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Friday, June 22, 2007

Sivaji - Reviewview

Preface : This is about the Tamizh Movie "Sivaji" staring Super Star Rajni!

So what is different about this Re-view-view ?

Well, you have to see a movie to review it! I am going to violate all known ethical codes by writing a review for a movie that I have not yet seen. But I am not the first one. I have actually seen a lot of posts which say review, but talk about the hype and what to expect and promise to write the real review after watching the movie. I will join that bandwagon.

Who is who ? What is What ?

I will now proceed to set minds to rest over the various questions that people might have with respect to this post. Why should it be even relevant ? Well, people are asked a few questions in the United States and binned accordingly ! Are you a republican or democrat, are you pro-life or pro-choice, are you okay with homosexuals or are you a homophobe, etc. etc. But in Tamizhnadu they also ask you, do you like Super Star or not, do you like Sivaji or not, etc. Plus any post with Sivaji in the title is immediately judged. The author is judged on his % Pro Rajni-ness! and is promptly lauded or flamed. Considering I am sarcastic by default, I better answer these questions..

So lets proceed :

Do I like Rajni ? Yes
Do I like movies ? Yes
Do I like Rajni movies ? Mostly!
Do I still like him after he is old and tries to act young ? Yes (except the romance part).
Did I like Baba ? No
Did I like Chandramukhi ? Yes
Did I watch FDFS (first day first show) for Baba ? No
same for Chandramukhi ? Yes
When did I really watch Baba ? After it came out on DVD.
Will I wait for Sivaji to come out on DVD ? probably not!
Then why the $*%& am I waiting ? For tickets to drop to 10$
Have I made up my opinion on this movie yet ? No (seriously!)
Will my wife throw me out if I watch the movie and say it sucks ? No
Will my wife make me vadai, payaasam, etc. if I watch the movie and say I loved it ? No
Do the above two answers prove that I will express my honest opinion when I do see the movie ? Yes!
Do I expect this to be a good movie ? No.
Do I expect this to be a good Rajni movie ? Yes.
Will I watch it only for Rajni and ARR ? Yes.
Will I actually come back and write a real review later ? Hell NO! That would become an insignificant post. "Bay area man writes the 646,259,946745'th Sivaji Review" would be the headline. No Sir, not me.

Now here is my Re?View based on all the gazillion reviews I have read in the one week since this movie has been released to the general public! Practically everyone and their dog has a review of Sivaji!


Sivaji is a mass entertainer, where Super Star still shows that Style always rules over substance when it comes to this genre of movies. If Tom Cruise had half the style of Rajnikant, MI-III would have been a real blockbuster. It had the same hype and the money thrown in, with Cruise Star power, possibly the biggest hollywood could boast at the time, but the results were not even close. .(Well I havent seen Sivaji, but everyone else has and ergo, style has ruled over substance. As for lack of substance, that seems to be in unanimous agreement as well!).

That said, there are still a lot of gripes over the lack of a proper storyline, coherence, poor chemistry between the hero and heroine, songs that come up suddenly, length of the movie, etc. etc. The blogosphere seems to be polarized between two extremes on this one.

Some reviews say that these things while considered flaws for an average movie, do not really matter in a Rajni movie where the audience pays, just to see the man strutt his style on the big screen and utter punch dialogues. As a guy who stood 764'th in line at AMC Mercado to watch first day first show of "End of Days" or the dude who stood 1234'th in line to watch "The 6th Day" at the same theater, just to watch Arnold utter punch dialogues and throw people in the air, I can totally understand this type of review.

The next type of review goes on to pay its respects to "Thalaivar" (Rajni's nick name), his style etc., and bashes everyone else involved in making this movie with the exception of ARR. Shankar and Sujatha are prime targets with the producer being the secondary target, for wasting his money and not keeping an eye on the quality of the film! Now, how many of you can claim that you have watched two free movies in the same year, by just using your AMC movie watcher card? San and me can. That means, in the year we got married, we watched "at least" a movie a week, in theaters!! One day, we went to the 21 theater complex and found to our dismay that there was only one movie that was playing in all 21 rooms that we hadn't watched. So we watched it as well. As irony would have it, the movie was "Superstar", a film that left us speechless! We considered it an all time low in our movie watching life. As someone who has seen enough and more movies which lack substance or logic, my guess is that these guys are probably right. But a Rajni movie has to have all the Rajni elements or it would cease to be a Rajni movie. It is a self fulfiling prophecy! After Muthu was released, the Japanese have discovered the "Rajniberg Uncertainity principle", which states that it is impossible to have Rajni and Logic in the same movie and any attempt to precisely fix logic in the movie will make the Rajni part questionable!

