Monday, June 04, 2007

The Young and the Stylish

When compared to his attitude regarding the pre-release publicity for his previous films, Shankar seems to be in a much more generous mood for Sivaji. After the initial lack of information, official photos from the film have been coming out at regular intervals and the trailer too revealed quite a bit about the movie. Not that I'm complaining! Though we are almost at the end of the long 2-year wait, the remaining wait of 11 days still seems interminably long and these tidbits will help make the wait less painful.

The most-emailed photos today would probably have been those 3 photos of a bald Rajni dressed in black. While it was undeniably exciting to see Rajni's very different look, the photos themselves didn't look exactly official. I received a different set of photos from fellow Rajni fan Anantha and the above 2 photos are my favorites from among them. So I thought I'd post them instead. He looks really young in the one on the left and really reminds us of Rajni from the 80s. And the photo on the right is probably my most favorite photo so far. He looks really cool and dashing.

Vaaji Vaaji Vaaji...


At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

marubadiyum sivajiyaaaaaaaaaaa
itha vittutu vera vellaiya parungappa!!!!!!!!!!

At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect a Baba coming our way...

At 4:31 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:33 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

In my earlier opinion, i though Thalaivar was already looking old from what i saw from "Chandramuki" . But the stills from "shivaji" changed my opinion. He looks really young and dashing.

Shanka had said in the interview that his age in the film around 38, but i think he is wrong!!. He looks around 28 - 30 years. Rajni looks like he has just stepped out of his "Billa" film into this...way 2 go Rajni. Hope u can maintain this look for ur next films as well!!

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

ottarathukku mudi neriya irukkuntu, konjam vaayku keezhayum vechuntagala?
Looks like the real boss is the makeup artist.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger Ganesh said...

BB looks like Sivaji is the most hyped Rajni film ever :)
Hopefully it will live up to its expectations.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure, he does look fact, I liked his appearance in Chandramukhi as well... I think Baba was the movie that scared the shit, living day lights and Ambassador's high beam lights out of his fans! glad that Rajni (and his make-up team) has taken pains to remind people that he can still look young and cool...

but I still have my kutti fears about the movie after watching the trailer and getting the "Oh, not the vigilante story again, Shankar" thought in my mind...but then again, Shankar has milked more out of this formula than has been milked out of the fattest, healthiest cow in America!

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus Shankar has Vivek to the rescue. Vivek helped keep Anniyan afloat. But for him the movie would have been a terrible bore. I think Vivek will do the needful here too, esp. considering that this is a Rajni movie. Its only the second half which is usually an Achilles heel for most masala films including Shankar's.It remains to be seen what new ideas he can come up with this time. BTW, I just watched portions of Boys again yesterday and I thought some of the song sequences were very well done. Imaginative. Would be interesting to see what Shankar can do when he finally gets to make a movie of his choice.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Shankar? Movie of his choice? Adhu indha jenmathukku nadakaadhu. The only way he can make the films that he dreams of making, will be made under S Pictures as a producer. I don't think Shankar can ever get out of the masala, vigilante mould even if he tried.

The closest he came to that was Jeans and Boys and those two did not fare well enough for him to have a future in those kind of films..

I hate to put a nail in the coffin over thoughts that Shankar will direct something more than vigilante films.. But such are the ways of the trade. You will never see the polish of a Maniratnam, the sleekness and dark approach of a Selvaraghavan or the rough edges of a Dharini ever in any Shankar film (assuming these are the qualities we would want (and think Shankar would want), but only if Shankar has the guts to give it a shot 'making a film of his choice.'

Shankar has a smarter side of him as a producer and time will tell that all that he has dreamed of in terms of good cinema, he has already created as a producer, but never as a director!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, june 15th varaikum vera velai illappa :)

skanda, yeah shankar said he is in his mid-30s in the film and rajni certainly looks the part/age :)

munimma, but make-up artist evlo senjalum its the actor who makes it work. and rajni has done that :)

ganesh, i hope so too :)

ram, i think 'baba' was a good lesson to rajni too that looks r an important part of his charisma. glad he learned the lesson well :)

vijay, i agree with the 2nd half being the achilles heel. felt that shankar messed up the 2nd half most in 'mudhalvan' where the movie turned into a cartoon. but a weak(er) 2nd half is the bane of most movies that have a fabulous first half('baasha', 'gilli', etc.). since its impossible to live upto the 1st half after the intermission.

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not always true...indian great first half ...even better second half

At 2:30 PM, Blogger anantha said...

When I saw the pics, the first pic (that you have posted here) reminded me of the "Malayala Karaioram" song from Rajadhi Raaja :D

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Filbert said...

