Anybody who saw ‘Madan’s Thirai Paarvai’ over the weekend on Star Vijay would know what I am talking about. It’s official, Sivaji, the Rajni blockbuster has been declared the biggest Tamil movie of 2007 (like there was ever any doubt about it).
Now, now, before all you ‘serious movie buffs’ types start clucking your tongue and start criticizing the depths that Tamil Cinema has sunk to and wondering what someone who knows his movies as well as Madan does (this guy has been writing ‘Hai Madan’ in Anandha Vikatan for God knows how long now, and he is one of the most recognized Tamil film critics in the world) can call an absolute commercial potboiler like Sivaji – The Boss the best film of 2007, let me briefly give the justifications for the choice.
This was the first Tamil film to be simultaneously released in around 1000 theatres worldwide, its budget estimates are around Rs 70-95 crores (which probably makes it the costliest movie ever to be made in India), it is Super Star Rajnikanth’s 100th Tamil Movie, its dubbed version in Hindi is probably the most anticipated dubbed movie in Indian film history.
Now, all of the above are records in the Tamil film industry, and they simply cannot be ignored or overlooked because the movie does not fall into the genre of serious cinema. As Madan explained, the makers of this movie have to be appreciated if not for anything else, the sheer scale on which all aspects of this movie were made with. While the numbers speak for themselves, the sheer grandeur of the director’s love for film-making simply has to be seen to be believed. Anybody who has not just seen, but observed the various aspects of this movie will vouch for the fact that the production values and the amazing amount of attention to detail paid in this movie are second to none.
Interestingly though, Madan also makes a mention of ‘Chennai 600028’ as one of the revelations of the year in Tamil films. Now, if movies were classified as a spectrum or a rainbow, Chennai 600028 would fall on the other end of the rainbow as Sivaji does. This film by Venkat Prabhu focuses on the fortunes of two small local cricket teams and its players. A simple movie which deals with human emotions such as love, friendship, cricket, etc, this movie also managed to pull in viewers with its realistic description of the simple lives of this bunch of cricket-loving college-goers.
So Sivaji – The Boss and Chennai 600028, the extremes of the spectrum make up Madan’s pick of Tamil movies released in 2007.
One surpise though in Madan’s ratings is the complete absence of any mention of Pachaikili Muthucharam. This movie was a Tamil adaptation of the moderately successful ‘Derailed’ starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. I have watched both movies and have to be very honest in confessing that the Tamil movie did more than justice to the original English movie. Sarath Kumar in his role as the faithful husband reluctant to succumb to the innocent, platonic attraction of Jyothika, played the character of his life, in my opinion. And for any hardcore fan of Jyothika, this character was one of the boldest and best ones she has ever been offered in the Tamil industry, and man, did she make the most of it or what? Am very very surprised that my ‘best Tamil movie of 2007’ didn’t quite make it to Madan’s list. Maybe the box office collections do matter when it actually comes to call a movie a good one!!!
Wonder how ‘Billa 2007’ (the much awaited remake of Billa which was a remake of Don) would fare. I personallly am looking forward to the movie as the stills and the trailer promise a helluva lot of action and the movie itself looks a lot like the SRK starrer ‘Don 2007’ – an amazing action flick.