Rajni fans can't ask for more.
Sivaji has turned out to be a perfect blend of Rajni style and Shankar story-telling. The story is simple. As Shankar would like it, Sivaji, a senior systems architect, comes back to his own country, to serve his people.
He has 200 crore. He wants to build universities and hospitals to serve the needy free of cost. Essentially, the Good Soul. Right in the beginning of the film, he comes across, Adhi, the educationist-money-spinner, whose interests would be affected by the ``free for all'' idea.
Shankar's ability to leverage the corruption in the minds of the Tamils comes handy. Against his wishes, he pays till the Minister. Adhi, the criminal, changes the Government itself. Buildings are sealed and Sivaji is on the streets.
Adhi gives him a one rupee coin and asks him to beg thereafter.
There is this sub-plot, the love-comic story with Shriya. Wanting to marry a Tamil-cultured girl, Rajni falls for this frail woman, working in a music store, at a temple. His family and friend barge into the girl's home. After funny, funny moments, as can be expected of Rajni, they decided to marry. The other villain, astrologer, warns against the marriage. It could make Sivaji a pauper and even kill him.
On the streets and facing death, Rajni starts starring. Has not Rajni has this habit of standing in the street in most of his films to emerge victorious at the end? Here again, Rajni treads the same path.
With that one rupee coin in his hand, he calls up Adhi and informs him of the IT raid next morning. The foolish villain packs his docus and sends it to his farm house. The hero picks them up and blackmails the villain. Rs 100 crore for Rs 200 crore (black money).
That was only the beginning. Of the 20 lakh crore in the black market, Sivaji squeezes 46,000 crore from educationists and politicians to realise his dream of serving the poor. He converts all the black money into white money by changing them into dollars and asking the NRIs to deposit them in his bank accounts. He builds hospitals and colleges. The villains are sent packing to the jail. How can villains trust the Hero?
Coming out, they devise a plan. Meanwhile, cornered by the CBI and fearing for her husband's life (they are married now), Shriya reveals the truth to the CBI chief. But there is a hitch. The laptop recognises only Sivaji's voice and password.
Cool. Tmrw, the Tamils across the globle would be uttering this same word. Cool. Sivaji ishtyle.
In between, the chief villain wants to kill Rajni. He devises a plan. Caught in camera by one of those souls whose relative was treated in Sivaji's hospital. No constable wants to cane Sivaji in police custody. They are also benefitted from the private government run by Sivaji.
So, Adhi beats him up. The hero counts to pay them all back. When everyone think Sivaji is dead and go out seeking a doctor, Sivaji electrocutes himself. Flashback. During construction of the Sivaji university, a boy goes unconscious after stamping on a live wire. Dr Raguvaran kisses his soul and brings him back alive. So Rajni remembers that.
Now, when they take him to be killed. Dr Raghu and Shriya ``mastermind'' his escape and save the super star's life. If you expected Shriya to kiss Rajni's sould to bring him to life, you are in for a disappointment. Actually, two iron-boxes do it for him.
Meanwhile, CBI could not open the documents in the laptop and the data goes into self-destructive mode as set by the systems architect. Sivaji is dead and his accounts are gone. Unlike Indian (thatha), Sivaji is not flying abroad. He wants to live and serve here.
So, Sivaji makes a comeback as MGR(Ravichandran). I think the film should have been titled MGR instead of Sivaji. For MGR had perfected the art of taking it from the rich and, apart from keeping most for himself, give it back to people (remember the currency notes at times of his campaign).
The chief villain meets his own end. Shankar is most visible in the last scene. The poor student whose parents were squeezed for money for his admission at the villain's medical college stamps on the villain's throat.
Shankar's touch. Apart from this and few other scenes like taking the money in bullock cart, the anguish at the corrupt, the visual appeal of the songs and importantly the main plot, Shankar is completely overshadowed by the phenomenon called Rajnikanth.
K V Anand, Peter Hayne, the supporting artists, the visual effects, all have chipped in. Only A R Rahman is missing, especially in the songs.
From start to finish, Rajni, looking young and great, rules the roost. Should I say more things about Rajni's acting. We all know that the superstar can tickle the funny bones of even the tiniest in our houses and break the rib bones of tens and tens of villains with his steely wrists. Here, he dances too. His fans will be surprised. It can't be more delightful. Rajni fans have plenty of reason to celebrate.
The film is strictly not for the intelligent or artistic filmy fellows. It is better they stay at home. The film is for those who want to enjoy cinema purely as an entertainment. This is the film for you. A comical first part and an action packed second part. Only, the climax is bit boring. Only after you walk out of the theater, you realise that the film was 3 hours long.
Have you booked your tickets? It is likely that the housefull days will stretch a bit farther. You may have to wait. A word of caution. Don't waste it by watching at home. It is of no use. AVM has spent money. Of course, the cash is gonna flow.
One last word to Mr Shankar. Why don't you make films that are real and not just cash in on that deep rooted thing called corruption in this country? Sivaji is truly a reel story. They say it in the beginning that nothing in this film is actual. It will be sometime the society will have a real Sivaji. It may not also!
Till then, the Tamils' superheroes, Rajni and Shankar, will be cash-richer, basking in glory.