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A magnum opus in style - Sivaji



A blend of style and substance: Sivaji

Sivaji

Genre: Action
Director: Shankar
Cast: Rajinikanth, Shreya, Vivek, Suman
Storyline: Of a do-gooder who vows to expose black money hoarders.
Bottomline: With an expert team in tow, Rajini reigns!

He’s referred to as ‘Madras Messiah’ and ‘Style Samrat’ (in the film) and he’s here to win! Diligently chiselled to meld Shankar’s formula and Rajinikanth’s style AVM’s ‘Sivaji’ is a t reat for frenzied fans of action. Generally, too much hype or too much secrecy could turn counter-productive. But even with a hero whose selective off-media stance has been slightly disconcerting (the English news channels went to town with crisp interviews with the superstar!) juxtaposed with dizzying promo campaigns, ‘Sivaji’ provides enough and more for style-starved cinemagoers all over. And the appreciable factor is ‘Sivaji’ carries a solid message too.

Cleansing society of chronic ills is a theme Shankar els in.. The helpless man on the street can do nothing about the bad becoming big and the good being punished. But Shankar’s hero can — with a cornucopia of glitz and gloss! And with Rajini helming the action in style, the entertainment module is near perfect.

Sivaji decides to rid the country of black money — a stupendous task. The way he goes about systematically exposing hoarders and racketeers may not be true to life. But who wants reality on screen?

The utopian State Sivaji strives for is a futile dream, so when it happens at least on celluloid, why not sit back and enjoy?

And now, to Rajini

The intro scene where Rajinikanth turns around smilingly to face the camera shocks you out of your seat! The man looks as young as he did about three decades ago! The right kind of wig, make up, angles and digital expertise present a remarkably youthful Rajini. It’s only in one of the later scenes (in prison), does he look jaded.

The suave, sophisticated, English-speaking (and quite clearly, at that) Rajinikanth is rather new. His style patterns gain more sheen in ‘Sivaji’ — the ambidexterity and speedy body language will make his fans scream in joy. Of course, as for fight or dance sequences whatever Rajini does with his feet and fingers is dance and how ever he moves his hands and legs is style!

Rajini’s adeptness at slapstick comedy is well-known — Shankar exploits it quite well. Vivek and Rajini make a hilarious twosome. If Vivek and others have been allowed to mimic Rajini so freely it only shows the hero’s maturity. And the way in which Rajini and Vivek imitate Vadivelu is another rib-tickling exercise. ‘Sivaji’ is a bumper harvest for Vivek who also holds his own with his typical, sarcastic one-liners.

Shreya shines as the modest, well covered homely girl. In the dances, of course, she compensates amply with a crowd pulling glam quotient. In such a meticulously detailed film you wonder why her lip sync has been grossly ignored — at times her erroneous mouthing of words appears quite funny.

Suman returns to Tamil after quite a while, as a villain this time. His menacing looks, authoritative strides and understated performance grip you. Just a couple of scenes, but Raghuvaran makes them impressive.

Shankar’s story, though on guessable lines, has been made engaging by his screenplay and Anthony’s intelligent scissoring. Yet ‘Sivaji’ sags towards the end. However, the cocktail gets tangier with Sujatha’s dialogue.

With A.R. Rahman at the console the hip numbers spell variety. The SPB-Rajini combo for the opening song has always augured well. This time it’s an exuberant ‘Ballelakka …’ The scintillating ‘Sahana Saaral …’ will remain unforgettable. (Are you imagining it or is Udit Narayan’s pronunciation really improving?)

The sound design of A.S.Lakshminarayanan, the large helpings of visual splendour that Thottatharani’s art serves, the excellent lens view K.V.Anand provides, the hi-tech CG wizardry coupled with the make-up department’s (Banu) incredible achievement — technical support offers a Lucullan feast in ‘Sivaji.’

Those who plump for films in the ‘Superman,’ ‘Spiderman’ genre will love our very own Style Man Supreme!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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