At a theatre in Paris, French nationals who’ve just finished watching some movie are walking out of the earlier show and stare incomprehensibly at the Indian (predominantly Tamil) crowds thronging impatiently to enter the cinema hall. They walk away with an amused smile or a bewildered look at the raucous scenes. If only they knew a little about the man behind all this mania, they wouldn’t be surprised. Rajni Rajni everywhere!
Aishwarya Rai, still looking quite a doll for her age has played whatever minimal role she has with perfection. Some of the dance steps will bowl you over. The crowd was whistling as vigorously for Ash as it was for Rajni, in some of the songs. That shows some performance, indeed. Or maybe guys never change.
I’d not give too much detail about the second half – consider it enough to say that a Rajni fan would delight in the indulgence in “Rajni”isms. Alex Pandiyanesque style in the 2nd half, combined with the laughter is just brilliant. One can find other references too to movies like Ejaman, Padayappa, maybe even Netrikan. Those detractors who said Rajni doesn’t act any more would be silenced.
Technology is the second biggest plus to this movie after Rajni. Animatronics on par with the Hollywood biggies is indeed an achievement to be proud about for Shankar and the Indian film industry itself. The stunts by Yuen Woo Ping(who's also worked on The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, etc) are amazing, especially the train scene. The visual effects at the end, made at Stan Winston Studios are so mindboggling you will be wowed continuously. Many of Rajni’s movies used to have a snake featured(was rumoured to be for luck). In this movie, the giant snake made up of Rajni robots is quite a spectacle to watch.
A.R.Rahman’s songs have already topped the charts, but visually “Irumbile oru” and “Arima Arima” are the best. The BGM was a tad disappointing though, especially the “2.0 2.0” thing. What were they thinking, seriously! Art direction by Sabu Cyril is splendid, needless to say, as always in Shankar movies. Cinematography by R.Ratnavelu is impressive, though not award-material.
Finally, to sum up, the movie is a very different Shankar movie and also a unique Rajni film as you will find out once you watch it. Credit should be given to both the director and Thalaivar for experimenting and pulling it off rather quite well. The message about the war between man and machine, though clichéd, is new to the Indian film industry and has been rendered effectively. Overall, a thorough entertainer, this one!! Just hope Rajni has more in store in the future. Can’t even imagine the void in cinema once he quits.