You may probably wonder what is so special about watching a movie on a Saturday, or a Rajini movie on a weekend for that matter. Given the number of reruns on television for Rajini movies, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone has watched a Rajini movie for more than a 100 times.
What made my weekend special was the fact that I was going to watch a Rajini movie – Baasha which was released two decades ago. To commemorate 50 years of Sathya movies, Baasha was out in the theatres again. For someone who claims to be die-hard Rajini fan, I couldn’t let go of this opportunity, given the blockbuster the movie is, to experience it on the big screen. I’ve watched the movie very many times and know the dialogues and background score like the back of my hand, so I walked in thinking it would just be yet another time I watched this movie.
How wrong I was.
I haven’t watched Baasha or any other blockbuster movie of Rajini (of this kind) in a theatre. So, it felt like I was watching the movie when it was released 2 decades ago. The audience (including an over enthusiastic me) clapped and whistled every 5 minutes, right from the instant the Super Star’s name appears on the screen (remember the blue dots?) and the intro sequence, to when he rescues his family. Boys and girls, men and women alike were cheering for their most favourite hero, to see him in his most famous avatar. You should have been there to experience it.
I’ve seen some people question those who laugh for the same joke twice, or watch the same movie again. “What is the point” they would ask. I really wished all those people would line up and see the tamasha that was going on. Yes, we laughed for the scene where Rajini takes off with Nagma in the auto when Janakaraj’s auto wouldn’t simply budge. And hey, I realised I wasn’t the only one mouthing the dialogues by Thalaivar, it sounded like a chorus. Looked like every single person watching the movie knew all the dialogues by heart. Given the many famous dialogues of Rajini in this movie, I don’t think the mind found it tough to recollect, it just knew what dialogues came when. Yes, we were furious when the villain beat the hell out of Manickam and we couldn’t stop cheering when it was payback time for our hero. Yes, the whistles and claps kept coming as if people were watching it for the first time and they couldn’t be more excited. We’ve all experienced this a 100 times while watching the movie and we still experience it over and again. And I’m pretty confident that this would still be the case if the movie is screened, a couple of years later.
The most entertaining parts were the songs and the stunt sequences. From the gymnastics to the vibrant colours and dazzling sets to the ‘let’s-attack-the-hero-one-at-a-time’ villains, it was amusing to think of how things were 2 decades ago when you compare them with how things are now. I was grateful to the director for not dragging the stunt sequences elaborately (coz some directors these days are obsessed with stunt sequences) and winded them up pretty quickly. And a special mention for the Ola autos.
How could I not mention the absolutely amazing Raghuvaran! What’s the point of the hero taking his revenge if the villain wasn’t as cool as this guy. I’m sure Mark Antony was a memorable role for the actor as well as for the audience. While in some movies the hero single-handedly steals the show, in this movie it’s this amazing hero-villain combination who steal the show.
Movies with themes like these will never go outdated even if it continues to tell the same story of the good guy, hero, underdog who takes his revenge or the David-slaying-Goliath stories. When a hero portrays the roles of a common man (in this case, an auto driver with humble beginnings) and overcomes everyday problems a common man faces, it is easy for the audience to connect with the hero. This makes these movies popular with the masses. And this is perhaps what makes it an all-time classic, something worth watching in the theatres even 20 years after it originally released.
I learnt to whistle before watching Endhiran and the Rajini fan in me couldn’t be happier to whistle continuously for my Thalaivar on screen, that too for an epic movie like this. It was a god-given chance for me to enjoy the experience of watching this super-hit movie with a hundred other die-hard fans. So much that I did not even bother about the number of heads that turned towards us wondering why my husband was whistling like a maniac, only to find that it was not him but the lady next to him. It doesn’t matter at all.
It was for Thalaivar.