No logic, only magic. No better words to elucidate 'Sivaji - the boss'.
But before I get to write my first impressions, I have something to say about the Rajni factor. After the night show at Tamizh Theatre - undoubtedly the mecca of thalaivar films in Madurai - I called an autorickshaw to drop my chithi and two sisters back home in Iyer bunbalow. I went along in my bike. It was around 1.30 a.m. when we reached home and after I pay the driver an (un)reasonable Rs.50, he asks me: "Sir, padam eppadi irunthatu? Nalla Irunthutha? Thalaivar padam odanum, sir. "
Why on earth would an autodriver, in the death of the night, wish that his 'thalaivar' movie become a hit? Well that is 'Rajni factor' for you.
And where can begin and end with 'Sivaji'? It is an out-and-out Rajni extravaganza.
Yes, there is Shankar, AVM, A.R.Rahman, Vivek, K.V.Anand, Suman and, ahem, Shriya all too provocatively dressed in the song sequences. But when Rajni is on the screen, you don't have time to think of anything else. And you don't want to think also - this I ironically 'think' would be the key to enjoy the movie.
First things first. Rajnikant has managed to turn back the clock 25 years, well atleast 15 years. Right from the first scene, you are reminded of Rajni of 'Rajaathi Raja,' 'Moondru Mugam'..mm ...
By now, the story is out in the open and unless you are an eskimo, you know. But a word of encouragement for eskimos: the producers will find a way to release Rajni's next film in Antartica simultaneously.
So in the first half, Sivaji, the NRI software architect with Rs.200 crores, tries to build a charitable college and hospital but loses out to the schemes laid out by Adhiseshan,played with panache by Suman. And in between he finds time to woo Tamilchelvie, played with very little clothes [yammadiyov!! dress ellam thotta vilunthudum pola... sema hot machi..] in the song sequences by Shriya. And then there is 'Maama' Vivek in the mix of things.
The first half has some absolute rib-ticklers. The sequence in which Rajni and Vivek visit Shriya's , Rajni wears his "Moondru Mugum" get-up and one cannot but hope that somewhere, somehow "Alex Pandian" jumps out. And Rajni also pays 'Illaya Thalapathi' Vijay a small tribute by dancing to his song.
And just watch out for the sequence on the railway track in which 'thalaivar' apes Vadivelu: "Dai Maama, ennavachu comedy keemedi try pannalaye?" ;-)
And in between all this mela, there are the songs. "Athirade" is my favourite. Just watch 'thalaivar's' moves and Shankar'a wit in that song.. "Koool.." . Prabhu Deva scores big time with his choreography. "Style" is a very close second. But all the other songs are worth watching on the big screen and big screen alone...
The second half is all about Sivaji winning over Adhiseshan, and his payback starts with the One Rupee he gives Rajni after leaving demolishing his fortunes. Well, one might argue that the twists are very corny but hey I did tell right at the beginning that this movie is not about logic or thinking. It is about enjoying and living life. This is not a movie. This is a festival.
The sequence in which Rajni imitates Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and Kamal Hassan is itself worth the ticket price. Immaculate. When Rajni does the MGR 'nose rub,' I just fell out of my seat laughing.
The 'Mottai' boss makes a very late entry, by which time I am sure all the twists and turns had put your brain to sleep. Now it is 'high' time. Rajni proves why he is cocaine to the masses. No other actor - Not AB, Not Chiru, No other Super Star - can put you on a high like he does with his 'Mottai' Boss makeover.The crowds who were cheering and whistling intermittently through the movie are now jumping. Just when he says, "Sivajiyum nanthan. MGRum nanthan" the movie has done enough for you.
Now you just want to go home, have a good sleep and run back to the theatre the next day.
Footnote: Its time to fix your brain back in the place where it was 3 hours before and think
Having said all I have said, this is also Shankar's weakest script on his 'individual vs corruption' series. And why can't that poor fellow think of simple and elegant things. Songs,stunts,art-direction and Rajini's make up would have costed more than 75% of the budget. ;-) The movie, somehow despite all the highs, lack a flow. It is like a montage of interesting events not woven well. I would blame it on the screenplay. I cant see Sujatha's glam anywhere. Some sequences are too shallow and kiddish. It works only because of Rajni. Also this is no 'Baasha'.
So what ?? Its thalaivar's movie and I've planned to watch it atleast thrice in theater ;-)