Tuesday, June 26, 2007
the superboss-sivajirao gaekwad
"he is a very simple human being .the kind of adulation seen for him in our country.... i don't think any indian star has ever experienced that". -amitabh bachchan
that says it all.and coincidentally i read an article recently under the speaking tree columns titled "from the ridiculous to the sublime" by rajnikanth.where he speaks to a 'times of india' columnist on his spiritual quest.the importance of having a guru to show the right path.how reading ramana maharshi changed his life.ramakrishna paramahamsa,raghavendra swamy and ramana maharshi were his first three gurus.and then satchidananda swamy of yogaville,usa.and then mahaavatar babaji. to know more about self- realisation,he travelled to babaji's cave in the himalayas and got initiated into kriya yoga."we are part of the world and yet we need to learn to lead a life apart from it". "when we are conversing on a higher plane, why do you want to go back to a lower plane?". so he alternates. from the sublime to the ridiculous. from 'baba' to the 'boss'.
the rules of the film distribution game have been changed.'sivaji-the boss' has been released across maharashtra with a record seventeen prints.a milestone of sorts.his rajni crazy tamil fans are leaving no stone unturned to see that it is a superhit.poojas have been performed to his cutouts and divine blessings sought.in mumbai alone the picture has been released in five mutiplexes.mayaajal,a theme park with six screens in chennai has been fully booked by corporates(it and bpo) for their staff and families for several shows.the six theatres in mayajaal screen 27 shows daily. gold coins were gifted to all children born on the day of release by the fans in vaniyambadi.(incidentally it was the same day when l's daughter ruhi was born).a megastarrer hindi movie,'jhoom barabar jhoom', has turned into doom barabar doom by the mighty sivaji. the 25 crore flick has bombed badly at the box office. there were riots in malaysian theatres due to delays and cancellations of 'sivaji-the boss'. a cinema theatre in malaysia was set on fire. even in countires like china and japan the movie has been released. in uk it is already in the top ten. with pulsating songs,awesome backdrops,tonnes of energy and loads of oomph,sivaji has it all.
last sunday morning i decided to see this film.how could i resist it after all the hype that i saw and read about. the decision was taken in a split second.no consulatations,no discussions.my better half was travelling and it was easy for me to decide on the movie i wanted to see .last show at metro adlabs.i didn't bargain that the show would go on from 10.45pm till 2am though. but i have no regrets. if one more proof was required,i got it. i declare rajnikant as india's most versatile actor."super s(t)aar, avar super", his fans were saying when i was leaving metro in the wee hours of the morning.
it didn't take me much time to reach metro adlabs where they are showing one latenight show of 'sivaji' every day. now three shows are being shown.it looked as if the whole of tirunelvely had descended there.the annais and thambis thronged the theatre wearing tight jeans and multicoloured halfshirts and t-shirts. wearing shades at night. all rajni fans. screaming and whistling.luckily,less boisterous and less crazy than their brothers and sisters in tamil nadu.some of them even carried high resolution cameras and cell phones to shoot the movie inside the theatre.two people were arrested while they tried to shoot the movie.
'sivaji,the boss' is now available on the mobile space as well.across 33 countries.his latest flick,ringtones and trailers.reaping in a huge collection.50,000 monotone down loads and 200,000 in the first week itself,it is a virtual record.it has been released in 200 screens across india and 52 screens alone in malaysia. and 850-900 screens worlwide.made at a cost of about rs 80 crores,some say rs 95 ctores, rajni 's fees will be rs 20 crores and share in profits.directed by shankar and music by a r rahman.its soundtrack on digital platforms are available for sale on itunes.that is a first.'hungama mobile' claimed that their servers got overeloaded and crashed three times in the first two hours of the music launch.
rajnikant stunts,style and gimmicks leave his critics freezing. he puts bacchans and the like to shame. ask a tamilian who is the biggest superstar and rajnikant's name will invariably feature.'sivaji,the boss' is his 126th film. it is an out and out entertainer.rajni with an airbrushed jawline and innumerable colourful wigs.the movie starts with a flashback in a prison cell. his neighbour prisoner asks him why he has landed there? has he committed a bank heist,murdered someone or raped a young girl. no,he says. none of these." i was trying to do good for my people by building schools,colleges and hospitals". rajnikant plays a corporate honcho. a us returned software professional,he wants to build schools,colleges,hospitals and roads for his people. "that's cool buddy,really cool". this expression must have been used by rajni atleast 15 to 20 times. and cheered by his sidekick and maternal uncle(younger than him) vivek.
