Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sivaji - Repeatu!

Finally managed to see Sivaji again on Saturday evening. Third weekend after release and the show was pretty much sold-out. That by itself speaks volumes about the Rajni phenomenon...

In general, people who voluntarily go for a repeat viewing of a film like it more after the second viewing. And that was the case here for me too. The hype and expectations were literally sky-high before the film's release and I don't think any film could've lived upto those kind of expectations. But before the second viewing, I knew exactly what I was gonna get. I knew it was going to be a Rajni film rather than a Shankar film; I knew that the comedy was going to be loud and juvenile; I knew the film was going to be real light on logic; I knew that the stunts were going to be a disappointment. With such tempered expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

The other aspect that makes repeat viewings enjoyable is the anticipation. Sivaji has no real suspense and is little more than a showcase for Rajni's charisma, screen presence and style. So knowing that a high-point was coming made some of the weaker scenes pass by quickly and so have a lesser effect overall.

A few additional comments after this viewing...

- The music for the opening SUPERSTAR graphic sequence isn't bad. But the previous music(from Annamalai) still wins for sheer exhilaration.

- The comedy scenes still worked for me. Didn't feel they were beneath Rajni's image or anything (if the girl comes after Rajni he is chauvinistic and if he woos the girl, its beneath his image. Rajni just can't get a break!). Many people complained about the compartmentalization - Rajni struggling with the bureaucrats but still able to joke around with Shreya's family. That happens in almost all Rajni movies. That mix of Superstar/clown has been his calling card for a long time and is part of his routine and wide appeal. So didn't feel it was new or a distraction...

- Athiradee... and Style... (in that order) still rock big-time. Appreciated the sets in Vaaji... and Sahana... much more this time around. I think those 2 songs should've been switched though. Considering Rajni has the old hairstyle in Sahana..., it makes more sense to have it in the first half.

- My current favorite scene... when Rajni visits minister Hanifa to get his signature, Hanifa asks "Yaaru", Rajni pushes the doors open with both hands and strides in(in slow-mo ofcourse) before uttering "Boss". Goosebump alert!

- Rahman background score is terrific in the BOSS scenes and is also good in other scenes(like when Raghuvaran gives CPR to the boy). But it is a disaster in the fight sequences, especially in the music store fight. The Sega Fightaa... song ends up being ineffective because of the way it is used and the use of different music styles in 1 fight doesn't work at all.

- Mottai Boss definitely needs more screen time. That was a master-stroke by Shankar to finish the movie on a real high.


At 12:25 AM, Blogger Rajesh Thiagarajan said...

BB, watched the movie a couple of times now. As I already mentioned I had to wait till 30th June to watch the FDFS(w.r.t Adelaide).
My thots,
*Two word - 'very satisfying' especially after the not-so-rajini-movie CM.
*The best scene, IMO, is the tea kadai scene after the interval. Wasn't that a delight?
*I had expected a spectacular visual treat during the 'sahana' song as it was hyped a lot. IMHO, It was not.

I noticed a number of non-tamils during the screening - they watched the movie even without subtitles. The Rajini Phenomenon. What more shall I say?


At 1:01 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


IMO Comedy was the sore point in an otherwise good film. Vivek has clearly lost his touch.

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movie is okay, not to great, but it definetly lives up to the hype and expectations.I'm not an advertiser for tamil movie websites or anything. But :
Sivaji the movie (VCD quality - high) is online at tubetamil, no regestration needed, it plays on windows media player, no need to download. FOr those who haven't seen it : ENJOY, for those of u who have seen it, ENJOY the movie once more.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

//Mottai Boss definitely needs more screen time. That was a master-stroke by Shankar to finish the movie on a real high//

super get up.. As filbert, no one in future shouldnt try this mottai getup

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Rajanikanth Jayaseelan said...

I guess the Mottai Rajini is very similar to the moondru mugam appa rajini. Keep the viewer wanting more.

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi BB,

watched the movie on sunday...the theatre was deserted(unlike saturday when i couldnt get tickets). v.v. okay movie. enjoyed the first half better. green card like ration card was a good joke. second half was okay excepting for the fights which were a great letdown - nothing new on that front. shriya was BADDDDDDDDDDD...grr! suman's character should have been maintaintained as a sheep in wolf's clothing to have been more effective.


At 9:54 AM, Blogger Filbert said...

Agree 100% with everything you have said in this post, Balaji. Especially the lines, But before the second viewing, I knew exactly what I was gonna get.