Balaji, neenga konjam late, this time :) These snaps are atleast a week old. About the shaven head snaps - I wish somehow Shankar had maintained the suspense till the release of the movie. Even P.Vasu managed to keep the Vettaiya Raja getup under wraps till we all watched the movie on the silver screen.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot wait for this movie to come out. Im a freshman at UC Irvine, originally from modesto and seeing this movie on the 15 or 16th has bee constanly on my mind(in fact it has been more on my mind than my finals..haha). But does anyone know when tickets go on sale for either somewhere in the LA region or even the bay area? Thanks

At 7:25 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

Hey guys, check the 'motta' Boss picture here, Rajni simply looks terrific over looks like the pic was taken for the climax fight sequence..

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bharath, for both Bay Area & Los Angeles showtimes, you can visit both and Both sites should have the info that you are looking for. Not right away, but definitely by the weekend, I think.

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what i heard - Shivaji tickets for the first 3 days have been sold out in bayarea - Bulk sales i presume. Can someone throw some light on this pleaseeeeeee?

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please excuse my ignorance, but is Rajini playing a double role in Sivaji? It looks like there is a mottai Rajini and the non-mottai Rajini in one of the snaps in the site that Skanda recommended.


At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandhya - Jeans broke all oversea records for a Tamil film at the time, became a blockbuster and was set to the Oscars by India.

Boys was an average grosser.

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kumar...mottai rajini is mr. hyde to non mottai rajini's dr. jekyll :)

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kumar, double role elaam irukkum-nu thonalai...must be a different get-up, thats all...

B ayangaramaa
O didum aana,
S hankar ode
S toryline epdi irukum?

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

Ram..i was referring to the snap ( which the non-mottai Rajini is pointing a gun in the air and the mottai Rajini (obviously a double) is standing on a bridge behind him with a sword


At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vidhya, please write to and find out about the real situation. (But I'm not surprised about ticket availability in the Bay Area. Such is the craze for Rajini here! :-) ;-)

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks sandhya. Did that - It seems udavum karangal had booked the entire show. Now i have to catch my sources there to get me one. Seriously...velai tedartukku kooda ivlo kashta padalai :)

At 11:24 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

Vaji Vaji Mottai Sivaji

Vaji Vaji Ilamai Sivaji

Vandu Ellaraiyum Oru Kalakku Sivaji

Kettalay Adiruthu illa - ihahahahahha

Sivaji - The Mottai Boss paduththum padu.

Kalakka povadu Mottai Bossa illa Ilamai Bossa - oru pudhu online patti manram vekkalam Balaji Sir after everyone watches Sivaji once.

Epdi Idea - ( I can hear someone saying - Poda Mottai Idea :-) :-) )

vidhya - Ungalin Aavalai Rajni matrum Shankar arindhal migavum sandosha alladu achcharya paduvargal.

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

In Bay Area "SIVAJI - THE BOSS" is to be released on June 15th at the following two locations

(37411 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536)

(Corner of San Carlos & 2nd Street in San Jose Downtown)


At 12:58 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, i agree. i did say "... bane of MOST movies" :)

anantha, but thalaivar had the new hairstyle in 'rajadhi raja'. i think it reminded me of an even earlier film :)

filbert, i guess i don't check out too many film sites cos anantha's email was the 1st time i saw these pics. so was mega-thrilled :)

and agree on the mottai get-up. wish behindwoods hadnt posted those knowing that they weren't official. they've removed it now but the damage's already been done :(

vidhya, 'udavum karangal' is a charity org right? who r they blocking tickets for?? they did this the last time too for CM, booking in bulk and a few of them then held onto multiple rows of seats in the theater. my wife said she got into a fight with them b4 getting her seat! no more donations from me for them!!

nathan, thanx for the quick update. I think they're both new theaters where tam movies havent been screened b4. hope they're good :)

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vidhya & Balaji, "Udavum Karangal" the organization, has nothing to do with this. Some volunteers in the local bay area chapter here are big fans of the Thalaivar and always make it a ritual to go to the first show of a Rajini film.

Honestly, I don't think anybody's intentions in the group is to hurt anybody's sentiments or block more seats that what is needed. Or even to involve the name of the "Udavum Karangal" organization in any way.

If you are wondering my grounds to provide the facts or to defend these folks, I am also a volunteer myself in the organization for about 2 years now. And the last thing these people want to do is to create the impression that the organization booked these tickets (when it is only a bunch of volunteers for the organization who are doing it out of their personal interest/accord!). Interestingly, neither Chandramukhi nor Sivaji, will see me in the theater amongst their midst for the opening show, because of the tough weekday schedules that we all have.

