Monday, July 02, 2007
After a month long vacation, there was quite a lot of backlog that I had accumulated when it came to Bollywood and Hollywood flicks. And guess what I was ignorant about most? That in the interim there was this Tamil film that had released which ultimately turned out to be the first film that I wanted to watch as soon as I landed back into the town!
No Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, no Ocean's Thirteen, no Shrek 3, no Chain Kulli Ki Main Kulli no Fantastic Four - what I wanted to catch up was, you guessed it right, Shivaji!
Not that I won't be catching up on the flicks mentioned above, yes I certainly would, but then within a couple of hours of landing, I marched straight to catch the first available show of Shivaji at my neighborhood multiplex.
'No English subtitles sir', I was told by the box office attendant. 'Oh no', I sighed. Quick I ring up by my Chennai based Tamilian buddy Bala and he promised that it definitely was not a bad idea at all to watch the flick even without subtitles. It's a lethal combination of Rajini and Shankar, he educated me, and I won't miss out on all the adrenalin rush even if I won't understand a word.
He turned out to be so very right!
Yes, first one hour into the film did make me feel that Shivaji was a lot more hype than it actually warranted. In fact, the endless wooing scenes between Rajini and Shreya Saran [I am looking forward to seeing her again in Awarapan today] were turning out to be yawny and oh-so-predictable. An occasional chilly scene did bring on laughs but references to a couple of dark skinned neighborhood girls seemed in bad taste.
I started wondering what the big deal about the entire film was. Agreed that the screen sparkled whenever Rajini along with his buddy [I would love to see this guy do some light hearted stuff in Bollywood too!] struggled with all the politicians and bureaucrats of the world to get their 200 crore project in place, but then the expectations were a lot higher.
Yes, this is where Shankar came to fore as one could remember the treatment in his earlier films like Gentleman, Indian and Nayak where he showed a common man trying to fight against the establishment. But then the trouble was that after every such interesting sequence, there was a song or a romantic rendezvous that seemed like a painful roadblock.
Thankfully, Shankar still kept the film sailing smooth by bringing on the antagonist Adi [the guy is a powerhouse on screen!] at regular interval who seemed like just the right opponent for Rajini. You want to see more of him. You want to see more of him v/s Rajini. You want the drama to revolve around the two BIG guys.
Shankar teases you by depriving you of all the fun. And action!
And soon you know that it is due to all the right reasons.
Because soon after the 200-crore-ka-maalik Shivaji is turned into a pauper and a one rupee coin is handed over to him by Adi, you know that it is going to be drama time soon. Intermission sign is flashed and there is such a buzz in the auditorium that it has to be experienced to be believed.
Ok, so the character of System Software Architect Shivaji who has returned from US couldn't get into the 'typical' Rajini mode all through the first half but then the second half more than makes up for it. And how!
The coming-back-to-power game of Shivaji begins as he transitions into THE BOSS who forms his own team to extract all the black money from across the globe. He gets into the riches once again as he forms his own private government and creates an establishment to serve the poor.