The Sivaji Phenomenon

I think every one from Madras(I still prefer to call it that way) can feel proud of the movie Sivaji. Not because it has the Superstar as the hero. Not because it is directed by none other than Shankar, the man behind Gentleman, Indian, Jeans etc. Not because it has the Mozart of Madras aka AR Rahman wielding the music. Not because it is produced by one of India’s oldest production houses viz. AVM. I think this movie has put Madras, and the tamil movie industry not just on the Indian map, but the world map. For the last 10 days, the only programmes I see on NDTV, CNN-IBN, Times Now and the likes is Sivaji; the movie, the excitement and the popularity across the world starting from Chennai. Reuters had it on their news scroll. BBC on their international feed. iTunes had the Sivaji ring tone on it is home page, a first. Tickets in Europe are being sold at 20 Euros plus, and people the world over are googling Rajnikanth, Chennai, Kollywood to know what Sivaji is all about. In Madras the movie has opened in a record 16 screens with initial 10 day collections of close to Rs. 17 million. 20 shows a day in Mayajaal (a city based Multiplex) alone, and an estimated 65 shows a day. I haven’t seen such frenzy for any movie in recent times. And the movie is already a runaway hit, expecting to cross 1000 days in Madras. It can’t get better for the industry as a whole.

7 Comments so far

  1. Navneeth (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 1:19 am

    You must know that someone who can waste spend 80 crores on this wouldn’t mind spending a couple more in hyping it up like crazy. Again, I’m not here to spread “anti-Sivaji/Rajini vibes,” but the advertisement that Sivaji got on NDTV was really surprising! The treated it on par with that repetitive nonsense from Bollywood. It’s not surprising to see it everywhere, albeit for a short time, in this ‘hype’r day and age.

  2. Navaneethan Santhanam (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 7:22 am

    I think it’s fantastic. Finally, Kollywood gets the recognition it deserves – it has the highest paid actor, the most expensive movie and probably the movie that breaks all sorts of Indian box office records. If collections on the 1st day itself were 1.7 crores, I can only imagine what they’re like at the the end of its run.

  3. hari (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 7:45 am

    There is a lot of marketing and hype that has made Sivaji what it is, I am not against the movie however the lines used in the movie did make me think though. Where Rajini says to his mother “I would like a girl who is brought up in Tamil culture” then Vivek respondst that “you won’t find any here they have all become westernised”. We may one find that type of girl near a temple perhaps and then the heroine is found there.

    I am an NRI and listening to this line has made me think that this is quite true. I have meet many Tamilians who migrate to other countries outside of India who try and teach there children culture and language. Yet within TN itself people seem not to care about these things more concerned about becoming western and each time I come to Chennai I do feel that this statement is quite accurate about people’s general behaviour here. People prefer to be Western than themselves which is quite sad there is nothing wrong with liking Western things but to adopt that completley and lose your own culture seems quite ridiculous.

  4. Raashidha Begum (unregistered) on June 21st, 2007 @ 4:29 am

    To Vinod Subramanian,
    Sry to be deviating from topic of discussion.

    Please read the content in the link under the heading CITY NAME….. It says,

    “Another version is that the name Madras was perceived to be of a derogatory reference to coolies of the area,(by the English/other foriegners) which was short for Mad Rascals.”

    For details,,,

    With due respect,
    Raashidha Begum.

  5. G V Balasubramanian (unregistered) on June 21st, 2007 @ 8:51 am

    Raashida Begum, I tried the link. The page appears to be deleted.

  6. beachsundal (unregistered) on June 21st, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    “Mad Rascals” is one of the versions. Well, the website you had indicated has other versions too. Albeit, more than a decade since it was rechristened as Chennai, I still like it to be referred to as Madras :-)

  7. Chenthil (unregistered) on June 21st, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    Vinod, hyperbole is ok when writing about your favorite actor, but 1000 days in Madras is an impossible claim to make. I am willing to bet that it will not run so long in Madras or anywhere.

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