Yeah, that Hanifa scene you have mentioned is just awesome. Thalaivar's entry is just mind-blowing. I was going to come up with a list of such goosebump scenes in Sivaji. Will post it soon. BTW, watched the Telugu version on Saturday. Thalaivar's imitation of ANR, NTR and Chiru was just too good, especially Chiru. The Telugu version deserves a watch just for those 3 scenes :)

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he he he rajini fans r no different from ajith or vijay fans
hey paramasivan bike chase scene super da . thala 200 m/hr la jet spped la bike ottavaara

hey vijay dance super ,costumes 5 vijay coming out of one vijay superb. nayanthara low hip saree item no song superb .wow

vijaykanth - dalaivar semma fight in air,land ,water wow dalaivar broke all the laws of newton

coming to maddy .hey maddy sema cute ,mady looks kkaaga ve antha padatha a paakalam . that liitle girl very cute .

u people can better build temples for ur fav actor n worship instead of watching movies.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Shame on you".. wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?! :-) ;-).. Appa Appappaa.. enna our erichal?..

Balaji, 3 weeks after release and almost sold out?.. Wow, no surprise, I suppose. We have starved to see Rajini since CM in 2005.. and the hype, expectations and anxiety only increases with every film.. I probably won't catch the film before next weekend and am looking forward to it! :-) ;-)

Did you catch the "Making of Sivaji" on Sun TV last night with Patti Mandram Raja as the host? Nothing terribly novel, but still pretty interesting.. Do check out part 2 next Sunday at 7pm California time on Sun! :-) ;-)

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes sandya . a movie which deerves to be trashed praised like as if its some best movie in the world .
seeing this def erichal daan varum .
no one ll make good movies if u go ga ga over such craps.
shameless hypocrites n double standards.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

n i get the same erichal when stupid ajith,vijay n other actor fan prase a movie that deserved to be trashed.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

//*The best scene, IMO, is the tea kadai scene after the interval. Wasn't that a delight?//
no a guy who can change government jus afraid of some anonymous call n blackmail ??

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pera ketta odane romba adhiruduthu pola irukku..they are closing down the only decent Indian theater in NJ :(


At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous & Life, you have to remember that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Such is the case with Sivaji as well. What you term as trash, is a treasure for Rajini fans..

And you know something, whatever Rajini dishes out after this (probably in 2009), will be grabbed, savored and cherished with the same fervor.. maybe that's what bothers you so much?

Also, what makes you think that no one will make good movies if people go 'ga ga' over Sivaji?.. What makes you think that good movies (like Mozhi, Paruthiveeran, Chennai-28 or a film not at the same level like Unnaale Unnale) won't be made if we sat and raved at Sivaji?.. Do you think all directors are just going to drop everything and only make Rajini-type commercial masalas from here on out?.. What world do you live in? For every S.P.Muthuraman, Rajasekar, Suresh Krishna, there has always been a Balachandar, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra in the industry.

Nobody ever thought that since Nallavanukku Nallavan was such a big hit, that films like Raja Paarvai, Nizhalgal, En Bommukkutti Ammavukku, Mudhal Mariyaadhai should not be made.. Good films don't disappear all together just because commercial films do well at the box office.

Surely, I agree that a certain trend will be created and films that follow Sivaji will be a mirror image of that film in some ways.. but let's be honest, Chandramukhi was not a masterpiece by any measure, but I don't think we had any films like CM made in 2005 (similar in story, screenplay or treatment, except maybe Anniyan!) to make a phenomenon closely followed by other directors. Actually, it was the contrary in '06.. Most directors chose to focus on gangster films more than anything else, instead of doing more split-personality films, which saw box office gold in '05.. What do you say to that?

Agreed that we do have a 'go along with the flow' mentality, but that doesn't necessarily mean that good movies have gone down the drain, just because a Sivaji turned out to be a huge blockbuster!

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was it only me who noticed that shriya had thaali in her neck even before the athiradee song(where they actually get married) ?

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think we can compare 80's and now. There were no copycats of Rajini in 80's. But it's not the same case now. We have a bunch of jokers like Vijay, Ajith, et all who are mass heroes, and their movies are tailored in a similar manner as Rajini's which are doing quite well at box office. Going gaga over less substance movies like Sivaji would surely open possibility for producers to come up with more less substance movies with the mass heroes in it.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

i have seen "Shivaji' 3 times already. i think it is already more than enoght. I went for the 4th time, but walked out half way. i think had already enough of the film. i though can beat "Chandramukhi' record which i saw 12 times in the cinema...