'suryano chandrno,yaar ivanno, chattunu shollu'( is he the sun or is he the moon,tell me fast,who is this one?). this is the introductory song of the film which invokes his real name shivajirao gaekwad. a scion of a rich family,he is smitten by a 'real' tamilian girl in a temple.her name is tamil selvi(shriya).no westernised dames for him.and he will stop at no end to achieve her.he thrusts himself on the family and tries everything possible to woo her. coaxes her,cajoles her,flatters her and her parents. but they just will not accept him. he tries his antics in the music shop in which she works as a sales girl and creates a ruckus. when rejected by her saying that he is black he goes to great lengths to change his colour by applying loads of 'fair and lovely' on his face.milk doused with saffron.and marinates himself in multanni mitti.he even eats a platefull of red chillies to show his machismo.he attempts suicide by standing on a rail track.that is when she finally yields.flagged down by a red chunni from his heartthrob.
the picturisation of the song 'vaji' was unique."vaaji vaaji en jeevan si sivaji". a fantasy song,neeta lulla and manish malhotra did the costumes.international hairdresser sandrine verrier seth is the person behind rajni looking much younger than his real age.rajni and shriya, a 24 year girl whom he romances, appear as king and queen and there are more than 100 dancers in the background. the palace setting of a babylonian type was designed by thota tharani.
donning countless colourful wigs,he romances and also butchers wrongdoers.in a fight sequence,when he leapt in the air to deal with goons ,it seemed that he would remain airborne for some time. you have to hang your disbelief temporarily. he disproves the law of gravity.he rips open a packet,takes out a chewing gum and shoots it against his foe's head.the gum bounces back and goes straight into his mouth.a bullet stopping itself inches away from rajni's forhead.and the flick of the one rupee coin which is given to him by his adversary adiseshan(suman),a politician,also building hospitals and schools. sivaji loses everything after he admits in court that he has indeed bribed all the way to get the various clearances.that one rupee was given to him like one gives alms to a beggar by adiseshan. he uses that one rupee to turn to riches again from rags."after six it is seven and after sivaji it is heaven". he tries to scare of one of the goons with this line.in one scene he is surrounded by some 40 gangsters.the villain says to sivaji that he has made a mistake coming alone."only pigs come in groups,a lion always walks alone". deafening claps and unending whistles."amma, why was i born dark?". because his mom says,"dirt shows easily on fair people,i didn't want you to look ditry,kanna." after he is nearly killed in an encounter, he is flown abroad by his doctor friend who uses advanced technology to bring him back to life and sivaji now emerges with a different name and passport. he now has a cleanshaven head. he uses his extensive network to convert black money into white! an ingenious way of converting rs 20 lakhs crores!that is his estimate of the amount of black money in circulation. he then goes hammer and tongs for the one rupee giver.he bashes him into pulp .and in the finale shows that one rupee coin to him.which has helped him to get back to riches from rags.he flicks it in his inimitable style and it lands safely in his shirt pocket. all is well that ends well.in the end it is the triumph of good over evil,honesty over corruption and fraud.
the technology bar has been raised for 'sivaji,the boss'.cinematographer anand has used advanced 4k technology which offfers a very high quality image.4096*3072 pixels.high resolution,better colour grading and printing,cinematic quality and rajni's razzmatazz. a deadly combination. it is 'thalaivar's'(leader's) 100th tamil film out of the 175 so far.the unavoidable comparison with amitabh bachchan is of course doing the rounds everywhere.and people ask what has made rajni such a collosus? earlier i had blogged about rajni and his fan- following in japan after the release of 'muthu'.his screen presence is so electrifying that alain chabat,french actor-director,featured a five minutes fight sequence from 'odoru maharaja'(muthu) in his film "prete moin ta main'(lend me your hand).the heroine when asked what she was watching she refers to 'odoru maharaja' and the fight scene featuring rajni.
superstar rajni is the superboss.