With the exception of Sivakarthikeyan’s Rajini Murugan, film titles like Main Hoon Rajinikanth and Perumaan The Rajinikanth could not get approval from Thalaivar and they had to make last-minute title changes. However, actor Selva is coming out with a film that has an interesting title — 12-12-1950, which is the birth date of Rajinikanth. Besides directing the movie, Selva has also acted as Kabali Selva — one of the five leads in the movie. In fact, he has rechristened himself as ‘Kabali Selva’. The actor/filmmaker speaks to DC about how he got Rajini’s approval and details about the film.
“It is about five Rajini fans. After completing the script, we brainstormed and considered several titles before we finally zeroed in on the title 12-12-1950. It also went well with our tagline – Not just birthdays, we celebrate his birth everyday,” Selva starts his conversation. On the genre, he says, “It is 72 per cent comedy and 28 per cent GST — which means Gangster, Sentiment and Thriller! It’s about five fans of Rajinikanth sir and their journey. Apart from me essaying Kabali Selva, Ramesh Thilak, Ajay, Adhavan and Prashanth have been roped in for the leads. I play a kung-fu grandmaster and I sport Rajini’s Kabali looks.” Additionally, Thambi Ramaiah appears in nine different get-ups.
A fan of Rajini in real life too, from his 1978 film Aayiram Jenmangal, Kabali Selva says, “I used to visit Rajini sir regularly on all my birthdays and take his blessings. After I finalised the movie, I met him and explained about the film, so that I don’t face any problem in future. He was happy and wished me for my second directorial venture.”
Talking about the social causes he is involved in, Selva says, “I started a movement called WASBOND (world anti-smoking bond), two years ago. So far, I have taken 60,000 signatures from school students, who have pledged that they will not touch cigarettes in their life. Then too, I met Rajini sir and discussed about my initiative. Also, there’s no smoking scene in the movie.” We have not used any punch lines of Rajini sir in the movie, he adds. “12-12-1950 would be a tribute to Rajini sir,” he concludes.