The long-delayed moment in cinematic history finally happened on Sunday afternoon when Rajnikanth shot with Shah Rukh Khan at Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods studio.
The mighty Tamil icon arrived with his younger daughter Soundarya who singlehandedly made the historic scene featuring her father and Shah Rukh happen. The rest of Rajnikanth’s family was apparently totally against his one-day break from his acting sabbatical and the process of recuperation.
In fact Rajnikanth’s elder daughter Aishwarya categorically told this writer a few days ago that the super-icon was not shooting for Ra.One in Mumbai!
But Rajni did arrive in Mumbai with Soundarya and her team of technicians on Sunday morning. After a brief rest, in the afternoon the mega-star and his team headed for Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods studio, shot the scene amidst an environment of incredible bohomie.
Then Shah Rukh bid the semi-ailing Chennai God goodbye. After this Shah Rukh and his Ra. 1 team headed straight for the studios to put the scene with Rajnikanth in place.
Ra. 1 now stands officially completed.
Rajni Sir’s daughter Soundarya had brought along her team from Chennai to make sure no time was wasted. She gently made it known that Rajnikanth would not be able to shoot for more than a couple hours.
As a matter of fact, the shot was canned much quicker.
Shah Rukh and Rajni Sir were so comfortable with one another. Shah Rukh made the senior superstar so comfortable. There was no doubt that Shah Rukh is Rajnikanth’s fan and he didn’t hide it on Sunday afternoon as he faced the icon for the camera. ”
Apparently the only other time when Shah Rukh felt so humbled and overwhelmed while shooting with a co-star was when he shot with Amitabh Bachchan for the first time, and with that other doyen of Tamil cinema Kamal Haasan in Hey Ram.
Sound designer Resul Pookutty took time off from post-production of Ra. 1 that was on immediately after the Rajni-SRK shooting, to describe the “humbling inspiring overwhelming experience” of watching the two superstars shoot together.
Says Resul, “ The shooting went off like a dream. Watching Rajni Sir and SRK together was indeed a dream come true. The shooting went off so gracefully and with so much finesse. This is truly a great tribute from one superstar to an icon. ”
Sighs Resul, “The Ra. 1 team feels the film is complete now after Rajni Sir’s shooting. Both Rajni Sir and Shah Rukh in one frame together is like wildfire! They were so comfortable together it was hard to imagine they had never shot together before. ”
Resul feels the shooting couldn’t have happened without Soundrya’s support. “She came to Mumbai with her team to oversee every detail of the shooting. There is no one like Rajnikanth. He proved it when he set side his health concerns and came to Mumbai on Sunday. ”
Resul wonders if a Bollywood star would be able to make the same generous gesture for a South Indian colleague. “It’s not easy to do what Rajni Sir did for us. The Ra. 1 team can’t thank him enough. If he had not shot for us Ra. 1 would’ve remained incomplete. “