#100days100scenes - Beginning with the Thalaivaa tribute

 I grew up as an Amitabh Bacchan fan - in the early 80s, after watching Sholay. So my first scene should ideally be from his movies. However  - do his movie posters get the milk offering like this..?

While Big B took a political break in the 80s, Rajnikanth was moving from strength to strength. In 1991  Thalapathi was released after the success of 2 other Rajni movies , Rajathi Raja and Mapillai. A Mani Ratnam tour de force , it was a commercial blockbuster with scenes bursting with intensity and superior acting from an ensemble cast of Mamooty, Arvind Swamy, Shobana, Amrish Puri, Srividya, and many more.  Thalapathi although it gave full credence to Rajnis status was probably the last 'non superstar' movie by the superstar.

In 1992 Annamalai ,a rehash of the Hindi movie Khudgarz created the superstar movie template - an entry song, a man with a heart of gold who is likeable, who loses everything towards the end of the second hour and gets it all back in the last hour.  This template is still untouched and probably untouchable even now.

And in 1995, Baasha was released and there was an unprecedented Rajni mania. A rehash of the Amitabh starrer Hum (how their fortunes cross,since Rajni plays his brother in Hum)  , the movie was just like its punch dialogue ' nana orudhurva sonna noor dharva solra maari '( if I say it once its like saying 100 times). It had something that created a 100 X impact bestowing that demi God status to the Superstar.

There are scenes that can be picked up from any of the 'superstar' template movie. However my best scene to savour is this one from Padiyappa. More than the unique style of Rajni that is on ample display here, its a salute to the craft - look at AR Rahman's background music, look at the micro second editing to create that towering impact and how everything pales in front of the superstar presence. A salute to the star power and the templatized worship of the same.


Scene background
- Ramya Krishnan's(Nilambari) love was spurned by Rajnikanth(Padiyappa) and he married her maid. 20 years later she plots to take revenge by making one of her relatives engage with Padiyappa's daughter and subsequently reject her. As Padiyappa arrives to request his daughters marriage, Nilambari removes all seating in the room beforehand as a ruse. What happens next is celluloid magic.

Scene description
1st 50 seconds  - Padiyappa admonishes his daughter for not informing her parents about her choice. ' "While falling In love, you forget your parents, in Love you forget yourself , atleast after marriage dont forget love. Children can forget parents but parents cannot.'
Next 45 seconds - Nilambari instructs her assistant, Assistant makes some random observations.
1:40 - Interlude begins. like a game of musical chairs.
last 30 seconds - dual meaning dialogues i.e can refer to Rajnikanth the person as well as the character Padiyappa. ' Even after so many years your style has not aged at all'. True that.


Superb blog post ! A very interesting concept you have decided to take up . 100 scenes !

Looking forward to reading many more ..