SIVAJI..... I have no words to describe the movie. It's been ages since I have seen a masala movie that's been really entertaining. Be it the slow and insignificant first half or the fast paced and well shot second half, the movie SIVAJI : The Boss, definitely does justice to the name of Chevalier after whom the movie is named. There ends the relationship between the two. Also in the name of M G Ravichandran, there's an MGR who is really the surprise element. Rajini will be the only artist that could even carry off a totally shaven head with a style.
Rajinikanth had a nice exemplary show of his style skills and there were songs that were exclusively shot to showcase his style alone. Even though the style defies gravity and would make Sir Isaac Newton think about his law of gravitation, it entertained. At the end of the day, it is important that you get entertained by a movie, if not a message. And that is exactly the plus point of this movie and the USP of any Rajini movie.
The story is fairly simple and weak compared to Shankar's earlier movies. But this is a Rajini movie and he needs to make compromises on the plot. This movie seems to take off from the point where Shankar left in the 1993 classic Gentleman that starred Arjun. It is a proper concoction of Gentleman, Mudhalvan and Anniyan with ingredients picked uo in the right amount from each of the movies in the right quantity and served well with a main dish called Rajini. It is about an NRI, who wants to do service to Indians by providing quality education, good healthcare, jobs to educated and make even a small village prosper. We resorts to the whitening of Black money, after he is robbed of all his money by the existing corrupt system.
His love interest in played by Shreya. She doesn't have a big role in the movie as in other Rajini movies, but she definitely had more songs with him than in any of his recent movies. The actress Kanika apparently dubbed for her and it does suit her. (All other remarks removed due to change of mind, she does look vulgar in a few songs! She was exploited!)
Vivek plays the uncle of Rajini and is a fun to watch with his one-liners and his style. The first half was with him and Rajini trying to woo Shreya and her parents. The concept of Rajini trying to become fair, though illogical, did bring a lot of laughs from the audience. Nayanthara in the title song Ballelaka looked really slim compared to her Ghajini and Chandramukhi days. The villain role played by Suman seems intelligent in a few scenes, but villains always become an non-entity in Rajini's movies (except Padayappa). Raghuvaran is back as a doctor, and shows some life-saving trick that defies the rules of medicine. Raja and Uma Padmanabhan as Shreya's parents are a funny couple, so is the Solomon Paapaih's family. Vadivukkarasi and Manivannan are the usual Rajini's parents who support him in everything.
A.R. Rahman was another hero of the film and Shankar as usual with his extravagant sets, made the good songs also look great on screen. Vaaji Vaaji song with the Middle eastern and European theme was very well shot. Hariharan's Aambal and Mavvals were depicted by Rajini in his own style. Madhushree's voice deserves a special mention. Ballelakka was shot in a beautiful location and I really want to know where are such locales in India. Athiradee was filled with style and was really enjoyable. The Oru kudai sunlight had Rajini in the fair getup after his trysts with Fair and Lovely mixed in bleaching powder(Courtesy Vivek), and Saffron Milk etc.(It was apprently a skin grafting technique on video) Shankar as always has extravangant sets and this time I really understood why he has such extravagant set of existing wonders, probably to save up on the airfare and living expenses for the 100-200 background dancers. It is just in the Sahana song that there aren't many background dancers. But that was compensated by a glass house setting. However, Sahana song disappointed me, since I expected it to be in a landscape setting but it wasn't.
The clothes for Rajini designed by Manish Malhotra were something that Rajini shone brightly in. Especially the yellow kurta in the Ballelakka song was something that I liked apart from his clothes in Athiradee. His Jingchak (or authenic Jingucha) hairdoes and clothes in Oru Kudai sunlight seemed just apt for him and he didn't look made up in them at all(Rajni looked younger than in Chandramukhi, espcecially towards the second half. And his getups as Sivaji, MGR and Kamalhassan were amazing and it did seem that those star were on the screen.
Shankar's way of telling was good as usual, but since this a predictable fare, there were not surprise events or twists. Shankar's idealistic Indian town/city might be a thing of the distant future. But it did give a good feeling of seeing a prosperous city. I hope things like that really happen in the near future.
Overall, a total paisa vasool. It was worth the ticket.
More post on this soon........