The Baaass

, baada? and I went for Sivaji yesterday night. “Second show” at PVR. Baada had put fight on saturday itself in order to book the tickets in advance, and since the movie was supposed to start at 10, I had a quick dinner, left my motorcycle and sensibilities behind and proceeded to the Forum by auto. And before I left, my mom had ensured that I emptied my wallet, for I was supposed to return at around 1 am. Out came eight credit/debit cards (i didn’t know that I carried so many), my driving license and PAN card, and in went some 10 rupee notes.

The first part of the Sivaji experience was in getting in into the hall. I guess prints from a show elsewhere had failed to show up on time, so we were kept waiting outside the theater for about half an hour. This was followed by another 15 minute wait inside the theater but just outside the hall. All part of the “experience” I thought. And the latter wait allowed PVR to ensure some basic sales of the highly overpriced chaat and soft drinks and snakes.

The movie began at around 10:45 and I must say it was quite enjoyable (the only Rajnikant movie i’d watched earlier was Hum). It was good that I had left my brains behind, and the action, the fight sequences, the style, the dialogues (yes I managed to understand most of the tam) were a treat. I was happy that I had decided to take in the movie as a comedy – with the same frame of mind in which I take in a Govinda or a Jaggesh movie – for this was the best way to enjoy the movie. And in my opinion, the best part of the movie was the fight choreography! It was a long time since I’d seen a movie with this kind of action.

During the movie, one coudn’t help but wonder if the producers had spent too much. The sets for most songs seemed elaborate and garish, and for the amount they spent filmign them, I don’t think they added any value. I don’t think there would be more than a handful of incremental people who would watch the movie because of the elaborate sets for songs. The director/producer sure needs a lesson in cost cutting. One thign though – the song sequences themselves (they are independent of the storyline) are extremely essential. For the imported heroine Shriya plays a character who is required to wear a sari through the movie, so the dreamy songs were the only way some skin could’ve been shown!

I also noticed a large number of instances (intentional or unintentional) and a large number of missed opportunities for product placements. There was Fair and Lovely, the Apple Mac, IBM TP, British Airways, Delta airlines and even sun TV (surprising since the movie’s rights have been sold to rival and still-in-the-womb Kalaignar). One major missed opportunity I thought was for ITC. There were so many “Vaangos” and “pOngos” in the movie that it would’ve been an ideal vehicle to market Bingo! Maybe ITC was pissed that Rajni doesn’t smoke in the movie. And of course, center fresh’s sales in TN would leapfrog over the next few months, especially with the potential wastage of a large number of chewing gums by people trying to copy Rajni and throw it into their mouths!

Overall it was a fun experience, and I laughed my heart out through the movie. The storyline itself is bad but who cares? We’d rather not have a story at all and instead just have a sequence of fight sequences! There should definitely be more fight sequences set in musical shops, with the Baass playing Baass guitar with the villains!

Once the movie was done, it was a pleasant surprise that there was a large supply of autorickshaws outside the forum and one of the guys agreed to drop me for “double the meter fare”. Of course I paid him a little less than that after pointing out that his meter was tampered. And this morning I woke up to read the headlines that raids have been conducted on a number of real estate developers in Bangalore. Fitting, right?

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