Sivaji – Could Have Been Cooler

by prash on 26 Jun 2007

Watching a “Rajni Movie” on the big screen.

sivajiThere’s really nothing much you can say about that experience to someone who hasn’t been there and done that. I mean, in this day and age, if you are still going to a Rajni movie with your head firmly screwed onto your shoulders, then, well, there must still be a bolt a little loose somewhere.

But if you go with undying adulation, your brains safely held in cold storage at home, your lips pursed for the numerous inevitable whistles and, of course, a simple expectation for the cinema-house entertainment that only a “Rajni Movie” can bring, then you might just go home satisfied.

Now since my review-writing skills leave much to be desired, let me intersperse this post with big words like “intersperse” (intersperse, intersperse!) and also snippets of songs from Sivaji so you can listen as you read (if you ever thought I didn’t care for you, Gentle Reader, then you are absolutely right; I am only doing this because I love the audio plugin and will use it at the slightest excuse! Onto the intro then: Thalaivar doesn’t want all these Inglees songs and wants a good-old tamil-song, so SPB masterfully complies …

[audio:Sivaji__Sooriyano_Santhirano.mp3] (Sooriyano Santhirano)

(Nayanthara, if you are listening, I take back everything I said in my Ghajini write-up – you look … um, “different”!)

Moviewise, though, Sivaji, sadly reaches nowhere near the heights of the hype created for it. To see Shankar waste a golden opportunity with such a big crowd-pulling star saddens the mind. Well, thank goodness he didn’t make another movie about his pet peeve, corruption.

Oh wait, he did.

Sivaji, an NRI from the U.S. plans to invest his wealth in building free schools and hospitals for all, but that interferes with the villain’s plans to get hefty donations and fees from his own schools and hospitals. (Brief pause for the hohums. And don’t worry about that big clicking sound – that was just a majority of the readers of this post moving away for something more exciting). In typical review-style let me finish off the one-para story with “How Sivaji overcomes the obstacles from various corrupt villains and realises his dreams forms the rest of the story”! But thank goodness the story did not illogically jump all over the place.

Oh wait, it did.

The first half is a profusion of confused and ridiculous sequences of corrupt-politician-wooing and heroine-wooing. While the script-writers are on a tea-break, Shankar moves forward with Rajni and his usual comic histrionics only a few of which were even funny. Vivek provides some moments of much needed comic relief along with Solomon Pappiah (in a role reminiscent of Thiruda Thiruda’s lorry driver (“En ponnu unakku dhaan!”)). Thank goodness there were no red-dhavanis flying in front of speeding local-trains.

Oh wait, there were. And on that note onto a multi-crore song …

[audio:Sivaji__Vaaji_Vaaji.mp3] (Vaaji Vaaji)

The whole families-getting-to-know-each-other crap boggles the mind and makes you wonder what Shankar was thinking. The “Pazhaga-Pazhaga” banner was the only funny thing in all of that. Well, as expected Shriya complies with Super Star and another bazillion-crore song follows …

[audio:Sivaji__Sahana_Saral.mp3] (Sahana Saral)

Since all that falls must rise (or something to that effect), the second half recounts the “rising”and ultimate victory of good over evil. Fantasy takes over reality, cars fly in the air, bullets stop in mid air and salute our Thalaiva and the Wachowski brothers turn even before they reach their grave as the Matrix fights are copy-catted – leather-jacket, sequenced-still-cameras and all. “Adhiradi Kaalam” has all this and more including Mariachi-inspired guns-in-guitars.

[audio:Sivaji__Athiradi_Kaalam.mp3] (Athiradi Kaalam)

Still there were some good moments in there. While it’s not clear if Shankar’s message to reduce corruption and black money will ever get across to the audience through this messy script, Rajni will still rock the ardent fan’s world. His costumes, his hairstyles, his dialogue delivery (“Pera Kaetta Undane Summa Adhurardhille?!”) and chewing-gum popping style do not disappoint! One word catch-phrase? Can you say “Cool”?

But, can you say it like Rajni?

[audio:Sivaji__Oru_Koodai_Sunlight.mp3] (Oru Koodai Sunlight)

I especially loved his impersonation of yester-stars and his “new look” towards the end of the movie (I say he should keep that). Chinni Jayanth makes a classic cameo appearance a-la Dum Dum Dum, which I greatly enjoyed. however, thank goodness there were no super-Peter-dialogues from Rajni like “Give me a break!” and “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.

Oh wait, there were.

But I already knew what to expect from a Shankar movie. And even better, what to expect from a Rajni Movie. Thank goodness I am not the sort of crazy, all-out Thalaivar-fan who drives 75 miles to see the movie in Poughkeepsie because the local theatres ran out of tickets and whose throat is hoarse from all the whistles, shouts and cheers.

Oh wait, …


[tags]sivaji, sivaji the boss, sivaji review, rajni[/tags]

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