By: Settu Shankar
Friday, June 15, 2007
What is the expectation of a Rajini fan from his 'Thalaivar' superstar's film?
Extraordinary action with punch dialogues which excite the audience, impeccable comedy, a decent romance without any awkward posturing, and finally a right message for the society are the trademark of a standard Rajini film.
Shivaji, the biggest production in the history of Indian cinema, is laced with all the above mentioned ingredients in right proportions and above all the mannerisms and the new look of Rajini with a bald head really rocks the viewers.In fact one is treated to a fair dose of fresh new styles from Rajinikanth; the famous cigarette flick is replaced by a flick of a chewing gum and a one-rupee coin.
But remember beneath all this superstar hype, the movie is directed by Shankar, and he sometimes seems obsessed with exhibiting extreme and impractical ways of fighting a corrupt system in reel life, like he has done with Shivaji. This time he has focussed on black money and the hawala racket, and of course the oft-repeated rags-to-riches storyline, so typical of a Rajinikanth flick.
Rajini's introduction on screen in this film is not as sensational as some of his recent hits, and the highlight of the first half is comedy. It's the first time that Rajinikanth has got together with comedian Vivek on screen and their chemistry has worked well. But it becomes apparent that Vivek has overacted in a few scenes. The makers of Rajini film have not forgotten one thing; the fans coming to see their Thalaivar only. A director must always portray the supestar as a demi- god, and ensure his presence on screen in a major portion of the film That is why the fans start fretting and whistling over Vivek or Shreya portions which sometimes seem to undermine the superstar's presence in the film.
For a Rajini movie watcher, Rajini is all-conquering in reel life. They accept even his ludicrous stunts, such as a somersault, flying in the air, brandishing his shoes to beat up the villains, or lighting up of a cigarette with his gun- without even batting their eyelids.
The pre-interval scenes appear far removed from the main plot, which makes it somewhat boring for the audiences. But the director has more than made up for this lacunae through some well-executed action sequences, and of course the inimitable mannerisms of Rajinikanth regale the audiences.
What is the story?
Shivaji is a US returned NRI who wants to do something for his motherland, but a corrupt system prevalent in the country put many impediments in his quest for the same. Suman, the man in a white costume with a wicked heart tries to kill Shivaji in every possible way. The remaining portion of the film is about how Shivaji overcomes all these hurdles and does good for the people, by flushing out all black money circulating in the economy.
The plot actually begins to unfold only after the intermission, and Shankar treats you to a truly filmy way of fighting black money and a corrupt system, just like he did in his first film Gentleman or Indian, Mudhalvan, and many other films. But there is nothing new in Shankar's script, and once again he seems to follow the beaten track. However, the climax is an extended portion but is interesting, and the action and a brand-new look of the superstar really stuns everyone. Even a non- Rajini fan will enjoy his stylish looks and imposing dialogue delivery.
By: Settu Shankar