Unfortunate that a lot of the information that goes around is immediately believed and taken at face value. Vidhya, I'm honestly a little surprised that you were given an 'organization' name to go by for your query, which troubles me more than you can believe! :-(

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, Park Theater isn't a new theater at all. I don't know if any of you remember the early years of tamil cinema screenings in the Bay Area from 1993 to 1997/1998 or so. This theater was referred to as "Naz Cinema" during all those years. This was the first theater to screen a tamil movie, "Valli" for the very first time in October 1993.

The thrill was more watching the "Gentleman" trailer being played 3 times during the course of the film (that generated so much buzz!) as it was screened on Deepavali day in November 1993, than anybody jumping up and down about Valli. Regardless, Thalaivar had his theater roots in the Bay Area in 1993 here for the very first time.

Eventually, Naz became much bigger, moved on to the Hub and then to Gateway Plaza in Fremont. But Park Theater remained quiet and almost an untouchable theater for quite a few years, until they started screening Telugu & Tamil movies there since last year. They have played Varalaru, Vattaaram and few more there.

Balaji, I'm surprised that you didn't know! :-)

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its plain Swadesh with Rajini and Shankar's masala.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sandhya, if they r volunteers who r going to the film on their own accord, they should not be using the 'Udavum Karangal' name. as i said, during CM the people specifically mentioned UK's name when my wife asked about the 'blocked' seats. a few of them had apparently blocked like 5 or 6 full rows of seats and used UK's name when asked about it. and now this. they may be doing a good job volunteering but they r definitely giving the organization a bad name.

i guess i just didn't connect the name Park theater to that theater u have described. i have seen a lot of old movies there and even saw 'varalaaru' there recently. not too impressive if i remember right and parking's gonna be a real pain.

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amidst all the mass hysteria and euphoria, there is this little lump in the throat that seems to suggest: what if all of this becomes a damp squib should Sivaji become Baba...

At 6:19 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

Sivajiya Andha Baba Parthupar Kavalai Padatheenga

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandhya..I do understand your sentiments about UK..but thats the answer i got when i spoke to the numbers listed for the tix. Crossing my fingers to get atleast one tic fr the first day show.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

heard it's 20$/tix for the preview show.
other places, it's 16$/tix..

think these guys(avm/rajini and lotus foundation (us distributor's) ) are just too greedy


At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

June 16, 2007 @ 1:30 PM VENUE:
12232 Totem Lakeway
Kirkland, WA

Ticket Type Price
ADULT $16.00
CHILD $9.00

enna kodumai sir ithu..

At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bayarea - june 14th tickets housefull without even bringing it online. Anyone here going for that show? Romba unfair pa. :(

At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

june 14th ticket = 20$

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Balaji,
Since you are a die hard rajini fan, I am sending you a mashup of sivaji.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are people that mad? Can't they see the value proposition in anything that is Rajini? Does his movies offer that much entertainment value that you will pay twice or thrice the price of a hollywood blockbuster to watch in really horrible theaters? Can't some sense prevail?

The distributors in the US pay enormous amounts to get these rights thinking the people will support these extremely greedy producers AVM. And now we in turn support this greed... If we all boycott this greed, in turn the distributors will go back to AVM and get their money back and in turn reduce future movie ticket prices. If we keep succumbing to this greed we will never be able to afford future ticket prices... Sivaji is releasing in so many screens worldwide... So why is the ticket price so high?

I for one am boycotting this movie. I'll wait for the prices to come down to 8 or 10 bucks. In a few weeks it will and I don't really care about seeing the movie on the first day. And I want to cheat by renting a sruthilayam DVD since Sruthilayam always steals movies to make their DVDs.

I just hope others will boycott this movie till the prices come down. But given the hysteria, I know it won't happen.


ps: I know of a few friends who paid $21 for this movie in Illinois.

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why just blame AVM? blame the high spender- director, and Rajini(highest paid actor in India).

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the rot starts from the top... AVM new that they can milk us by doing a smart marketing campaign with this kind of a combination... So they went ahead and booked the top stars... In turn the top stars (once they see the combination) demand whatever ridiculous sum + other deals ...

And we suckers line up at the theaters and pay whatever hard earned money on (agreed... ) some entertainment that these guys can dish out, not ever thinking is this worth the price we paid.

Michigan Detroit Desi Cinema is charging $25 for the preview show for this movie... And I'm sure it is housefull. Good for all the fools who lined up to buy the tickets at such ridiculous prices.

To think that Shankar sent orders to Newyork to make Sivaji wigs... Man, if the original Starwars had been made that way, George Lucas would have been thrown out before he could even enter the studio.

And we support these kind of spendthrifts who have no idea about how to make a movie within a budget. Now who should we blame?

And how do we rectify this?

