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Language : Tamil
Banner : AVM Productions
Director : Shankar
Producer : M. Saravanan and M.S. Guhan
Cinematography : K.V. Anand
Story : Shankar
Screenplay : Shankar
Dialogue : Sujatha
Editor : Anthony
Action : Peter Hein
Art Direction : Thotta Tharani
Lyrics : Vaali, Vairamuthu, Pa.Vijay, Na.Muthu Kumar
Music : A. R. Rahman
Release : 2007 June 15
Cast : Rajnikanth, Shriya, Vivek, Suman, Manivannan, Livingston, Raghuvaran, Kannal Kannan, Cochin Haneefa
Normally, verdicts for movie reviews are given at the end of the review, but with Sivaji The Boss, one just HAS to be different. In a nutshell, the movie is. SUPERB.
NOT just because of Shankar's screenplay and slick effects - which is all there in skill and abundance...
NOT just because of how fantastic Superstar Rajni and Shriya look - which they do...
NOT just because of how amazing and beautiful the sets in the movie are, especially in the song sequences - which they are...
But because of ALL of the above, and most importantly - Superstar Rajinikanth's super-cool new look, with the same much-loved personality, the hilarious and whistle-worthy humour and punch-dialogues and "semmai" action sequences.
Yes, Sivaji The Boss is a must-watch. Rajinikanth is back with an explosive BOOM with this movie, which is far removed from the quieter Chandramukhi. In Sivaji The Boss, he is everything you want and everything he has hasn't been before - the same super style, but done differently; the same super action, but executed with more super effects; the same good over evil tale, but one that's an "athiraedee"!
The story is quite simple - the struggles of a man who has made his millions the hard way outside India and now wants to use it for the good of his people back home.
Sivaji Arumugam is a poor man's son, who has come up from a very humble life. He has made a fortune in the US and has now returned to his homeland India for good. Here, he wants to put his wealth to good use for the benefit of the common man and bring about change through quality education, medical services and self-employment - by starting his own conglomerate that makes these happen. His budget is Rs. 200 crores and he proceeds to find out the very hard way, the molasses-like sluggish movement of government procedures and obstacles at every turn. He tries his best to do it the right way, but is thwarted everywhere. His constant companion Mama (Vivek) is the one true friend he has in these tough times.
Adiseshaiah (Suman), a man who he thought was a good man, is his most vile and backstabbing enemy. This sauve villain throws every heavy weight, from government servants severely bribed by him to violent goondas, in Sivaji's way, only to find that this seemingly-docile man (dormant tiger?) withstands his assaults splendidly - with a shrug and a smile.
Along the way, Sivaji encounters Tamilselvi, his dream woman. She's everything he wants - a true Tamil girl, beautiful, resplendent with the culture of the region. it's a tough task to convince her to be his, but he wins.
The rest of the story is about how his struggles continue and yet, he fails in the end. then decides, at a flip of a rupee coin (a very interesting background to this that one MUST see the film for), that he will give back as much as he has been given, that he will pay back the villains in their own coin. A new Sivaji - new look, new attitude and new plan - is born. How he goes about achieving his goals, how he takes his revenge on the bad guys and teaches them a lesson, how he crushes their every negative push under his feet, is what Sivaji The Boss is about.
The look and feel of the film is, needless to say, SLICK. Shankar has made Rajni look fabulous - reminds us of the good ol' Morattu Kaalai, Basha, Padayappa days - whether in his traditional stylish Rajni look or the modern 21st century one.
The humour is STUPENDOUS - Vivek is simply hilarious. Rib-tickling, tongue-in-cheek, off-the-seat-rolling and SUPER STYLISH humour. In fact, he is shoulder-to-shoulder with Rajni throughout the movie and equally important at every step. The way he has his own "punch" dialogues for Sivaji, the way he gets everyone in tears of laughter with just a sentence, makes him worth more than just one watch!
Not only Vivek, but various other characters and scenes in the movie make this a total entertainer - the entry (and exit!) of Kannal Kannan, Sivaji trying out Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and even Kamal Haasan looks in a short montage, the way special appearances from Chinni Jayanth and Mayilsami liven up the screen.
Shriya is gorgeous. She is slim, beautiful and totally graceful. Instead of making Rajni look old, she helps him look younger than ever before! Ok, so she doesn't really have the meatiest role, but this is a RAJNI film and for that fact alone, one should hand it to her, the way she stands out.
Suman makes a good villain. He is truly hateful and a complete megalomaniac baddie. It's good to see him in such a noteworthy role after many years.
The action sequences in Sivaji are totally different from anything Rajni has ever done before - there's tons of new and young moves, great effects, all mixed with Rajni's potent brand of "sty-yle" and tricks. Flips here, rolls there, way up in the air, Matrix-style shots in yet other places.
The special effects are really well done. No, not overdone (like, say, Boys, which was anyway a young, techno-loving movie), but in tune with Sivaji's look and style.
Very, very noteworthy are Thotta Tharani's sets. Fabulous. That sums it up. The most elaborate and beautiful sets for the song "Vaaji Vaaji" and "Suhana", the most beautifully done up Chennai locales like Binny Mills and many more locations around the world!
It's nice to see A.R. Rahman's sty-y-lish new music translated on screen with imagery. It brings so much life into the songs which are already creating new records and the background score is also perfect, in keeping with the mood!
Story-wise, for all the secrecy and hype surrounding the movie, there is nothing unique to write home about. Shankar has become famous for mixing 3-4 concepts from his earlier movies and putting it all in a slick new package and with Sivaji, he stays true to his own tradition. Still, his cleverness lies in understanding that the masses will come to theatres in hordes mainly to see one person – Superstar Rajinikanth; so he has kept the same mix of stories, given a complete makeover for Rajinikanth, added a great plethora of technology to make it all look good and thrown in all the trappings of modern Tamil cinema.
And if you can package the excellent old Rajni-wine in Shankar’s special new bottle, well, all’s good!
Chewing gum tricks, sunglasses flip, the coin throw, "chumma" sooooper punch dialogues - a complete, 3-hour Rajinikanth bonanza, that is Sivaji!
Now for the questions - dual role? Multiple roles? Who is the bald Rajni? Well, you just HAVE to watch the movie to find out!
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