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Thread: Endrendrum Thalaivar Superstar Rajinikanth - News & Updates

  1. #861
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    Baba - Room of Mirrors

    "God! God!" they cry,
    Till there forms a callus on their tongue.
    If saying God gave liberation, then,
    saying candy made your mouth sweet,
    saying fire burned your feet,
    saying water quenched your thirst,
    saying food banished hunger;
    Then, the whole world would be free.
    - Kabir Das

    The divine child walks into a Room of Mirrors. Everywhere he looked, he saw his own reflection. The divinity inside him allowed him to create himself using his own reflections. On one mirror, he drew a mustache, on the other a beard. He kept on altering himself by playing with his own images. Finally, he created his own demon by decorating himself as a fiend; thus, stuck inside the Room of Mirrors playing with his own reflections and forgetting the reality. He trapped himself with the other selves that he had created for eternity without gaining realisation - He became what he thought.

    Sai Baba of Shirdi says, "Dust if you think, dust you are. God if you think, God you are. Think God. Be God. You are God. Realize it."

    Inside the Room of Mirrors, the divine child Baba undergoes four states of consciousness before getting absorbed back into his native state of being unreflected.

    When we first witness Baba (played by Rajini) on the screen, he is seen having his eye shut tightly. In this posture, The Waking State, Baba becomes aware of the quotidian - The Outward Knowing - becoming conscious when he opens his eyes (and watches the watching audience).

    [The director of the film, Suresh Krisnaa, immediately establishes a direct communication with the viewers, by calling for a Bird's Eye View camera angle for the opening shot, making the audience as the Devine Watcher of the Devine Child.]

    Baba enters into the Room of Mirrors, creating himself anew with his own reflection. Even though Baba is a non-believer, his divine knowledge is inborn. Whoever he creates himself to be - a truck driver, a laborer, a leader whose primary activity is to protect, a lover, a son, a friend, an alcoholic, a chain smoker ... etc - Baba got the ability to design his reflection as anything he wishes on the mirror - the divine knowledge cannot be subdued.

    Baba enters the second state while lying down on a cart on the roadside. Baba enters into his vast subconscious mind.

    [The Cry of Violins is absolutely brilliant. Hats off ARR. The vibration the string instruments bring creates a sort of intervention - something that knocks the doors of the mind. The director, again, goes for a Bird's View camera angle, as though the intervention is happening from above. While showing the experience of Atman (the soul), the director never fails to draw a parallel with the Jivaa (the body) through a sensory organ – Baba’s ears triggers the state. He visually captures the transformation in a series of skillfully angled shots. Hats off Chota K. Naidu]

    In this state, the Dreaming State, Baba looks inside himself - Inward Knowing. He confronts with his own wisdom and subtlety which is as big as an elephant. His Jivaa (body) experiences many different levels of existence due to the activity of Maya.

    [The director beautifully portrays Pravivikta (subtle) & Taijasa (burning) during Antah Prajnya (Inner Knowing). Baba is in a dream state with his eyes wide open. By invoking his inner knowing, his body reacts with a mysterious hand gesture. Wisdom is blessed on him by a temple elephant. Finally, the burning - he wakes up when the cigarette bud kindles heat around his finger. Hats off V. T. Vijayan]

    When Baba ejects himself from the Magic of Maya, he paints a demonic self to his reflection while walking out of Chamundeeswari 's (played by Manisha Koirala) house.

    Seeing him turning himself into something that he is not, the Messenger intervenes.

    [This is an iconic shot called by the director, a cult scene in its own right, my favourite. This single shot hold volumes of informations. There are tons of cult shots in this film. Hats off Suresh Krisnaa]

    The Messenger pulls Baba out of the Room of Mirrors and guides him to experience the third state - Deep Sleep (Sarva Jnya, the Knower of All), a state where underlying ground of consciousness is undistracted.

    Baba realizes Karana Sarira (The Causal body) - The innermost body that veils Atman (True Soul). Baba meets Maha Avatar Babaji who is (*beleived to be) the origin and dissolution of created things.

    [*Disclaimer : Mappi & Religion, oil and water. No mixing.]

    Baba returns. Every instance in his life seems to be a dream when the three states - Outward Knowing, Inward Knowing and Deep Sleep - make him transcends to the fourth and final state - Turiya, Pure Consciousness.

    [The Black top resembles that of Kaala's Kurta (Kaala is a forthcoming film directed by Pa. Ranjith starring Rajini in the lead role)]

    After few trail and runs, testing his own Self according to the both absolute and relative, Baba experiences the true state of Ananta (infinite) and becomes free from the dualistic experience which results in him smashing the Mirrors in his Mind and permitting himself to walk out of the Room of Mirrors and embrace Vipalka (The Supreme Reality).

    Baba knocks down all the Layers of the Mind and becomes Superconscious.

    Last edited by mappi; 12th November 2017 at 05:08 PM.
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  3. #862
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    Baba - Politically Spiritual

    Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
    - Amos (Book of Twelve, 3rd Book)

    Whenever I look at the above citation, it makes me to think that Politics and Spirituality move concurrently. It forces me to accept that a political party, in a wider sense, is a Religion by itself. Just like the Prophets, the Politicians have people following them waving flags and raising slogans. There is a sort of attraction these religious members (political party workers) attain when they are closer to their Leader and drown inside immense satisfaction when they call themselves belonging to a certain sect (party politics) who don't share a particular or individual view but energize themselves to believe in a standard collectiveness, sometimes communal and other times based on community. [How they attain this commonness rests over a vast area of ideology, thus, shall be left unattended inside this write-up about Baba-The Film.]

