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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sivaji - dareview!

Yes, am going to call a spade a spade..a daring attempt..
so my caveats first:
U can abuse me, threaten me or even kill me- but all online only.
I know, most of my friends are rajini fans rather fanatics..but then even they are asked to write here- no personal discussions on this..
Pl donot sermonize on how good a person he is or give me some comparision/equivalent of crap Hollywood pics..then that is crap too and I shall call it too the same..plus what is being said here is what I felt on seeing this much hyped movie (+ some accumulated rajini movie syndromes) ..lets stick to the screen events alone..
Most imp caveat- I love that fella so much as a person (ok, lemme forgive him for not coming to politix which I wanted him to badly- u cud not hav gotten a more honest guy is my op) and his humility..just check some of his interviews after all this hulla for this movie and u wud ask if he is the super star on whom so much is being said..his eyes reflect downright honesty always..but then that’s the real person..in a reel person one (atleast I) expects more of performance and acting than the nourishment the role supplies.

I went to see the movie to avoid the astonished voices of my friends (even on ISD calls) if I watched..some one said ‘don’t dare to tell me u didn’t see it as yet’..so I risked it..and so u hear it from me what I felt:

Some generalizations:
Most Rajini movies (like MGR movies of yester years) confuse between the actor, his role and persona..even if he comes as a gate keeper the co-actors, directors (and the fans, ofcourse) confuse and impart so much hype and respect in to that. So am more used to the owner of the house/company saluting and respecting the ‘gatekeeper’ so much as it cud be nauseating..that continues in this movie too..
His dance(?) wud be the best comical sequence in his movies..forget his walks and some stylish pranks that he wud perform in the midst of his songs to please his fan(atic)s..and his miming is the icing on the cake for me- I always enjoy some funny pieces like : he wud mime one in his fingers indicating one (for onru) where the lyrics wud be togetherness (onrupattu)..I shud collect some 1000s like this from his old movies and release one day..that shud be fun!
He is too bloody decent to show passion or romance or intimacy that he wud keep that much ‘decent distance’ even in ‘close’ scenes. Infact u wud see more emoting from him when he was doing that to vivek than to the heroine!
What ever his role is whole of TN wud ridiculously recognize that reel person, in the movie that is. For eg here- as soon as this NRI comes from US he throws a party and the who is who of TN (reel ones like the biggest industrialist, minister et al) all attend it. More fun is when he lands a bunch of hep girls come to the airport bcos one software guy is returning and they wud promptly disappear the moment he say GO..
In serious scenes too, some one or the other wud deliver some dialog which wud have more relevance to his persona in real life than to the reel role that he is playing then!
So in general in a rajini or mgr movie the non-comedy scenes end being best comical scenes.

Punch dialogs: rotten old they are as a ploy in a movie and have lost their relevance too..vivek says in this movie subtly and so takes the pain of delivering some, him self!. They have been so meaningless but so much followed and worshipped..again confusion factor here – between the role and person. Some years ago so dialogs against JJ wud surface ..and many times absolute crap: for eg here the biggest n talked about is “singam thaniya thaan varum” (trsln: Lion always comes alone!grrrrr unlike the pigs that come in herds) accompanied by so much of ear dashing music and effects (and side effects from fans) and he obviously entered that scene with Vivek!! Hah haa “thaniya thaan varum” and all that special effects for a scene he DID NOT come alone! So much for the punch dialog’s relevance – in movie and outside..If I expand on the outside it wud divert the focus from the movie, so lets ignore that for now.

Story: or the lack of it..ok..nri returns to serve his country/people and sees lotsa hurdles esp by the villain and the hero thwarts all that and comes out winner, ofcourse. But the weakest of all shankar’s movies..shankar is almost absent (remember how much empathy he used to generate – eg. Indian, mudhalvan, anniyan) and prolly banked on the magic of Rajini and ofcourse it has paid. But both Shankar and sujatha (script) are absent ! come to think of the amazing dialogs this duo has brot in previous outings with the glorius exception of Boys.. (“police inspectorku laser disc appanukku paasama?”)they have let Rajini down is my feeling. Infact some ridiculous dialogs like “ippadi irukkara ooru ippadi aagidum” giving crap ideas that tar and huge buildings is what is needed! And BTW why is it only politicos for black money and not any of these cinema guys? Talk of guts.. talking of guts- did u guys notice the effect of ramdoss and co have on sivaji/rajini? No ciggies thia time, its chewing gum;-) and that bounces off his hand, villains head, architectural prototype of his complex and what not? Hmmmmm…

Culture: Oh, Can one forget the tamil culture? As said b4, there r scores of women (scantily dressed) who are ready for our hero every where rit from the moment he lands, but he shoos them all and suggests he needs a true tamil cultured lady..and there she falls right in front fully dripping in culture and what not! Always skimpily dressed (hey, Shankar & co- u cant fudge accounts there on her dress costs)..2 feet above and 1 feet below the naval was always free- (dear govt- take note pl, one acre of free poromboke land there!)..my word am I getting old? Or was it tooooooo obvious?

Spl effects: found rajini's face/head too big than normal..side effect of the special effects?? That whitey stuff was yucky..i mean the thought n execution on screen was fine, but y wud one waste so much time n money for something of no relevance..its their money, ok but it pains me. Shankar has this knack of thinking big and spending so much for any smallest of scene too..if there has to be a shadow then its created with some special software in hongkong or US and so much is talked about it (crisp marketing, but) when it cud have occurred naturally or with minimal camera tricks. Gone are the days of his gorgeous and mindboggling song sequences..its more repetition like rahmans music..tending towards stale..there is this vulgar display of money spent (= wasted) than the role or story demanding such enormity..
Come to think of it, the comedy, sentiments and all other paraphernalia looked like an SPMuthuraman movie..as a co-producer did he have a say? Then good luck guys..

But come to think of the stats they r throwing..what a hit..what a planned marketing hype..add Rajini’s commercial magic to it and u have the perfect concoction..but they have depended too much only on that gas than real stuff..may be it pleased lotsa fans..more so bcos such great commercial noises and achievements..may be they wud be v happy for rajini’s commercial success and wud love to be a part of these stats and so wud run a couple of more times to the theatres, but heart of heart wud accept they expected more and this is not as great as being created..

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