By the way, "Shivaji" is already ending it's run in malaysia. tickets are now easily available even in the night shows. Most people have seen it on the first week. also the Vcd is already gonna release next week. i guess the Shivaji phenonema has already died! i think there would never be another movie with this kind of expectations and hype. Even the next Rajni film would not generate this kind of euphria unless he teams with another big shot director.

What u guys think, if Gautham menon or selvaraghavan directs Rajni?

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


May be Selvaragavan can do it, Other directors will be radical for Rajini just as for anyone ala Vijay or Superstar. They have spent most part of the career not experimenting. It is safe to stick to the masala kinda of directors like Shankar, KSR or Saran.

First criteria for such thing is you should not care about box office :) which superstar can't be to be frank.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger KayKay said...

Skanda, your thoughts prompted some fantasy scenarios that are currently running through my mind:

Sivaji directed by Gautham Menon:

Adi is a brutal, malevolent presence (unlike the emasculated eunuch he is in the current version)who torments and taunts Sivaji, beating and stabbing him around the midway point, leaving him for dead. Sivaji recovers, and rising, Phoenix like, metes out retribution to the much deserving baddie in the end.

Sivaji Directed by Selvaraghavan:

Sivaji is a borderline psychotic, nursing a stalker like obsession for a beauty way out of his league. He gets,screws and loses her.He is an unrepentant loser to the end, tainting everyone around with him with his degenerative personality.

Sivaji directed by Bala:

A dweller in the outer fringes of society( insert occupation here: Con-artist, cremator, drug dealer etc), Sivaji has severe issues forging a bond, both familial and romantic. These issues are resolved in the end through blood and death as Sivaji crawls back into his own Personal Hell to wallow in abject misery.

Only in my dreams.....

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


The best is selva-raghavan, you've captured his perversion quite well


At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shrek, my comparison amongst 80s directors was just to make a point that good directors who concentrated on a worthwhile story, screenplay and an excellent treatment, were also displaying their material in the same time as powerful commercial directors.

Definitely, the discussion was never about Rajini having or not having copycats. You have to remember 'anonymous' claimed that if we went 'ga-ga' over Sivaji, people wouldn't make good films... Since that was his point, I chose to take the 80s as an example.

But even here during the 2000s, I would like to think (if it weren't for the copycats: Vijay, Ajit and god forbid, "Kaanal Neer" darling Riteesh (amongst the million bozos already out there!), that there are some very good directors still out there wanting to make good films on their own accord. Of course, you always run the risks of a few producers trying their hand at remaking a 'Sivaji' with an Ajit or Vijay on a lesser budget, but aren't we used to it by now?

Why raise a hue and cry over Sivaji alone? I'm sure there is every effort made out there, somewhere, to recreate a Mozhi, Imsai Arasan or Paruthiveeran in order to rake in the big bucks.. Would you not raise a hue or cry when you see a million Xeroxs of a Mozhi? Better yet, weren't we subjected to an excessive dosage of 'goody two shoes sugar-coated' family dramas by Vikraman in the 90s, time and again? Come 2000, we threw him out, didn't we? We have subjected ourselves to heightened insanities of the worser kind before, why the sudden worry over a flood of 'Sivaji' lookalikes in the market?

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

//We have a bunch of jokers like Vijay, Ajith, et all who are mass heroes, and their movies are tailored in a similar manner as Rajini's which are doing quite well at box office. //

hello sir it was me who posted with the name 'shame on u'

i m not anti rajni ,anti vijay or anti ajith or anti any actor.

post 2000 we are seeing people enjoying clownish stuffs like gemini,dhool,rendu ,tirupathi,thirupaachi,PKS. my god all these movies hit only because of some stupid fans.
if these movies had been released in 90's or 80's people wud ve completely rejected.
i wud also add gajini,sivaji ,pokkiri,varalaru, vv,anniyan to my list of horrible but blockbuster movies.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Kunthavaiyin Kaathalan said...

I saw the movie this past saturday. Hated the entire movie.

Is it only me who thinks the whole Solomon Pappaiah bit in the humour was sickening ?

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even i felt mottai boss needed more screen time...btw did you catch suhasini's comments which said that shreya is one of the weakest heroines for rajinikanth and she wasnt able to emote at all...

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me the movie is like a Flight Take off. It starts off slow and picks the momentum in the interval and raises highly from thereon. We can easily feel the change in the behaviour of Rajini and how he goers to the peak.

Its really ZERO to HERO. This is what Shankar said as one line story.


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