chapter  2
Image-Building Devices
Pages 19

The imaging of Rajini Kanth's (RK) politics could therefore be seen in four phases: the first extends over the major chunk of his acting career from Apoorva Raagangal to the death of M. G. Ramachandran (MGR); the second covers the period from Guru Sishyan to Baatshaa; the third starts with Muththu and extends through Baba to the parliamentary elections in 2004; and the fourth phase starts with Chandramukhi and goes through Enthiran to the present. The most spectacular gain RK has made during this inside-insider phase concerns the huge profits he reaped by brilliantly positioning his films across his political interventions stretched over five years, making them super hits. Party politics during the first phase is treated as an integral part of the overall socio-political system, which is wilfully challenged, defied, toppled and finally conquered and redeemed by the supra-legal RK, who positions himself above but outside the system.