Disclaimer- Well, let me tell you very clearly, I am an atheist and hence i can’t call myself a Rajni fan.
Also, I am my own boss, so it won’t be proper if I called somebody else Thalaivar. I love Thalapathi, not because it is a Rajni film, but because it is a Santosh Sivan and Mani Ratnam film. For me, Sivaji – the Boss was satire and Enthiran was surrealistic imaginations of a person who doesn’t know anything about ceiling fans. The point is this is a totally non-serious and vella article without any intent and motivation. I hope the title will be self-sufficient to understand what my intent here is.
So my motives for watching a Rajini film were
- to meet my friends, who are die-hard Rajini fans
- to experience the Rajini Mania
- have a few drinks with my friends after the film, while subtly making fun of their fandom
But by design or default, I happened to have a cigarette spiked with marijuana. So I watched Rajnikanth on a “high”.
Well, it was a good day. No rains in Mumbai. Aurora Cinema was buzzing with Rajini Fans already. The film was supposed to run without subtitles. The only Tamil word I know is Nandri. But when I watched Lingaa, I did not feel any need for subtitles. So I was pretty ok with it. “Roger Ebert of Marathi Cinema” was also watching the Rajini film with us, and that a Rajini film in theatre for the first time. My friend “Cinema Psychopath” had already watched the 6 am show, but he still wanted to watch few more shows before the evening. He did not have drinks or marijuana, maybe Rajini was enough for him. He had a “theater acquaintance” along with him. And “Kalwa Casanova” was our last gangster.
After lots of shouting and Rajini chants, we were allowed inside the theater. I took my seats. Kalwa Casanova was sitting to my left and Roger Ebert to my right. Cinema Psychopath was sitting next to Kalwa Casanova and next to him was his theater acquaintance. This theater acquaintance was a curious fellow. We have never seen him before with Cinema Psychopath. So either Cinema Psychopath did online black marketing of movie tickets or may be they kept meeting at Aurora over the years. By the way, Cinema psychopath watches 500 films a years and that too in theater. World record is 1000+, but then have they also counted films watched outside theaters too. So it was very well possible he got to know some other cinema psycho over a period of time :). That explains the presence of theater acquaintance.
And then the film started. I could not see anything initially because everybody was dancing, shouting, standing up. So I very frankly don’t know how the film started. But then I was able to see Rajini’s back and for the next five minutes director was trying to hide Rajini from his fans. If I could guess that was Rajini, well I am sure everybody else did. So I don’t understand what director’s intention was. People keep shouting for almost five minutes before they could see Rajini’s close up. And they shouted as if they did not know who he was for a full five minutes. This is how the audience can spoil the filmmakers. Next time I hope they don’t do the same trick with Uday Chopra :).
So when Rajini was now on the screen, people kept shouting for at least 5 more minutes. I could infer two things from this:
- Why Cinema Psychopath watches 3 or 4 shows of same Rajini movie in a day?
- IMO there is a subset of Rajini audience, who just come to shout. Probably they don’t get the chance to say a word in their normal life. The film is their only way to let the world know that they exist. They can also check if their throats are still working or not. Now let us call this audience as “Shouting Audience”. They can also go for Salman Khan film and do the same. But Rajini is the only star, who gives them full money back guarantee. So now I could understand Rajini mania from a subset of his overall audience.
I instantly liked the structure of the film and somehow I felt subtitles were needed. I kept asking “Kalwa Casanova” about what is happening in the film. Actually, I hate when people talk inside the theatre, but there were so many talking already, I decided to whisper to Kalwa Casanova. Kalwa Casanova is a beef fry eating mallu. And Malayalam and Tamil has common roots thousand years ago. So KC was the right candidate to ask questions. To my right, Roger Ebert was busy immersed in the film. He hardly understands Tamil, but he had a Tamil girlfriend. So he was focusing more on subtext. It could have been violent to disturb him.
