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Thread: Shivaji - The Boss Review : First on the Net

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    Shivaji - The Boss Review : First on the Net

    My friend, who had a chance to have a peek at the preshow, has this to say. Rajni fans are sure in for a treat.....

    Btw - This review is not for people who are accustomed to reading reviews on sify, rediff ... with shoba's and raja sen's..... if you looking for that kind of a review.. please hit the back button...


    The repertoire of movies to his name doesn't make anyone doubt Shankar's mastery over the craft.

    But his genius lies in dishing out exact doses of the dreamworld that the Indian audience at a particular juncture in the country's development can lap up.

    Without great variation in the central thread, Shankar created blockbusters with the same thread carefully disguised in brilliant packaging starting with disgruntled youth at the commercialization of education in Gentleman, through "angry old man" of Indian against "babu-dom" and upright TV journalist of Mudhalvan throwing a theatrical challenge to the highest echelons of power and most recently the psychotic rage of suppressed middle class writhing in Anniyan.

    The briefly mentioned comparison of India's lopsided and bits-and-pieces model of growth compared to South East Asia and Japan in Anniyan is what seems to have finally blossomed into Shankar's creation of the character of Sivaji. And one can confidently say that a package so supreme for the same message with slightly different emphasis has never been seen in Indian cinema.

    With Rajnikanth playing the title role, the character stays more important than the movie through out. In run up interviews towards the release Shankar kept reiterating a "message" in Sivaji. Well, there definitely is a message, but a twin-edged one. Whilst emphasizing on the mantra of education as the panacea for the growing economic disparity of India's population, with the necessary frills of kicking some corrupt asses, Shankar makes Sivaji the larger than life, Dravidian version of Shahrukh Khan's character from Swades - not hairless, not chocolate-y.
    Swades was based on a true story of an NRI AIDing the construction of a dam for a village, Sivaji goes on to overhaul an entire village stumping with his superstar flair the greedy developers and quintessential political whackos (no connection with Vaiko Meritocracy is Shankar's new mantra.
    With strategy and action proceeding with unrelenting momentum in the second half, the first half rocks with the comedy duo of Rajni-Vivek laying bare the travails of a wealthy NRI bachelor with a dotting mom trying to find a suitable, traditional bride.

    Rajnikanth might be a politician in the making, generous social servant, reigning "boss" of south Indian cinema but first and foremost he is a trained actor and a director's one at that. The hallmark of Shankar's heroes have been their understated dignity, poise and simplicity which are in stark contrast to anything we have seen from Rajnikanth hitherto. As Sivaji, the superstardom takes a backseat for majority of the first half. This unexpected discipline in turn contrasts and sets apart the most explosive and flamboyant song picturizations seen on the silver screen with which Shankar treats that die hard Thalaivar fan. There is no other star in the world who can carry himself off in the costumes and to the beats featured in Sivaji. I wouldn't be surprised if rappers from east coast and west coast came knocking to Shankar's door for future music videos.

    With a beautifully engineered screenplay Shankar introduces characters and events with an ever ascending tempo. And there is more engineering going on the film in the form of software that has created arguably the most seamless special effects witnessed by Indian cinema. For those who were impressed with the Matrix style fight in Anniyan and the road taring effect presented in the trailer, Peter Heins has choreographed a sequence that showcases the superstar's most flexible and active attribute, his face, in an elaborate action sequence.

    Rajnikanth is the king of screen presence and Shankar has scripted screens, brought to life by K.V.Anand, Thottatharani and bunch of software engineers who make all the previous directors of Rajni movies look like slackers. Same goes for anyone who has visualized the songs of A.R.Rahman. "Sahana" song takes the cake in fluid visuals while "Style" thrills with blazing camera work and graphics.

    The expected fall out of such massive scales being that someone of Shreya's caliber gets totally dwarfed till Shankar puts her out of her misery before it becomes too late. Suman is a revelation in the second half of the movie. Almost continuously handicapped by the use of dark shades over his eyes, with voice modulation and cheek muscle twitches alone, Suman brings to life the perfect villain whom the audience can vehemently detest and the hero can mercilessly pursue with brain and brawn.

    For those accustomed to shorter Hollywood movies lately, sitting through three hour long melodramas from Bollywood had become an ordeal. But one is never made aware of the little over two and a half hours running time of Sivaji. The fresh editing perspective that came to South Indian cinema with the name Anthony to which we were treated in "4 the people", "Kaakha Kaakha" once again leaves its signature in the overall slickness of Sivaji. The superior quality of filming technology used makes one awe struck by the perfection of make up that has transformed the familiar aged look of Rajnikanth into the youthful and distinguished gentleman looks he struts in the movie. Rajni's punchlines and roars have never reverberated like this before.

    Sivaji is definitely a learning experience for students of Indian cinema. If Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was studied in schools of cinema to understand how 16 songs can be included in a movie, Sivaji will be studied for how a regional language film, banking mostly on the popularity of its lead performer, can be delivered with such stunning technical quality. The previously mentioned cinema was a great example of shoddy set-pieces and never rising above the status of a drama being filmed.
    Sivaji is without question the greatest achievement of Indian cinema. It is a mass entertainer that blends beautifully the richness of technology with triteness of storyline and crassness of heroics, mixing the philosophical with the trivial, youthful energy with apparent depth and the latest fads with the long standing notions.

    "Pera keta chumma athiruthilee"

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    Senior Member Diamond Hubber selvakumar's Avatar
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    shabbaa !!

    at the review
    Ponnu Vellai tholah? illai Karuppu tholah?
    RE: Aennn.. Puli tholu..

    Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. - David Ogilvy

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    Administrator Diamond Hubber RR's Avatar
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    Post movie reviews in 'Tamil Films' forum.

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