project for almost four years.

Rinku Kalsy, director of <i>For The Love Of A Man</i>
Rinku Kalsy, director of For The Love Of A Man

This film has been an extremely dear project both for Joyojeet and me, as both of us have grown up with a passion for Indian cinema. First, our film explores the unique importance of popular culture for the lives of people in South India. The influence of cinema in the lives of people is truly unparalleled in other parts of the world. Rajnikanth fans do not just stay overnight waiting for a film, they dedicate years of their lives for their stars. From selling their homes to support fan club activities to climbing mountains on one’s knees to pray for the success of a film, no act is too extreme. Anything one does for God, one could do for the right film star. Fan club members who are not a fringe group, but a very sizable population, enough to make large blockbuster films recover their entire multi-million budgets through fan spending alone.

The second issue we cover, by following the fans in their daily lives, is understanding fan culture from a socio-economic perspective. Who are these fans? What are the consequences of their actions? Where do they end up? What does this all say about the “India Rising” discourse of a growing, inclusive, economy? What are the fans within this whole system?
– Rinku Kalsy, Filmmaker

For The Love Of A Man intends to tell a human story of passion, devotion, and expression, from the lens of a Rajini fan. The stories of the protagonists (Ravi and Mani) are supported by many smaller, often poignant stories of other fans. In the end, the character of the star is itself eclipsed by that of the fans.

The filmmakers haven’t reached out the actor himself but apparently he already knows about the project. If you’re a Rajini fan too, check out Rinku Kalsy’s campaign and help fund the documentary.

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