Shankar and his `S pictures` celebrated the 100th day of their blockbuster Imsai Arasan 23 am Pulikesi at the Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai. The chief guest at the function was superstar Rajnikanth who made the evening memorable.
The 3 hr 20 minute function started at 6.45 pm and speaker after speaker went on and on about Imsai…, Vadivel, Shankar and of course the superstar! Everybody sweated it out waiting for the Superstar to make his speech which was the highlight of the evening.
There were about 17 speakers including guests like Vijay, Prabhu, Vivek, Satyaraj and the cast &crew like actresses Monica, Tejasree, Tamil writer Puthumai Pithan who had written the dialogues and lyrics, director Simbudevan and hero Vadivel.
An emotionally charged Vadivelu said: “When Simbudevan narrated the story to me I had doubts whether the story of kings and queens will work with today’s audience. But he was confident of his script right from the word go”. Everybody burst out laughing when he talked about the difficulty encountered in wearing the costumes in the film that hurt his buttocks!
Simbudevan said: “But for a strong producer like Shankar, the film would not have been made. He had the guts to experiment and spend so lavishly on a newcomer”. Shankar in his thanksgiving said; “90 percent of the success of the film goes to Simbudevan. He was totally dedicated to his work”.
However, the highlight of the evening was Rajnikanth’s 15 minutes speech at the fag end of the programme. He said: “The three main reasons for the success of Pulikesi is Shankar’s passion for making mass movies with big budgets and the way he marketed it. His dedication and trust on director Simbudevan and packaging of the film.”
He also revealed that Shankar had pledged his house and taken the risk to release the film himself when distributors were not willing to take risk on a comedy film and that too a period film. Rajni referred to Shankar as a one-man industry. About Simbudevan, he said “Hats off to that boy. He has proved with his first film that he has a bright future ahead.”
The superstar was all praise for Vadivel’s performance in the film. Added Rajni: “Vadivel is the foundation of Imsai….. without his perfect comic timing, the film would have not been such a huge hit. If God had given Vadivel better looks then would have been a bigger superstar than Rajnikanth or Kamal Hassan!” The entire audience clapped hearing Rajni’s speech.