Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sivaji - My review


Finally saw the film on Friday the 15th of June after being excited about it for almost 2 years. I still have the news clip from SUN TV that announced this movie on my DVR , if that does not tell you how much I expected from this movie !!

Anyway , The movie was a TREAT , thoroughly enjoyable , nearly 200 minutes of entertainment , that makes you forget your day to day worries.

Now, does that mean it was a great movie ...Not really. The movie was just Rajni..Rajni..and Rajni all the way. The movie had its Shankar elements for about 30 minutes post intermission , but thats about it. But I wont go as far as to say that anyone could have made this movie. Because Shankar has worked too hard in the execution of minor details , throughout the movie ,but again this does not translate to flawlessness. The movie has its own share of flaws. But Rajni , makes you forget all those and just enjoy the movie.

Now on to my Grades ( 1 - 10 , 10 being the best )

KV Anand - 7
Nothing exceptional from him, though he has made a strong effort to avoid bad angles for Rajni. Strong stuff with the song picturisation , but the sets let him down in Sahaana.

which..brings me to ...

Thotta Tharani - 4

He should have got a higher grade tham this , if he didnt screw up Sahana. The set was pathetic. This song should have been shot outdoors. The sets looked like something out of an old Bagyaraj/T Rajendhar movie. But he did do well in Athiradee and Vaji Vaji.


Peter Heinz - 5

One word for the fights - Overdose. One should know , who they are working with. Rajni fights should be more stylish , not more powerful. Vikram , in Anniyan , fighting 30 guys or pushing 10 guys at once , looked believable , but with Rajni , it just doesn't fit.I did like the close up's for Rajni during the fights , where he growls like a lion. Poor attempt of humor in the first fight , which was too long and excruciatingly painful....

which brings me to

Anthony - 5

The first half looks butchered and Anthony deserves most of the blame alongwith Shankar. There were too many cuts across scenes and story lines. Nothing to write home about for Anthony , except the work in the Style song.

Choreography - By song
Ballelakka - 4 - Not upto expectations , lacks quickness in cuts/movements and drags.
Vaji - 6 - Sets made you forget everything else. (side note : Shreya looked AWESOME)
Sahana - 3 - Enough said - they wasted an awesome song
Style - 7 - Great picturisation and well edited for the movements
Athiradee - 10 - Awesome execution - Neat planning - About 10 times better than muqabla where Shankar had a similar backdrop


ARR - 6

The songs were awesome , but ARR could have done a better job of re-recording. Most of the first half was lacking speed because of his poor background score. Most of his RR was a rehash of songs. He might be the master composer today in the Indian Film industry , but definitely lags behind Ilayaraja ( in miles ) when it comes to background score.


Shankar - 5

Shankar has done a good job of execution but has let us down with his usual twists and turns in all his movies. The screenplay is predictable. The only complaint is we didn't get enough of him

Actors

Vivek - 8
Awesome performance , gives the film a much needed lift , when it drags

Shreya - 7
Does her job well....which is to look real good !!

Suman - 6
Played his part well , but the dubbing seems off..at certain points.

Rajnikanth - 10
The reason I give him a perfect 10..is not because his histrionics are Oscar worthy , but because of his effort. You can see that he has put his heart and soul into this role. I'm sure 40 to 50% of his call sheet was spent in make-up. Its really difficult for a star of his stature to basically , shut up and put up , with whatever Shankar expected from him. Kudos to Rajinikanth...He carries this behemoth on his 57 year old shoulders and does a fine job at that.

Overall , the movie is not perfect , but Its a perfect Rajnikanth film and as someone said...What Rajni does is not stylish...What Rajni does becomes style... is proved in Sivaji , once again.

15 comments:

dinesh said...

Excellent write up. I have not seen the movie, so can't relate to everything yet. I will watch the movie this week. Will come back and read your review.

And about what rajni does becomes style....nice catch that !

Anonymous said...

Hey Sayee! That was a comprehensive review..! Very well written...

Srividya said...

Hey Sayee! That was a comprehensive review..! Very well written...

Javid said...

Nice review. I felt first-half was much better than second. The last fight was bit a drag (Shankar and his graphics is always overkill) and really didn't feel like Rajini.
And I was totally dis-appointmented by Rajini's introduction. It reminded me of Guru Shisyan. And on top of everything, the Balleraka song didn't have any context.
Overall, I enjoyed watching the movie a lot. Planning to go watch it again before it leaves Chicago.

Anonymous said...

really apt review, Sayee. Nice insights..

You were a little too hard on Thotta Tharani. I thought the sets were fantastic. As you noted, Athiradee was just mindblowing art!

Reg music, ARR always uses song bits for RR. It is not new.

As far as the movie went, outside of individual performances from Rajni and Vivek it was a huge let down. No depth in the story, seriously lacked logic, flow of the movie was absurd. Who can go along with the nonsense that in 1 scene, our man is the biggest visionary this side of independence, and 10 sec's later he's painting his face with Fair & Lovely. Give me a freaking break.

Overall, I think hardcore Rajni fans will get their money's worth due to all the style elements. But the neutral fan will probably not watch it twice.

-Sriram

Charanya said...

Hmm....interesting review...I agree with some points and disagree with some...here are some of my viewpoints on the movie!

