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Shivaji - The Boss Review

Shivaji - The Boss
Ravi Mundoli /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
To watch a Rajini starrer on the first day, you need to be an Olympic decathlete. You have to squeeze in through the metal detectors, nimbly avoid the sniffer dogs, jostle through the crowd, hop over all the cabling laid out by the TV crews, and stagger into your seat. But if you're a true Rajini fan, you can do this blindfolded on one leg.

The combination of star, director and music director alone makes Sivaji like one of those rare and obscure celestial events that send astronomers into spasms of ecstasy. And "spasms of ecstasy" probably describes what Sivaji holds for the Rajini devotee ('fan' doesn't do justice). For, it is a no-nonsense out-and-out movie of the Rajini devotee, for the Rajini devotee and, looks like, by a Rajini devotee. And even if you aren't a Rajini devotee but are friends with one, or are a Rajini-watcher, you'll get your paisa vasool from this.

Sivaji (Rajini) returns from the US where he has amassed Rs. 200 crores as a software systems architect. He returns with the burning desire to spend his time and money on helping the public. Yes, an unavoidable by-product of being a Shankar hero is to do unto society what a detergent does unto stained clothes in TV ads.

Along with his pal Sundaram (Vivek), he jumps through hoops to set up universities and hospitals, but is thwarted by Adiseshu (Suman) and his politician buddies who are worried, mostly because they have to face Rajinikanth with the masses behind him. This is probably a delicate hint to Tamil Nadu politicians, with about the same level of delicacy as an elephant backing into a crockery shop.

Eventually Adiseshu succeeds, and at the interval leaves Sivaji with a Re. 1 coin (played by a Re. 1 coin) in his hand, and leaves the audience atremble with thoughts of our hero's retaliation.

The storyline isn't terribly inventive or engaging. Good rich man wants to do good, bad rich man wants to stop him, and oh, by the way, there's a girl involved. What is different, of course, is that this is Rajinikanth. You put him in a movie, and you've suddenly created a parallel universe to which earthly logic, aesthetics and reasoning don't have a visa.

Truth be told, this is an older Rajinikanth - one whose cheeks are a bit fuller and steps are a bit slower. This is visible in the first half of Sivaji. However, that is entirely beside the point, because he is still inimitable at what he does best. There are a couple of trademark gestures with the coin and with chewing gum that will join the pantheon of Rajini mannerisms.

A couple of other aspects of Sivaji are noteworthy. After a long time, the dubbing from Tamil to Telugu seems to really work, and because of this, the comedy track is more than adequate most of the time, and surreally good at others. For example, a scene where two goons who are helping in a small surgical procedure clink saline bottle and blood packet and go 'Cheers'. As Sivaji keeps saying, 'Cool'!

Since it's such a big release in AP, care has been taken to 'localize' as much of the movie as possible. This is carried so far as to shoot 3 small 'tribute' songs to legends of Tollywood cinema with Rajini and Shriya standing in for their Tollywood counterparts, that will have AP audiences clapping and hooting in the aisles.

For the connoisseur, Sivaji is replete with references to Rajini's life and career. Starting from the fact that the very movie is named after Rajinikanth's real name, to the references that Adiseshu makes about Sivaji having to take up a bus conductor's job, there seems to be subtext after subtext throughout Sivaji.

The music is good, though not the same kind of stuff that Rahman could do in his heyday. A couple of the song picturizations are completely over the top, as are the action sequences, but please refer to our earlier comments about parallel universes etc. By the way, Shriya appears in most of the songs and some other scenes too.

In the final analysis, Sivaji is the archetypal Rajini movie, with all the expected ingredients. If you're a Rajini fan, don't miss it for anything in the world. If you understand Tamil, you'll probably want to see it in the original as well! Even otherwise, you can get to see a decent movie with a tight storyline and good to excellent production values.

[Also read: The fangirl review]
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Shivaji - The Boss (telugu) reviews
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Rajnikanth, Shriya Saran, Suman, Prakash Raj, Revathi Menon, Vivek, M S Baskar, Manivannan
  • Music
    A R Rahman
  • Director
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
1 - 15 OF 16 COMMENTS  |  NEXT  |  LAST
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Subha R on 6th Jul 2007, 9:28am | Permalink
Sivaji rocks!
Dinesh on 17th Jun 2007, 10:42pm | Permalink
cool movie. shankar script is superb
Kavitha Reddy on 16th Jun 2007, 5:12pm | Permalink
superb movie.rajni rocks!
Srihari on 15th Jun 2007, 5:26pm | Permalink
Shivaji the boss just rocks.The mere charismatic presence of Rajini makes it an exhilarating experience well worth to make a few more trips to the theater.
Shankar and Rajini have come out with an outstanding winner and for all the die hard Rajini fans it was a wait well worth for.
There are no parallels to Rajin in the realms of cinematic world.He is certainly the BOSS.
Kali on 15th Jun 2007, 4:17pm | Permalink
Sivaji: A beautiful spectacle of stars

Shobha Warrier


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5Rediff P4C Classifieds

June 15, 2007 13:19 IST

I still remember going to a planetarium holding on to my father's hand to see the constellation. It happened long, long ago but the memory is still fresh in my mind.

