Oct 6, 2010

Good times....

I've been blogging a lot more compared to 2009, and on a few topics I'd never have thought I'd blog about. For instance, I'd never have penned something about my parents, if not for BlogAdda's Father's Day and Mother's Day contests. If not for their 'Moments of Madness' contest, a lot of my childish stuff would have never gotten showcased to the blogger world. And to think about it, I won an award for that entry too!

Life has many small things which are beautiful, worthy of some expression of thought! And a blog helps realize those.

Thank you BlogAdda, for featuring me as the notable newbie of the day! Something that made my day!

Oct 3, 2010

Endhiran - A True treat to the Rajini fan boy - PFC review link


“Originally published on Passionforcinema.com”

Here's a link to my review on Endhiran. My second post on Passion for Cinema :)
(Broken link) http://passionforcinema.com/endhiran-%E2%80%93-a-true-treat-to-the-rajini-fan-boy/

For more than two years, a Tamil movie that has been in the spotlight even during its making process itself is Endhiran or Robot. An idea of the late Tamil writer Sujatha, was in the process of being visualized on screen by Shankar, who calls it his dream project as well. With the initial choices of the protagonist being Kamalhassan and Shahrukh Khan, the role finally ended up going to the Rajinikanth, with whom Shankar had previously worked with the blockbuster Sivaji. In addition to the buzz that surrounds any Rajini movie and a Shankar movie, this movie was the talk of the town for its budget alone. A staggering Rs. 185 crores!!! While movies like Ghajini and 3 Idiots boasted about their revenue to be above Rs. 200 crores, here’s one movie made on a comparable budget. While it is no unknown fact that a portion of the budget went to the female lead Aishwarya Rai and the music composer A.R.Rahman, it still is a budget that’s probably not going to be surpassed until Shankar surpasses it himself.

While I choose not to review the movie completely or divulge the storyline, the movie Endhiran is a must watch for just it’s grandeur. The old formula of many movies ‘No logic, only magic’ holds, and full credit must be given to Shankar for being able to realize his imagination on screen wonderfully.

The movie involves Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajini) who creates a robot Chitti (Rajini again) and how his life, and more importantly the robot’s life changes through the course of learning how to live in the world of humans, is what forms the crux of the movie. Sana (Aishwarya) is the ladylove of the scientist and is one of the reasons for the change in Chitti’s life.

Special effects and animation play a major role in the movie and these are truly inspired by Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Terminator and the like. But, what must be appreciated about this movie is that, the special effects don’t look forced or artificial, and hence it looks like a top-class movie technically. Whether it’s when there are hundred guns in Chitti’s hands, or when hundreds of Chittis make many different formations in the climax sequence, the special effects are one among the best seen in Indian cinema.

Coming to the performances in the movie, it sure is Rajini’s way all through the movie. As the robot scientist Vaseegaran, he’s underplayed the role with no heroics or unnecessary dialogs. He sure looks good with the new hairstyle and beard, apart from the cool scientist glasses. Chitti, the robot, on the other hand is what makes the movie what it is. Whether it is the comical instances during the first segment of the movie or the time when he realizes a few human feelings or when he gets on to be the destructive Robot, it sure is one of Rajini’s best performances. Be it the sarcasm, the style, or the evil laughter, it is a Rajini that has not been seen on screen in a long time. This can definitely be said that no actor (even Kamal or SRK) would have fitted this role or carried out this role this way. Just for the fact that this is a Rajini movie, and audiences consider him to be a larger-than-life actor, this works.

Aishwarya Rai is the same pretty lady who made her appearance in Shankar’s Jeans more than a decade back. While, she does look slightly aged, and has very little to contribute to the movie, a lot of focus is on her during the song sequences, which are of Shankar’s signature style. With her voice dubbed (Savitha), she does get on to the nerves at most times, and it almost seems like a competition to the role of Asin in Dasavatharam (in terms of irritability!).

Danny Denzongpa as the competing scientist and Vaseegaran’s professor Dr. Bohra also has very little to do in the movie which is dominated by a destructive Chitti in the second half. The comedians Karunas and Santhanam have literally nothing to do, and the supposedly comic scenes are not funny either.

The other hero of the movie is cameraman Ratnavelu. In capturing the wonderful locales of Machu Pichu in Kilimanjaro and in the locales that come in ‘Kadhal Anukkal’ song, he’s done a really stunning job. While paying attention to the computer graphics on screen, is really easy to lose focus on the scenes captured, and he sure makes each frame look wonderful, without hurting the eye much.

The music by A.R.Rahman is surely not his best (which has been the case in the recent years), and a lot of songs seem to be forced into the second half of the movie (four of them). My personal favorites Arima Arima and Kadhal Anukkal have the expected grandeur on screen, the former technically and the latter visually. Shankar, as always, has shot each of the songs aesthetically, and the location for Kilimanjaro and Kadhal Anukkal are locations that are new to the Indian audience. Cutting down songs like Chitti Dance showcase, Irumbile Oru Irudhaiyam would have made the second half crisper.

Director Shankar is one person who has a good vision, both in terms of screenplay, and in terms of delivering what the audience will like. He utilizes the on-screen image of Rajini to the greatest extent possible and it sure works! While, a compromise was seen in Sivaji taking this image into account, I feel this movie gave the perfect opportunity to Shankar to show his skills as a director directing a star of Rajini’s stature.

Endhiran is best watched in a theater, with audience who cheer for every scene in the movie. And it sure deserves it! It sure made the Rajini fan boy in me and many others satisfied. As a friend puts it, ‘If Endhiran cannot satisfy a movie experience, nothing can satisfy. Dot.’