Rajinikanth rules

‘Bloodstone’, Rajinikanth’s solo Hollywood misadventure

The Southern superstar plays a crooked cab driver who gets embroiled in the hunt for a cursed ruby.

According to his fan base and internet lore, Tamil superstar and birthday boy Rajinikanth is bigger than Hollywood – which is probably why the only Hollywood movie to feature the actor could barely contain his presence.

Bloodstone, directed by Dwight H Little in 1988, was Rajinikanth’s solo Hollywood misadventure. It was one of several films made over the years that have attempted to merge the worst of the West with the best of the East. Bloodstone is a low-budget adventure about the hunt for “India’s largest ruby.” A thief who has stolen the cursed stone slips it into the luggage of a American couple vacationing in Chennai, who then unknowingly pass it on to Rajinikanth’s crooked taxi driver Shyam. The movie was produced by Ashok Amritraj, from the tennis playing clan, who moved to Hollywood in the 1980s and produced a series of soft-core and action titles.

Bloodstone was made during an insanely busy decade in Rajinikanth’s career, alongside several Tamil releases, remakes of Hindi films, as well as Hindi movies such as Andha Kanoon and Geraftaar. The superstar speaks English in the movie, which apparently had to be re-shot with a dialogue coach.

Play

Bloodstone was also dubbed in Hindi and released in India. A Romancing the Stone for the Third World, the movie is strictly for Rajinikanth completists. The production values are tacky, the plot makes little sense, and there are Orientalist clichés like snakes, buffaloes, and tigers. The acting is mostly sub-par, especially by Charlie Brill, an American actor who plays a bumbling Clouseau-like inspector named Ramesh, of all things. But Rajinikanth is all there, paying full attention to the scripting contrivances and never stinting on the cocky smile, kinetic hand movements and insouciant air that elevated him to God-like status in the South.

In Rajinikanth The Definitive Biography, Naman Ramachandran writes that the actor was cast on the suggestion of Amritraj, who hails from Chennai. Ramachandran interviewed Little, who said that the actor was “an absolute delight… Funny and always ready and on time. A real pleasure”. The film was shot in Chennai and Bangalore, and the masses followed their hero. “Yes, we had huge crowd problems,” Little told Ramachandran. “People would travel on foot for miles to get a look at him. Buildings were covered with people on rooftops and balconies. When he would step outside, the sound was so loud that we could not film. There was an accident when a building gave way under the weight of all the people. I don’t think anyone was seriously hurt.”

Play
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

Play
Play
Play

2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.