I was in a dark auditorium -- there were glittering stars in the dark sky and I looked at them in awe. There were bright stars, and not-so-bright stars; some of them were together, some far away from each other. I jumped up in joy when I spotted a bright star. I clapped when I felt a star was smiling at me. It was a spectacle, an unforgettable spectacle.

Today, after so many years, I am reminded of that particular night inside the planetarium. And what triggered off this memory was Rajnikanth's [Images] Sivaji. Inside the dark theatre, I was treated once again to a spectacle for more than three hours. As I watched, I was extremely happy and most of the time, the child in me got very excited.

Don't Miss: All about Sivaji

The first one and a half hours of Sivaji was like looking at a sky full of stars. Do these stars tell you a story and entertain you? Yes, the story is about how a lone man fights a battle against the corrupt system in society. It may be the hospitals that squeeze money from the poor patients; it may be the colleges that extract a lot of money from the students. Joining hands with corruption are the elected representatives. The story is about how this man wins the battle in the end, and how he wins.

It all starts with a person being taken to the jail with his face covered. As the story unfolds, we see an NRI called Sivaji (Rajnikanth) coming to India from the US to serve his country. He wants to open hospitals, schools and colleges for the poor. There are hurdles galore in front of him especially in the form of an avaricious man called Adiseshan (Suman).

Now, which is the brightest star in the dark theatre?

It is this star, the suave Adiseshan, in a spotless white dhoti and shirt and a slight swagger that impressed me the most. Everything about this star is imposing and the 'real big star' pales in the first half.

The second star that made me happy with his one-liners is Sivaji's uncle, played excellently by Vivek. In the first half, it is Vivek's show all the way, and whenever he utters those funny one-liners with a straight face, one cannot but laugh out loud.

The third star is Sujatha, the man who wrote those funny lines. The story is as old as the old wine which the director of the show, Shankar himself has often said. Sujatha makes it up with his sharp and witty dialogues.

Art director Thotta Tharani creates stunning sets for the songs.

Am I impressed with the camera of K V Anand that picturised the stunning spectacle? Yes. Am I impressed with the songs and dances? Yes, with most of them. A R Rahman's songs sound and look definitely better with the dazzling visuals.

As the film progresses, Sivaji gets married to Thamizhselvi (a beautiful Shriya) after wooing her and winning over her family and making us laugh in the bargain.

Flashback over and Sivaji is in jail. Adiseshan and his cronies in the bureaucracy continue to harass him. But Sivaji escapes from their clutches and comes back as M G Ravi Chandran aka MGR. Thus, Sivaji becomes MGR.

And, what an entry it is! From this moment onwards, there is only one star in the sky, the brightest of them all: Sirius. And, that is Rajnikanth. With his bald head, long coat and mannerisms, he is style personified. In the second half, Rajni the star rises like a phoenix and makes up for the lacklustre performance in the first half. The stars of the first half pale in front this star in the next half.

And you come away from the dark theatre impressed with the spectacle composed by Shankar.

Sekhar Reddy on 15th Jun 2007, 3:40pm | Permalink
we loves u rajani bec u r kind heart and style
Vasu Forever on 15th Jun 2007, 2:47pm | Permalink
Fullhyd vadu review raledu kani peda fogulu kotadaniki petadu ..
Reddy Reddy on 15th Jun 2007, 2:32pm | Permalink
rajni all time super star
i wish you all the best in your life

you live for people
so you dont have any problems
always think for other people then you will be sucseed in your life
Whats This on 15th Jun 2007, 2:05pm | Permalink
just 2.5 stars????
Sreekanth Reddy on 4th Jul 2007, 11:26pm | Permalink
Kaasi on 15th Jun 2007, 2:13pm | Permalink
review ledu emi ledu bongu
Bramhi --software Engineer on 9th Oct 2007, 4:48pm | Permalink
mana reddy anna tho nenu oppukunta..actually idi boku cinema ne..but edo konni scenes lo manodi over action naku nacchindi..rajni nunchi naku kavalsinde adi..endukante amitabh bacchan act chesi rajni kuda act chesthe ika overaction,punch dialogue lu,thrilling dialogue lu..ilantivi anni evaru cheptharu..daniki oke okkadunnadu..rajni- the boss.
Rajthalai on 29th Aug 2007, 4:20am | Permalink
Tamil version is a superhit ,i have nno idea about telugu version.
Dr.No on 16th Jun 2007, 7:55pm | Permalink

a) YES-->then sivaji is a must watch 4u.It is all "RAJNI and only RAJNI" movie.You get everything from him..Most importantly..his STYLE ;).

b) NO--> then dont watch it.It is not a Shankar brand movie.Not a tight storyline,average screenplay,music is just OK,nothing great.But do watch the trailer.(that will pull you right into the theater ;).
on 15th Jun 2007, 6:48pm | Permalink
this is a good movie for rajini
screenplay is not good, but rajini action is good
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