1. I think that you were a little too harsh on TT...disqualifying him for just one song...Sahana I agree should also have been an outdoor song....but he has by no means "screwed" it up....taking the song the way he did required a lot of research, planning and of course his own skills and expertise...

2. Agree with the fight sequences...they were too long and at times very un-Rajini-ish...the Drive Thru cinema fight scene was especially redundant...they could have cut this scene and added some content towards the ending...which I thought was kind of abrupt

3. Agree with Ballelaka choregraphy...although it was nice and colorful...we've seen this before in Randakka from Anniyan and the dance steps didn't really suit Rajini...Style and Athiradee were phenomenal though...as well as 'Nethi Rathiri Yamma"...hahahaha....I had tears in my eyes laughing watching this one!

4. ShrIya is gorgeous...a figure to die for...BUT unfortunately cannot act...and has no chemistry with Rajini...granted noone really comes to a Rajini movie and gives 2 hoots about the heroine...but it's still always nice to see some kind of spark btw the hero and heroine...Rajini needs a bubbly kinda heroine for this...(like Kushbu in those days)...Asin maybe? But then she wouldn't have made the songs look half as good as Shriya did!! :) Shankar does not know how to direct romance in general...for him romance = overwhelming the heroine with "adambaram"...think Remo and his million flower pots...haha...the "vaanga pazhagalaam" scenes were funny the 1st time but I found myself being annoyed the 2nd time round...

5. Story-wise...the movie has nothing special...some may argue that Shankar screwed up the story...but I believe that he is a smart director....if he had had any other hero in this movie...he would have developed more depth into the story and cut all the STLYE elements....BUT he knew this was going to be an out and out Rajini movie.....so didn't go too much into the story...but rather developed on Rajini's larger-than-life persona...

6. Vivek was hilarious!!! Loved his punchlines and one-liners as much as Rajini's...those two have some COOL chemistry....

7. Few reviews have covered this...but I have to say BIG KUDOS to Manish Malhotra for the way he dressed Rajini...one of my biggest pet peeves with Tamil movies has been the extremely poor dressing our heros have!! And well...Rajini just looked absolutely spiffy in this movie...

8. Last..but of course in no way the least...RAJINI JUST SIMPLY ROCKED!!...He has obviously put in a lot of effort into this movie..and you could tell that he's had fun playing this role...romba anubavichu senjurkaar!!! :) He's defn a #1 Entertainer...which is why this movie will be a blockbuster...for its pure enetertainment value....like you said...it's an absolute treat and I'm going to go watch it for the 3rd time this FRIDAY!! :D

Sayee said...

Sriram and Charanya ,
I might have been a little harsh on TT. But I was just utterly disappointed with Sahana.

Just imagine , if Shankar had gone outdoors and shot it like "Kaatrae " from Rythym !!!

It would have been awesome !!!

Sayee said...

Manish did a good job , I had missed him out. But with Shankar you expect that kind of perfection.

In fact we should take it one step further and congratulate the hair dresser as well.

One thing , everyone agrees in this movie , is that , Rajni rocks..and kicks some serious ass.. Love that !

Ashok said...

I remember Sayee and myself having discussions about Rajni vs Kamal(glory days those.. with 'Molaga Fry' at west mambalam to accompany). Over the years i guess i've grown(?) to accept and appreciate what Rajni can deliver in a movie which NO ONE else can... Screen Presence! Sivaji is 'full-meals' on that count..

Having seen it twice, along with a rather subdued fan base, now my take on the movie:

Songs - Disappointment.. Except for Sahana (reminds me of Rajni with looks from Mr. Bharath or Padikkadhavan- very nostalgic) and Adhiradi(well, eponymous)

Story - Not something that you watch out for in a Rajni movie..

Direction - Lets just say KB and Maniratnam didn't have to bother about the gargantuan task of living up to Rajni-image in those days..

Vivek - Him being an item of discussion talks about his contribution.. also about Rajni's gesture allowing someone else also steal some thunder(a la Goundar in 'Mannan')

Shreya - Job done (i.e. in Asset Management)

Rajni - What can i say.. brings me back to the screen presence i mentioned.. If dialogues like 'En paer maanikkam.. enakku innoru paerum irukku..' made 'Baadsha' click, then equally powerful scenes exist.. for eg: 'Mottai MGR' when he walks out of the plane..

Perhaps explains why I (and i guess most genX tamil lads) grew up singing.. 'My name is Billa..'

Sayee said...

Machi..Ashok , Yenda Mulagai Fry gnamagam paduthina !! Now I my mouth is water(fall)ing...

Anyway , I agree about the screen presence. Rajni is unmatched when it comes to that. Also because his movies don't come out often , that plays a big part is people wanting to get more from him all the time !

RS said...

Romba naal kazhichu, we (24 of us!) watched a Tamil movie, aduvum Rajini movie in the theatre! Totally enjoyed the experience :)

Sayee said...

Nice,
Watching any tamil film...is different than experiencing a new Rajni film in the theater...

Its mind blowing !

sethuraman.atisivan said...

Rajni movie is strictly for Rajni fans. If they are happy with the movie, that is what matters.

Anonymous said...

what the fuck.. kamal puts more of his heart and soul into his movies than anyone else and nobody gives a shit. Rajni does some stupid "style" and ends up with a 10, not just on your blog but everywhere. Just don't get it.

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