    'Our journey is just beginning', said Moses, a phrase applicable for a Preacher and a Politician.

    Our own Lord Jesus Christ brought a social change when he supported prostitutes and sat with lepers. Our own Messenger Prophet Muhammad insisted that human beings stood radically equal - 'As the teeth in a comb' - overthrowing the Arab tribal bonds. Our own Guru Raghavendra shed upon us the illumination by stating, "Social work done for worthy of the people should also be considered as the Lord’s worship."

    All the prophets were a stranger in a foreign land. They possessed distinctive qualities showing divergence in the prevailing inheritance system and established a new line of thoughts that were contrary to the laws and customs of society during the predominant social strata. They held rallies, gathered people for a common cause, led them towards equality, fought for civil rights or raised voice against injustice, racism, materialism, and militarism.

    Rabbi Heschel (Abraham Joshua Heschel, 1907-1972), the Jewish theologian, announced that church and synagogue were forbidden as long as African Americans were treated as they were.

    Very far from 'Finally', Thomas Merton's (1915-1968), a trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, statement is indeed very political when he registered, "The world is full of great criminals with enormous power, and they are in a death struggle with each other."

    There is no thin line between Spirituality and Politics. They both are mingled Spirits.

    Just by giving names to the rivers, they are no different. The tiny stream of flowing water joins the mighty ocean, not because it got a name, but it is its true nature. Similarly, a Master or Guru or Saint or Prophet or Messenger or Mystical or Monk or Enlightened One, etc., however different they are addressed, they are the Ones who have unified the Atman and Jivaa into Oneness, and continued living as a Being until their judgment day that occurred according to the Laws of Karma.

    Baba is one such Being, who even after realisation continues to be the mantle of purpose.

    [The shot size elegantly varies during this scene - the medium shot slowly zooms while sharpening on the main subject (Baba) and the camera motion is halted while shifting the shot into a close-up capturing the facial expressions of Baba]

    Baba is considered as a 'Leader of the People' by the members living around a tiny locality. He indulges in a petty quarrel with the son of a Minister, which gets escalated high along the chain of command. Even though the problem is solved amicably, the ego of the affected group intervene in Baba's life twice again, creating a turbulence of change in Baba's materialistic life - One, it takes away his beloved mother from him, Two, it makes him alter his ultimate decision.

    After the inconsequential dispute ends, Minister 'Ippo' Ramasamy (played by Riyaz Khan), gaurds his enmity with Baba warm inside his head. During the first encounter with Baba, he accepts defeat by praising Baba before his members, but he also meticulously spins himself like a snake around Baba's feet waiting for the opportunity to inject his venom into Baba's vein.

    (Nandri ... Mikka Nandri)

    It’s always a wonder how the doors open automatically for the Evil without being knocked - 'Ippo' Ramasamy receives a direct order from the highest in command to take down Baba.

    After realisation, Baba has to fight within himself to channelise his actions. It costs him his Uncle's (played by M.N.Nambiar) life to make the right movement between his thought and action. Baba reforms as a Physical Being.

    As soon as Baba determines the direction of his thoughts to flow into proper action, he is quickly surrounded by danger just like the rushing grey clouds blanketing the blue sky. Purushottaman (played by Bharathimani), the Leader of the Social System, cunningly manipulates Baba to support him. When Baba refuses, Purushottaman seeks the assistance of 'Guruji' (played by Amrish Puri), who deals with techniques and rituals including meditative practices according to esoteric traditions, to demolish the divine child and consume the mystical power inbuilt in the biological system of Baba.

    Sakthi Kodu Song sequence is the most direct appeal made by Rajini through a film. Even though the character Baba, seeks the blessing of the Godess Kalikambal to shatter the Evil that has taken over the world, as Rajini, the actor enters into a monologue conversation with the viewers.

    His body language during the entire song suggests many possible components that he efficiently uses to communicate with the viewer. He constantly induces various styles portraying handshakes, salute, waving, facial signals, nods, making a fist and pushing it up in the air, etc., each creating a growth, success and togetherness.

    Rajini spreads his arms and walks directly towards the audience inviting everyone for a warm hug.

    The director, camera-man, editor have worked out the possible ways to make it look like Rajini is conversing with the audience. The director makes him move through a defined locus, either being closer to the camera or approaching towards the camera. The focus plays a terrific job of blurring the objects denoting God, which are deliberately positioned every time nearer to the screen, further from which Rajini is moving around.

    The way they have picturised the fire element represents a situation (read year 2002), where Rajini opts to be a savior and vows to make measures tending to the betterment of the condition of the people. He communicates that without the support from crowd (seated) in front of him, it will become impossible for him to bring the needed change. It is shot in such a way that it’s not a manifestation, but a promise.

    During the intro of Rajini, the camera arcs around him. During the song sequence, Rajini circles around the camera making him covering the entire screen. The director is generous in using colours, painting Rajini’s face with tri-colors to punctuate impartiality. During the closing of the song Rajini looks directly above his head while continuing his discourse, placing the audience higher above him.

    Rajini relates the You & I factor with an efficient hand gesture pronouncing a sincere and graceful salutation.

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