What I thought to be a bastard son of the protagonist, turned out to be his bodyguard. So I asked more questions to KC. And to my surprise he exchanged his seats with Cinema Psychopath. That was very insulting. I mean how could he be so serious watching a Rajini film. CP was cooler, he doesn’t mind anything while watching the film. There is an urban legend that once even during the human mating rituals he had watched a film. So CP told me more about the plot. And now I could understand the film.
Before we could go any further, there was an actual physical fight that happened just a few rows ahead of us. It turned out to be bloody violent. And it was not among teens, it was actually grown ups, sweaty bearded men who were fighting. It could have turned out to be Subramaniapuram part 2, but vigilant ticket checkers forced them out. The same ticket checker came back after few more minutes and also asked the second party to go out. He seems to be keen on watching real fight outside. He must be a Kamal Haasann fan :).
But then suddenly there was a scene in the film, where a Kabali fan got slapped by some other Kabali fan and tension flares up and Rajini enters, stops everybody and then to defuse the tension starts dancing and the whole theater starts dancing. Fuck man, it was surrealistic! As if a film is shown live through satellite man. And Rajini has eyes all over. He saw people fighting in Aurora, 3pm show in Matunga, Mumbai and it was as if did he that scene live. OMG … I now know why they call him the God.
But since I am an atheist, I took my time and thought about the magic. I think it happens in almost every Rajini film and Rajini knows it and that’s why he kept such a scene in the film. He wanted to convey that don’t fight, just dance. Fuck Man, this has to be the best message ever sent across to cinema audience. I started believing that Rajini can do anything. He can change the face of Indian cinema.
Let me explain, suppose there was a sex scene between Rajini and Radhika. Well, for Radhika it is not something new, but for Rajini it is. And it cannot be a vulgar scene. It may have nudity, but it must be classy. Full frontal and XYZ doesn’t matter. It has to be classy. And no censor board on earth can do anything with it. Otherwise, fans will burn down the CBFC office.The audience will then only be able appreciate a nude love making scene because they won’t consider it vulgar, it will be transcendental.
Anyway, I got back to the film again. The bottle breaking action scene was the highlight of the film. The action director has good directorial future.
There was a scene when a college student rushes to Rajini and becomes hyper. I could not understand it. So I asked Cinema Psychopath. He told me that somebody left her when she was pregnant with his baby. I just couldn’t understand what it has to do with Kabali, leaving his wife during a violent fight. The point is you should not see Rajni film on a state of high.
I also realised that people come to watch Rajini only, story is just connecting two Rajini appearances, where audience can rest and gather power to shout, whenever Rajini appears again
What I absolutely loved about the film is Rajni’s style. What a style man, whattay!
I mean a film should be made, which shows Rajnikanth walking for two hours. It will be blockbuster for sure.
For that matter, i think if one can make a movie, where Salman is seen shitting for two hours, that can also become a blockbuster.
I think they should record Rajini live and release a new film every day. 200 cr daily.
But people just don’t think there is enough merit in mind blowing business idea.
Film got over. Kalwa Casanova could associate with a character because in his past life he lost his ex gf, in gangster fight. He could not save her. After 25 years, despite having all the communication gadgets available, she did not contact him. She waited for him to be killed by some gangster and take rebirth. Not knowing anything about his past life, he became the single most reason for sudden increase in the population of babies in Kalwa. Theater Acquaintance also loved it. Cinema Psychopath was unsatisfied. Roger Ebert was still decoding the subtext.
As far as my case goes, I think it was better than Kamal Swaroop’s OM DAR B DAR. I think that is because the film started when I got high. So my film was one where four people go to watch Rajini film and with all the drama happening before the film, fights in the theater and after the film.
It was surrealistic, not because of marijuana. It is because of Rajniuana, which is only available in Aurora, Matunga. If you want to have a stronger dose, you can book your ticket to Chennai for next Rajini film.