At 2:33 PM, Blogger anantha said...

I got on a mailing list for the first day tickets about a month ago. I am catching the 6 pm show on the 14th and I saw no tickets available online for that show barely 2 hours after I bought. Right now Friday and Saturday are booked solid with the last show on Sunday being the latest that you can buy tickets for now.

I'll wait for the prices to come down to 8 or 10 bucks. In a few weeks it will

The run is not going to be any longer than one week. At least in NJ, I see that the run is between 14th and 21st only, with the shows on the 14th purely sold on advance notice.

In comparison, most other desi movies (read Bollywood) have a longer run here in NJ. I know for a fact that Cheeni kum and Shootout at Lokhandwala have been on for 2 weeks now and are going to be on for at least one week more.

I think, with the "torrent" factor coming into play (most new Tam movies are available to download within the first 24 hours of the movie's release one way or the other).

I got on a mailing list for the first day tickets about a month ago. I am catching the 6 pm show on the 14th and I saw no tickets available online for that show barely 2 hours after I bought. Right now Friday and Saturday are booked solid with the last show on Sunday being the latest that you can buy tickets for now.

And in Jersey at least, there is another source of competition next weekend - the ARR show.

IMHO, the weekday shows are not going to get too much crowds and people in the area who want to watch it are going to watch it in the first three (four including Thurs) days. Unless you are talking about repeat viewing by die hard fans.

So it makes better sense to price the tickets high and get as much returns as possible and as soon as possible.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger anantha said...

The last Anon: To each his own. Just because someone decided to pay money to do something, does not mean that they are fools. If I knew 50% of your day to day activities am sure I'd be able to find one reason to call you a fool. So chill. If you dont want to watch it, don't!

It's of course very funny that every time a Rajini movie releases, a whole lot of people suddenly crop up to criticize everything related to the movie. And these are the same people who watch other Tamil movies. And someone talked about a boycott. What bull!

Let's face it guys. Tamil movies or any Indian movie for that matter is 100% bullshit escapist fare. But that 100% bullshit makes me happy and for 2 + hours, allows me to forget the bull crap that I endure in my life and that is what I pay the $25 for. Thank you.

And ah, someone mentioned Star Wars. Here you go - an account of the production process and the various issues.

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last anon...

You turn out to be the biggest fool I've ever met... Cool... It's your money... Go spend it... I don't care... All I said earlier was I'm going to boycott it and I also said, I'm sure the theaters are going to be housefull. At least in Bay area, I know tamil movies (at least the big banner ones) run for n number of weeks and after a few weeks they do reduce the ticket price... So have fun for $25 and I'll have my fun later at $8.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger anantha said...

Fair enough.. fair enough!

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

krishna/anons, i think we all agree that cinema is purely simple business for those in it. everyone in it is out to make money. in this case, shankar's penchant for spending money is well-known. that + rajni's renumeration makes this an expensive film and AVM will obviously want to get back their money(and more). and in recent times the foreign market has obviously become real lucrative.

as for the distributors here, the situation in foreign markets is quite a bit different that what it is back home. they can't get as many theaters here(unlike back home where u have a huge number of theaters and no competition) and can't hope for a very long run(as anantha said, the movies r available online real soon and technology makes downloading them a breeze. once u 'know' the movie is available online for free, it becomes very difficult to spend money to c it on the big screen. i know since that's happened to me in case of movies that were released late here). so they have to make money as soon as possible.
stakes in this case r also higher since they've obviously paid a huge amount and r at a huge risk if the film turns out to be a flop. if word of mouth gets out that its a bad movie, audience after the first couple of days will dwindle rapidly.

so as many shows as possible and as high ticket rates as possible the few days is just basic business sense.

whether we pay or not is entirely upto us. thats gonna depend simply on whether we think the movie's gonna offer enuf entertainment for the money we pay. for me the greed of those in the movie chain just doesn't arise. its simply a question of whether i will get my money's worth. I(and anantha and quite a few others I know) think yes. you guys are thinking no.

i think thats all there is to it. So can we keep personal attacks out please? :)

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure. Sorry about that one line where I directly insulted some anon... The intention was not to insult someone. But many times as a matter of speaking some words do come out. And it was one such case... Will be careful in future.

But my beef against AVM still stands... They are greedy leaving the distributors here with no choice but to increase the ticket prices. Of course the distributors could have ganged up and rejected the movie when AVM offered it. They didn't.

I know it is a pipe dream to expect these ticket prices to drop as is the prices of apartments in chennai... ;( But there is nothing wrong in dreaming.

At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Balaji, are u going to watch Sivaji the boss, I have 25 tickets which I bought very early on.

If you wish to come with me just notify me please.

Lanak Reen


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