Finally, we come to the hardcore "nay" sayers, who write, "Rajni is obligated to give his fans a decent movie", "A movie should not insult the audience's intelligence", "who will bell this commercial cat" (okay, okay, I came up with that last one), etc. etc. These are reviewers, who have either tried to judge this movie by the average movie standards or have reviewed it with an underdog mentality or trying to reason with mass hysteria, with an aim of being the sane voice. These are the ones who are promptly lauded for their guts and honesty for daring to say the truth and are also flamed in the comment box. I offer my deep condolences to this type of reviewer. India, or the USA for that matter is not free country. The internet does not have freedom of speech. If you do speak against mass hysteria you WILL be flamed! I can write a book about this! Once again, this is like saying bad things about WWF (and fear getting beaten up by some big dude next to you who is a fan), or saying bad things about Harry Potter (and fear getting beaten up by an angry teenager) or saying bad things about George W Bush (and fear getting beaten up by the government)! Apparently there are consequences if you dont agree with the general public. I would also point out to these reviewers that "Rajni is not obligated to do diddly squat!". He has made his money, and made his die hard fans happy, which were about the only things he was obligated to do, and even that obligation is questionable!

As for fans demanding more from their star and fans making or breaking a star, Rajni would have ceased to be a star a long time ago if his movies are judged by the average movie reviewer standards. The average Rajni fan is more of a fanatic. (Er, what I mean to say respectable Sir's and Madam's, is that you tend to watch Ranji movies with your FAN on in the AtTIC). That means box office logic does not apply to Rajni movies either!

Neenga ellam review than ezhduveenga. Naan reviewvukke review ezhudhuven! Idhu eppidi irukku ?

Translation (without Rajni style): You guys only write reviews. I write reviews of your reviews. How is that ?



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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:48 PM, Blogger Arul wrote...

Nicely written..


yeah yeah, me is a big time thalaivar fan..

Borrowing a line from PKS

Thalaivar padatha anubavikkanum, aaraya koodathu...

First time commenting, long time visitor.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:57 PM, Blogger Kavi wrote...

ROTFL ! ROTFL ! Man ! Whew ! What a post ! Lovely ! Enjoyed it thoroughly !

Chitoor thandina kaatpadi
Sivaji ethirtha / ninaicha deadbody !


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:16 PM, Anonymous singletea wrote...

Sundar...Badhram...Rajini fans ellam seruppu eduthukinu ahlayaranunga!! Vaya therakka mudiyalai.! Eppa...naa...varalai indha vambukku!!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:24 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

arul, thanks.

edho pithukuli thanama sabadham eduthtutten! everyone has watched the movie except me.. well we have NV sir and Sandhya (bbthots reader) to give me company when the tickets drop to 10 bucks!

all through this week there are shows, but 16 bucks. wife is saying, WTF ? just go. BB says he will watch it again with me. this close to watching the movie.

enna irundhalum Rajni padam aache !


Kavi, glad you had a good laugh.

singletea, endha Rajni rasiganum ennai onnum seiya maataan.. Naan Rajni padaththa oru dharava paththa avanga nooru dharava paatha maadhiri!


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Sivajini wrote...

Lol. :)
I pretty much agree with everything you said. I saw the movie yesterday and though I'm not an ardent fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie( I didn't even try to think of the logic or the flaws!) * I guess all those years of watching illogical films has made us the Tamil cinema audience a different type of breed*

Anyways, I completely agree with your comments on the price gauging, I don't think it should be done. I don't know how it works for you guys, but here in T.O the tamil cinemas had the prices high for the first few shows, I don't know if it is still the case. As Cineplex cinemas are starting to show Tamil films like Sivaji( there were 4 English theatres in the GTA showing Sivaji) I just went to a cineplex odeon and used my discounted tickets( we get them from HR). I'm proud to say my ammah, appah and I all saw Sivaji for the grand total of $24. I was very impressed with myself.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:04 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...


my FIL says there are no Sivaji tickets available for current shows even if you are ready to pay a 1000 rupees!! That is 24.5$ a ticket..

that was my point. The tickets here are going at black ticket prices. I am worried that hollywood will learn this from bollywood and start pricing opening shows of big budget movies at 30$.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:18 PM, Blogger Life Rocks!!! wrote...

Ha ha...so the same situation everywhere...did you check my post on the crowd in bangalore


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