Shivaji – the single, most used ultimate phenomenon for the past one year, all thru Tamil Nadu. I don’t think any other phrase caused this much hype, other than pulli raja, recently… ;)... For the past one year, almost every week, you’ve got mails that flooded
inbox, about the story of Shivaji, and the stills. And, every website, magazine, blog, group kept publishing stories and stills and trivia abt this movie, that one started to get loads and loads of info abt the movie , either willingly, or unwillingly, on his head, for the past one year. Now, the film‘s been released finally, the mega combination of Rajni himself, with Shankar, the showman, and AVM, with Rahman, Thotta tharani, KV. Anand, Peter Hein, with a bunch of mega choreographers, technicians and crew. Ur
This film has created a superb expectation amidst film fans, across the country. The music album was a mega hit. That added to the expectation of the common movie fan. He was expecting this movie for a very long time (I mean, who didn’t?)... And, then came Shivaji.
Frankly, I was also expecting it. I liked the old Rajni movies a lot (padikkadhavan, velaikkaran, Naan sigappu manidhan, Mr. Bharath, Guru Sishyan, Viduthalai to name a few). In Shivaji, Rajni sports a get up much alike his older avatar, with the old hairstyle. So, naturally, my interest increased.
Now, when I’m about to write the review, lemme first talk about the movie, as a typical Rajni fan. Then, I’ll give the neutral views on it.
From the first scene, Rajni rules!!! I was really amazed to see the first scene. Fantastic crowd!! It was like seeing a lion’s walk, when Rajni walks amidst the crowd, face covered. WOW!! This scene provides a launch pad for the things which are to come...Then, the story unfolds. Rajni falls in the first half, and he arises in the second. Typical Rajni formula.
Shreya has done her part aptly. Portraying a typical Rajni heroine (agmark Tamil girl, who covers all her body with saree in scenes, and dances semi nude in songs J ). . Suman, as the villain, scores with his subtle villanism. Without raising his voice, he‘s able to terrorize. The rest, play a typical support cast.
The songs are Juz amazing !! The sets for ‘Vaaji Vaaji’ and ‘Sahana pookal’ are mind-blowing!! Fantastic art work!! The other songs also, hv gobbled up lotta money, and are nice to see and hear. My favorite song is ‘Adiradi kaaran’ which is the last one. Great choreography for the song, and good work by the crew, behind and on the camera. But , most songs are just "pushed" in. There is no real sequence for them to be played on. Juz like that, they arrive. :)
But, I liked very much the small sequence where Rajni plays kamal for ‘Nethu raathiri yamma’ song. He is absolutely like Kamal, and has done a gud piece of dancing as well. J ..
Overall, Rajni has Juz scored a home run!! Rajni Rajni Rajni!!
Well, this is wat the typical fan inside me blurted out, when I finished viewing the film. But, I juz want to give a few points from the critic point of view as well. Those who don’t wish to take a luk at the negative points may very well skip this.
Initially, when Shankar came in to the limelight with a bang with ‘Gentleman’, he proved to be a promising young talent for the future. He followed it up with ‘Kaadalan’, which was a disappointment when compared with gentleman. Then came ‘Indian’, of what I think is his masterpiece, till date. That was a mega film, complete in all aspects. Kamal waz jus terrific !! The story, screenplay, music, editing, camera, comedy, choreography, art.. everything was great !! And, then ‘Jeans’, which was a cropper, when compared with his previous flicks. Then came ‘Mudhalvan’, another mega hit. He did it in Hindi also(Nayak), and then ‘Boys’, then ‘Anniyan’ and now Shivaji.
The point to be seen is that, whenever Shankar finishes a full length serious film, he takes a lighter kinda movie. Kaadalan, Jeans, Boys all belong to that category. All were average, in the story content. Here, after finishing Anniyan, he has taken up Shivaji.
After seeing the film, it makes one to wonder that has Shankar lost himself in the magnanimity of Rajni ? Even in Anniyan, in most scenes, it was absolutely like one can easily expect the forthcoming scenes. They were very ordinary. Here too, the same thing happens. Very meager storyline; No screenplay at all; If at all this film had other heroes , it’d ‘ve become an absolute goner. Shankar’s capability has vanished slowly in the years, and after ‘Mudhalvan’, it’s very much evident. Juz take a look on the quality of his movies(not technically, but the story and screenplay), and anyone will agree. Boys had no story at all; It was too boring, man.. to be frank. In ‘Anniyan’ , the flashback appeared juz like a formality, which has to be there.
Here too, absolutely there is no story at all. Even when a superstar is in your film, U gotta make it interesting , dude !! Juz seeing some cars fly, a new make over to the hero, some fantastic song sequences will never work ! There has to be a story! Without the story, the viewer loses interest in the movie ultimately. Rajni was at his best ever makeover; accepted; But, that’s not enough. Seems that Shankar was lost ultimately in his own web.
Also, these days, all Shankar’s films are like the same. There is one burning problem, and the hero gets affected by it and becomes as the savior, vying against the problem and ultimately clears the country. Juz gimme a break , dude !! For how many more films u r gonna do this ? If u do the same thing the next movie, I promise u I’ll lead the pack who Juz tear the screen apart!! It’s too much dude !
Even the skills of Sujatha, as a dialogue writer, goes in vein. I’m mentioning this here ‘coz of the fact that, thru most of his works, Sujatha keeps on telling the importance of screenplays. Even in his ‘thiraikkadhai ezhuduvadhu eppadi’ , he tells this. There is one great example of this in Shivaji. Initially, when Shivaji builds the medical college, when he ‘s talking with Raghuvaran, the dean, one boy walks over a live wire, and gets cardiac arrest, and the dean saves his life by doing certain first aid. I was virtually thinking, ‘why the heck is this kinda scene at this time? It has no connections with the story, whatsoever. It slows the pace, which is already dragging’... It absolutely looks like an inserted scene, for some purpose. I was also thinking that this was done to establish some connection with another scene. In the later part, when the hero decides to die (for some cause which u’ll get to c in the theaters), he decides to follow up getting electrocuted. At that time, the dean does the same procedure and saves the life of the hero. This is a classic example of what Sujatha keeps on saying, that a scene should never come all of a sudden; it should be shown previously that it is in the making. Sujatha has given many examples in his articles abt the
Hollywood way of screenplays, and this is exactly what he has insisted here too. Since that the viewer will question the director abt how the hero is getting saved, after being electrocuted, they hv “inserted” a similar scene, previously in the beginning itself. How smart!! J .. C’mon guys… Don’t keep following the Hollywood way, blindly. Hv Ur own ways of screenplays. Juz the fact that u r following will never prove screenplay on par with them. Ur
There are such huuuuge holes in the script. The entire first half is dragging, and boring. Juz that there was Rajni has cemented certain holes, but that was not sufficient. Wakie wakie Shankar!! Else, u’ll be a goner soon!
As Ananda vikadan aptly summed it up, Rajni has hit sixes in Shivaji, but Shankar has lost the match. Better luck next time Shankar!