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A Journal by Sara

Sivaji – Perception Differs !

In fact, I never wanted to blog on this, but as a victim of Murphy’s Law, I am forced to.

IBN Blogger has got this to say about Rajnikant and the Dravidians in his own juvenile sense of humor and on account of his worthless idea, Aryan’s superiority over Dravidians.

If you think it is one-off incident and could be pardoned despite the fact that it is published on a renowned news site, you are caught wrong. Here comes another fellow mate of this blogger, who has painted the same picture in fact worse than expected.

Certainly, it doesn’t leave one in good taste to see a criticism on racial themes by humans with an incorrect perception on the topic under debate.

The blogger with his sarcasm conveys the poor language skills of Rajnikant and considers bollywood celebrities as Shakespeares and Marlowes of earth.

Seldom I have seen south Indian news hitting headlines in any of touted Indian media and was bored to death looking at the pieces of news they throw about Aishwarya Rai’s daily chores. I have, at times, wondered how do thoughtful journalists on earth spy celebrity’s life for any piece of write-up to close out the day at work.

Given this shade of media quality, I was taken aback when I saw the coverage of the south Indian movie taking people by storm. Guess you would accept, the movie earned sufficient recognition and was a household name till date. Before I throw some light on this issue, I want to make one of my opinions clear, I was never or would be a Rajni fan or not even Kamalhassan/ Mamooty/ Mohanlal/ Amitab/Aamir, to sum up none.

When the Sivaji news was doing rounds in the media checking the run of any other movies in India, it was no surprise that it drew heavy criticism by many of so-called purists.  Few of the charges are

1)      Rajnikant looks old and senile and doesn’t possess the comely grace of hero anymore.

2)      He is not even worth to deserve a comparison with Amitabh, let alone bettering him. Top of all, Amitabh is incomparable.

3)      Shankar has again touched the same old social themes and bores us to death.

4)      It was ridiculous to see the action parts of the movie, defying each and every law of gravity.

5)      A script which lacks quality and depth doesn’t deserve even a rating of an average movie.

6)       Highly illogical story and lacks depth of concept.

7)      Black Money concept was presented million times in the Indian movies and this is no big difference.

8.)     We can never reach the standards of Hollywood and not even worth giving a try.

Rajnikant looks old and senile. Period.  You don’t even have to say this as we regularly have a look of him in his public appearances.  Enjoying, or should I say regretting, fan base across nations and people from all walks of life, a rickshaw puller to a IIT/M student, who energetically awaits the release of their favorite hero’s  movie, he was naturally bent to continue his acting profession despite his interests. It was believed AVM; a legendary Tamil cinema production house had run into financial crisis, producing movies with much touted youth heroes. AVM was looking out for rescue only to find Rajnikant. In fact, even I remember, as news spread Rajnikant pairs up with AVM for his next movie later a week the director was decided which then followed by rest of the crew. Ultimately, for this act of rescue, the Sivaji was born. You might now see whether the purpose is solved. And still don’t ask me why is he acting?

If you have heard through your Tamil friends, Rajnikant has done a dozen of movies to help out producers who were hit by financial crisis. Needless to compare with one who bought farm lands in Maharashtra and UP against the law, and claims that he is a farmer.

Of course, Shankar bores us to death with the same topic over and again. But if you pay heed to what the topic is, and could attribute to the impious reality we live in, you might notice after all this is the primary job of politicians which is well played up to the applause by a film director; In fact, living in India, you cannot opine it is fallacious to have social-message conveyed in many films, for all intents and purposes it is the genuine need of the hour!

Any good reform which could benefit the ordinary citizens cannot be achieved successfully by a common man; the reason being lack of popularity among people to elucidate his ideas.  Hence, it is mandatory to have a huge wave of popularity to do any reforms that benefits masses. As Tamilnadu proved history that cinema could effectively be the medium to convey political messages, it is natural to confer that we have majority of population [when I say majority, even 51% is suffice, as India Electoral vote count is even lesser than that] who takes cinema serious than life.

Hence, we could assert that a medium like Tamil cinema with an actor like Rajnikant, who has attracted people all over the earth with his grand persona, is the ideal launch pad to express political messages which is better understood by people from all walks of life. That’s exactly what the movie Sivaji has done today.

Many perfectionists would jump on to the stage, to talk about the script style and screenplay of the movies and would rant on faults in the movie. I accept this is not a movie which has outdone Godfathers and Matrixes of the Hollywood not even the Indian and Gentleman [MoviesJ] of Kollywood; but a movie with its unmatched popularity which has reached out to people from every sects of life and made few of them to accept and appreciate the message conveyed.

