India Masala

Happy Birthday Rajnikanth

December 12, 2011

Blame it on “Robot“. Last year, when Rajnikanth’s film opened in cinemas, not only did it become a huge hit, it also unleashed another pop culture phenomenon on the rest of India — Rajnikanth jokes.

Robot is a critic-proof film

October 1, 2010
I could write a regular review of the Rajnikanth-starrer “Robot” as I do almost every week. I could give you the story outline and list out the positives and negatives, talk about the performances. But that would make no difference because most people are going to watch this film anyway. And no matter how absurd the storyline might be, you cannot escape the sheer star power of Rajnikanth. He makes even the most ridiculous scenes and plot lines look entirely stylish and believable. So, in a departure from the usual drill, here are some thoughts on “Robot” rather than a regular review - First, the story in brief. Rajnikanth plays three roles in the film. That of a scientist who creates a humanoid robot, the robot itself who “falls in love” with the scientist’s girlfriend (Aishwarya Rai) and finally the “bad robot” who is out to destroy everything. That is pretty much all there is to the story. - The action, special effects and animatronics in “Robot” are perhaps some of the best we’ve seen on the Indian screen. The climax sequence, though long drawn out, is especially impressive and you can understand why this movie cost the amount that it did. - Rajnikanth seems ageless. You wouldn’t believe he is more than 60 years old from the way he jumps, dances and talks. Of course, it is also the result of some good make-up and special effects but I think I understand where all those Rajnikanth jokes come from. - Aishwarya Rai looked more like the “Robot” than Rajnikanth did. Her expressions were entirely artificial and so were some of her costumes in the dance sequences. Also, this is the shallowest role she has done in a long time — she has nothing to do but kiss Rajni (on the cheek, mind you, this is a family film) and look good. And she doesn’t even manage to do that most of the time. - The film is too long. Yes, I know it would have meant a little less Rajni but did we really have to witness a five-minute long conversation with him and a swarm of mosquitoes? A lot of the scenes are entirely unecessary. - Even though the film is all about the snazzy action sequences and hi-tech special effects, there is an underlying message — the man vs machine one — that gets through to the viewer quite effectively. - Go watch this film anyway but I think one should watch it in Tamil. I have a feeling it’s going to be more fun that way.

robotI could write a regular review of the Rajnikanth-starrer “Robot” as I do almost every week. I could give you the story outline and list out the positives and negatives, talk about the performances. But that would make no difference because most people are going to watch this film anyway. And no matter how absurd the storyline might be, you cannot escape the sheer star power of Rajnikanth. He makes even the most ridiculous scenes and plot lines look entirely stylish and believable.

Six-step guide to making India’s most expensive film

September 28, 2010

Tamil filmmaker Shankar’s last project “Sivaji – The Boss” was reported to have a production budget of a billion rupees and his latest “Robot” is being pegged at 1.5 billion rupees, which would make it India’s most expensive film ever.

How Rajni became Robot

August 16, 2010
We Mumbaiwallahs hear so much about the big guns down south – Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, etc, but hardly get to hear them. So of course, I didn’t know Rajnikanth has such a great sense of humour, in addition to being a huge star and a great actor. The veteran charmed everyone off their pants at the music launch of his new film “Robot”, and had the audience in splits with his explanation of how he came to do the film. “If I hadn’t known Shankar (the director) before, I would have said no to the film, because it is a very tough role. You Kamal Hassan was to do the role initially, and even Shah Rukh Khan was approached, but ‘daane daane pe likha hai khane wale ka naam’ (every grain has the name of the person who is going to eat it),” he said, leading to hoots and claps from the audience. I wonder if I have seen so much candid humour from any Bollywood superstar. He described “Robot” as a never before seen experience in Indian cinema, and said he “guaranteed” that it would be a great film. Touted as the most expensive film made in India (with an official budget of 1.5 billion rupees), “Robot” also has special effects similar to the one used in the Oscar winning “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, and of course the presence of former Miss World Aishwarya Rai as the film’s leading lady. But that is not why it will be a hit, at least according to Rajni. “‘Sholay’ was not a hit because of the budget or the stars, it was a hit because of the story and characters. In the same way, Shankar has created such lovely characters and such lovely moments, that I am sure, people will like it,” he said. With a guarantee certificate by Rajni himself, you don’t need much more motivation t

rajni We Mumbaiwallahs hear so much about the big guns down south – Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, etc, but hardly get to hear them.