Friday, June 15, 2007

SIVAJI - The Boss (Bachelor of Social Service)

For the first time, I've seen a Rajini's movie the first day, in fact, a day before itis released in India! Thanks, to Karthik who booked the tickets well in advance at London- Ilford's Cineworld here that I could enjoy my yesterday evening. By now, there are already many reviews; but below is my humble attempt to write something out of it.

Sivaji(Rajini), a rich US NRI cum 'Software System Architect' returns to India after making a fortune. His parents are Manivannan and Vadivukkarasi and Vivek is his Uncle. Sivaji had all his education financed by scholarship and realised that India could only prosper if poor people have access to free education. And so, he starts his ambitious plan to establish a SIVAJI Varsity with courses ranging from LKG to Ph.D and even a Medical College cum hostpital. But his Nemesis, Adi Seshan (Suman), is already into the Donation Fee business from his educational institutions. He obviously doesn't want to ruin his 'established' business and makes all possible political impediments to Sivaji. In a turn of events, Sivaji lands up being a pauper and realises to adopt an aggressive way to realise his dreams. How Sivaji deftly takes revenge with the baddies and establishes his dreams forms the next half of the story.

At more than 3 hours, the move is tad lengthier. Rajini is at his best, thanks to the make-up and lightening, yew, he looks a lot younger! We were dumbstruck at the Oru Koodai sunlight song with his different 'international dude' get-ups! The music of Adiradi song and its prelude (bits from old songs) and the way they are picturized rock all the way! Sahana saaral, the sad version sung by Vijay Yesudas was missing though. Surely it's a much awaited treat for Rajini fans dying to see his style and mannerisms -- be it tossing a coin to neatly land in his pocket, chewing bubble gum, saying 'cool'. Mottai Rajini (but no, he isn't the Appa Rajini as rumoured!), comes as a scintillating package towards the climax, which impresses the most with his mottai tapping mannerism! The fight scene with the currency note shower, a la The Matrix, in a building terrace keeps you wowed. Punch dialogues are conspicuous by their absence; Rajini has resorted to using very few lines like Ithu Eppadi Irukku, Comedy Geemadi paanalya and few other Vadivelu's picks. The audience roared for these dialogues -- "Nee Shivaji thaane. [Rajini says] Illa Naa MGR. MG Ravichandran! ", "Chumma pera kettale athurudha le", " Panni thaan kootama varum; Ssingam da, single a dhaan varum! ". Thalaivar has also spiced some English phrases in between like 'It’s a mere coincidence, damn it' and 'Give me a Break'.

Sivaji's lady interest is Tamizhselvi (Shriya) who has acted gracefully and looks gorgeous in the songs with Manish Malhotra's costumes. 'Pattimandram' Raja and Uma Padmanabhan have acted as Shriya’s parents. Solomon Pappaya is their neighbour and the first half scenes in Shriya’s neighbourhood provide the necessary comedy galatta. Vivek has taken the punch line department and has provided neat humour. The first half goes in lighter moments and the next half is gripping. Suman has a meaty Villain role and no doubt, he would have many offers in his kitty now. Raghuvaran makes a brief impressive apperance as a Doctor.

On the flip side, the script isn't very strong like Gentleman or Indian or even Anniyan. Logic defies at some places like the explanation how Rajini became a Multimillionaire from his humble begining? How Suman was so gullible to lose his 200 crores at the behest of an anonymous call? How the Economic offence wing of the CID arrest Sivaji without unlocking the computer (which is locked by a voice recognition security system) that has the evidence? How Motta Boss flashes an all new USA passport and a Greencard with his photo identity in a jiffy? And then the train track scene with Rajini and Shriya. And, likewise a few other instances.

Overall, Sivaji lives up to the expectations it hyped. Not less, not more. It’s a Thailvar's padam, watch it with open mind and no questions. Assured a visual treat and a grandiose dinner for Rajini Fans!

PS:1. Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee and Mohanlal aren't there in guest roles as rumoured.
2. The usual S U P E R S T A R tune before the start of any Rajini movie has been changed in Sivaji.

Friday, June 01, 2007

London Underground and my Analysis!

London's underground is an amazing maze!
After fiddling with its various lines to reach my office in Liverpool Steet (Central London) from my place of stay at Wembley, I've finally figured the best solution from my observation (a timepass analysis) below:

1. Bus and Metropolitan Line Combo
Walk -- home to Bus stop: 3 mins
Bus -- Route No. 83, 297: To Wembley Park stop: 10-15 mins (Avg:12.5 mins)
Walk-- Till Southbound platform in the Wembley Park Tube station: 3 mins
Tube -- Metrolpolitan Line to Liverpool St. station: 35 - 40 mins (Avg: 37.5 mins)
Average Waiting Time (at Bus stop and at Tube station): Approx. 2 -10 mins (Avg: 6 mins)
Total Average Time: 62 mins

2. Bus and Central Line Combo:
Walk-- home to Bus stop: 3 mins
Bus -- Route No. 83: Home to Hanger Lane stop: 12-15 mins (Avg:13.5 mins)
Walk-- Till Eastbound platform in the Hanger Lane Tube station: 4 mins
Tube -- Metrolpolitan Line, to Liverpool St. station: 40 - 50 mins (Avg: 45 mins)
Average Waiting Time (Bus stop and Tube station): Approx. 0 -15 mins (Avg: 7.5 mins)
Total Average Time: 70 mins

3. BakerLoo line and Metropolitan/ Hammersmith and City/ Circle (M/H/C) lines Combo :
(This option doesn't involve any bus ride!)
Walk-- Home to Wembley Central Tube station (till Southbound platform): 5 min
Avg. waiting time for the tube (bakerloo has less frequency): 0 -10 min (Avg:5)
Tube -- BakerLoo Line, to Baker Street station: 25-30 mins (Avg: 27.5)
Walk in Bake St. tube station for line change over and waiting time: 4-6 mins (Avg: 5)
Tube -- M/H/C lines from Baker St. to Liverpool St.: 15-20 mins (Avg:17.5)
Total Average Time: 60 mins

4. Silverlink Express to Euston and M/H/C lines combo:
Walk-- Home to Wembley Central Tube station (till Southbound platform): 5 min
Avg. waiting time for SilverLink Express (Freq: every 20 mins): 0 -20 min (Avg:10)
National Railway (Silverlink Express) - Till Euston Juntion: 20 min
Walk: Euston junction to Eastbound platform at Euston Square Tube station: 5 min
Tube -- M/H/C lines from Euston Square. to Liverpool St.: 10-15 mins (Avg:12.5)
Total Average Time: 52.5 mins

After wastefully wasting(!) my time at options 1 and 2 before, I settled for 3 thinking it as the wisest choice.

But I was unaware of option 4 before..Of late, I realised it to be THE best option and now happy with it :-) Silverlink train's arrival time at Wembley Central are at 8.05 (,8.25..) and at every 20 mins before and thereafter. I now have started to synchronise my starting time from home to Wembley Central station that I am just in time or a minute or two reasonably before the Silverlink train's arrival. This reduces my average waiting downtime from 10 to almost 0 or 1 (b'cos most of the times I make it just in time!). That brings the figure 52.5 to 42.5 or 43.5, which is clearly the winner !!! I have a reason to smile at my underground discovery !