Shankar has reasonably directed few excellent scenes in his socio-plot movies perfectly in tune with the local flavor. Be it Court Scene of Arjun in the movie ‘Gentleman’ or the Q-TV telecast scene of Kamalhassan-Nizhalgal Ravi in the movie ‘Indian’ or the completion of one-day stint at CM office in the movie ‘Mudhalvan’  or Black-Money discussion scene between Rajni-Vivek at roof-top in this movie ‘Sivaji’ is no less equivalent portrayal of the shoddy politics in today’s India. If you could dissect Shankar’s movie scenes which depict political India on screen, it would touch upon vibrant themes accompanied by excellent retrospection.

His subtlety in movie direction is one which I have always enjoyed watching and was amazed looking at his ability to deal with intricate issues of the nation.

I have watched headlines which stated Indians abroad drove more than 100 miles to get a first glimpse of their hero’s movie. I watched TV news, where a fan from Dubai was screaming at a journalist mic’ that he could well grasp the message his hero conveyed that NRI owes something back to the nation and vowed he would do his possible part to empower India. That’s when it hit me more impressively, that even 10 people among the millions who watched this movie could take this message to heart, there lays the success of this movie contributing awareness to this mislead society.

Looking at, bollywood these days delving deeper into themes such as lesbian, gay acts, wife swapping, fiancée swapping and other western values to impress NRI audiences, I would not even stress on the importance of making a movie like Sivaji and its theme which touches the hearts of many souls abroad.

Despite the message carried, the movie is also a feast of striking visuals and songs. Also have used special grafting technique to change skin color of the actor, which is a first of its effort in cinemas, though the achievement is minor, it was an opportunity for a graphic/visuals company of India to take up the challenge and it is heartening to note the success on screen.  Even Hollywood touched zenith only after exploring each and every bit of ideas conceived like the former.

True, the message could have been illustrated in more depths but the movie should also connect to Kandhaswamis and Ramaswamis of India. If it had been Matrix class of reasoning, the movie would have got confined to esteemed film historians table waiting for their approval to be labeled as a classic. In such case, sure it would join the league of satyajit ray’s documentaries in a dark room rather than reaching to the minds of average film-goers in our society. Thus, it is evident why the latter was preferred.

I would rather suggest every nit-picker to appreciate the hard-work gone into making this movie and its role as a contributor to the empowerment of society than cry hoarse. I have no doubt it has raised political awareness of citizens from every league, which in turn is a seed sown.

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July 17, 2007 - Posted by | Cinemas, Issues

6 Comments »

  1. Dear Prabhu Venkatesh,

    Good stuff. Keep posting more such blogs. You are very sensible and articulate.

    Ravi

    Comment by Ravikumar | July 17, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hey Prabhu, This is a really nice blog. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Saro | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  3. Dont waste ur time by responding to these senseless so-called-aryans ,who doesnt even have their lineage in india,who chestbeat their masculinity and feminity as supreme entities,who do immoral acts and have million fan following for the same,who admire flesh over soul,who sleep with their brother’s wife (or sister’s husband)and consider it as a sacrifice and finally who think they are the only supreme creatures born in this planet to uphold the true indian culture but actually end up doing acts which shames the very existence of humanity.
    A dialogue from Anbe Sivam – “Mannippu kekka therinchavan ‘Manishan’,Manikka therichavan ‘Periya Manishan'”. Just to add some spice to it “Mannippu kekka theiryadhanavan”,well u can just call them Bastards!

    Comment by pradeep | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  4. I totally agree with ur comments on the trend of Bollywood where in they eschew immorality and socially bad values(individually they may not matter) in the garb of openness. what these dont realise is that they are continuously justifying “socially” immoral acts while perasonally they may appear not so bad. Bollywood has definitely fallen on values more than other film industries though there are one odd freaks like SJ Surya or kastoori rajan even in tamil films.

    Comment by guru | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  5. Pradeep’s reply was so aggressive, but his aggression has made him to do a false
    Statement, the famous dialogue is not from the movie “Anbe sivam”, the dialogue uttered by
    Famous star “*****Kamal Hassan*****” movie “VIRUMANDI”

    Comment by Zayed | July 30, 2007 | Reply

  6. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

    Comment by Idetrorce | December 16, 2007 | Reply


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