Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Boss

Rajni is Boss. No doubt about it.

But first half of Sivaji: The Boss disappointed. A sad heroine character and some attempts to be funny that fall flat (despite best efforts from Vivek). But the lion has to roar, and he does. There's quite an amount of fun in the second half.

If I were to pick the best thing about the film, it would be the impressive screen presence of the villain (I don't know the actor's name).

Anyone who loves the superstar would have already watched Sivaji, but amidst all the hype around the film, let us not forget a long line of films that made the superstar -- Ranga, Thangamakan, Moonru mugham, Padikkatthavan, Maaveeran, Velaikkaaran, Mappilai, Annamalai, Mannan, Uzhaippali, Yejamaan, Muthu, Basha, Arunachalam, Padayappa..

And when Sivaji: The Boss is getting so much acceptance in the metros and multiplexes, when it is getting released simultaneously in as many as 72 centres in Kerala (the highest for a Malayalam film has been 60), one must remember that less than ten years back thearte owners in Kerala were refusing to play Padaiyappa because they didn't want the "uncultured" Tamil audiences to spoil their halls.

It is intereresting to see how the amount of money involved has made all the difference. What else could it be?


Anand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anand said...

agree with you on Rajanis performance as a superstar, he gave the second half a fresh start. Overall i felt the movie is average. Shankar was not convincing in the way he dealt with the larger subject at hand. Rajinis transormation to the "Boss" after taking his own personal vengance was not dealt with much character conviction. The whole Black money theme itself was not necessary....why....seems like Shankar is running out of steam.

Really felt funny with the strong "color" issue being brought up and made an absolute mockery out of . A superstar who aparantly is proud of his color and ethnicity, gives himself up to cosmetic treatments and visual effects and Spanish landscapes to lure a dusky fare goddess and in the end making the lady herself to redeem him from the impossible thought. Also the comedy lines around the same part with the two twin sisters of Shriya's neighbour (Played by Soloman papayar) clearly shows the double standards on this arguments and complexes on color from the Superstar himself.

Suman as the lead villain was only good in parts and towards the end it was a torture only.

But I do have some favorite one liners from the lovie...

"Panninge than koooooottama varum....Singam, thaniyaa varuven!" lol

9:47 AM

sudeep said...

correction: "singam singlaa thaan varum" :)

towards the end it is torture.. but i don't think it's only because of the villain. the film seemed like never ending.. i guess it should have stopped with the arrival of "MGR" .. that would have been style ending!

the songs and song scenes weren't too great either. the "style" song was the less tiresome of the lot.

in all, this was just an average fare in rajni standards. but the hype has helped them recover the huge costs and even make profits.. unlike baba. may be this wasn't as bad as baba. (i didn't see it.)

Snigdha Rebecca Jacob said...

"It is intereresting to see how the amount of money involved has made all the difference."

- a true observation. when 'Moonnamathoral' was about to release in 80 theaters as the first malayalam film shot completely in digital high definition and beamed simultaneously to various cinemas all over kerala, the film distributors association banned theaters other than 26 releasing houses airing it. the thrissur based distributor intended to survive just with initial collection that lasts for a week or two and that was spoiled. But when MONEY came in the guise of SIVAJI, THE BOSS, every contention have changed.

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

We have happened passed awhile entertained in your blog, congratulations
Regards from Reus Catalunya (SP)

Appu said...

> It is intereresting to see how the amount of money involved has made all the difference. What else could it be?

It might be coupled with the attitude/behaviour/sensibility shift of people which happened in last 10 years. It is becoming highly difficult to justify a statement like Malayali audience have more civic sense compared to Tamilians! (Such a claim according to me was wrong 10 years ago also.)

I just tried watching a Malayalam film named "Chackoo Randaman", though I found it extremely hard to sit and watch the major part of it and had to finish the entire movie in around 15 min (hail mplayer). But the sad part of it, it was highly structured (copied would be a more honest word) from rajini/vijaykanth genre of movies and appears infinitely more cliched.

sudeep said...

Like you, I also feel claims like "Malayali audience have more civic sense compared to Tamilians" are foolish and does not make any sense, be it 10 years ago or 15 years ago. So why don't you explain the real difference in "sensibility" that you are talking about?

Is it that Malayalis don't even claim to be "more civic" these days? If that is the case (that is an interesting possibility, I don't agree with that entirely though) what are possible reasons for the same?

Appu said...

> So why don't you explain the real difference in "sensibility" that you are talking about?

Let's stay within Kerala. Create a hypothetical situation that the crash Mohanlal hits starting "Narashimam" to "Chota Mumbai" being released in the theatres during 80s or before. I hardly see any chance of those Movies being successful at that point of time. I remember back then we used to term any crash movies as "ethu tamil/hindi padam mathiri erikunnu".

If you look at message boards in the prominent internet portal, you will find people fighting and boasting about the collection Mohanlal/Mammooty movie grossed in first week and contrasting them with other stars around India. Unlike today, the superstar phenomenon was not so a 'prominent' factor a few years back. A bad movie was very rarely salvaged by presence of superstar.

>Is it that Malayalis don't even claim to be "more civic" these days?

This unfortunately is true.

Let me use Cinema to compare public perception. Today's average hero usually is introduced as a 'big' goonda and a drunkard seeking revenge to another set of bigger goons who had wronged him in past. Movies in past also dealt with such themes. However, they differed considerably in their narrative process and viewpoint. In the olden movies, the fact that hero has to become a 'goon' is portrayed as a tragedy (and usually played a part of climax). Hero's final fate was a not a desirable situation/event. But today's movie laud hero's degenerate status from his/her introduction scene itself. There are exceptions to this. But unfortunately exceptions are very sparse, and give ample room to make such a blanket statement.

> I don't agree with that entirely though) what are possible reasons for the same?

This is really worth exploring. I am not able to pinpoint to one fact.

But one major ingredient is flipping of anti-establishment concepts by the capitalistic forces. The idea is very simple. Say upfront you are getting violated/censored by a 'controlling authority'. Promote the idea that it is really okay and in-fact 'really cool' to break/bend couple of rules. Confuse and corrupt the people about what the controlling authority is and what are the rules to be broken. Suddenly "being a rebel" idea became really popular. Also note how this phenomena coincided with mass media flourishing and opening up of commercialisation in our society.

Note, this is a world-wide phenomena. For example, billion dollar companies like Nike and Coca-cola uses phrases like "Be yourself","Follow yourself" in their campings now a days. It is a really paradoxical, but very effective concept. Maybe one of reason films like Guru (which to me was one of most flawed movies made in the recent past) became very popular.