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Movie review - Baba
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Jeevi rating: 3/5
Banner: Lotus Films
Cast: Rajnikanth, Manisha Koirala, Sanghavi, Sujatha, Amrish Puri, Asish Vidyardhi
: AR Rehman
Photography: Chota K Naidu
Art: GK
Lyrics: Siva Ganesh
Dialogues: Sri Rama Krishna
Story - Screenplay - Production: Rajnikant
Director: Suresh Krishna
Release date: 15th August 2002



The film opens with the birth of Baba, who is a 'baba amsa sambhootudu'. Baba (Rajnikanth) grows up as an atheist, hot-blooded guy and a Good Samaritan. His life style includes consuming alcohol, smoking beedi, chewing paan parag, His mother (Sujatha) and his maternal uncle are ardent devotees of Baba (the Baba who is supposed to be of 2000 years old and who live in Himalayas). Chamundeswari (Manisha Koirala) stays in the neighborhood of Baba and both of them fall in love.

Baba beats the son of a state minister Krishna Murthy (Asish Vidyardhi). Krishna Murthy demolishes the colony of Baba. When Baba is about to go to fight with Krishna Murthy, Baba's mother urges him to maintain calm and rebuild lost colony it by working hard. Baba joins as a labor in a shop and earns money. Chamundeswari tells Baba that she is not willing to marry a daily labor. Then Baba realizes that so far he has been only answerable for his mother. And if he gets married then he has to live for wife and kids. And he would become answerable to them. He would not be able to help for the society as he might become selfish after marriage. He feels that prema (love) is maya (illusion). At that time, a weird looking sadhu comes to him and tell him that its time for getting enlightened. Baba is taken to Himalayas where he meets the real Baba. He gets frightened by the atmosphere and wishes to return back to Chennai. Then real Baba grants 7 wishes to Baba. He can use any of these wishes anytime he wishes to utilize. Baba is sent back to Chennai. Baba still could not believe that he went to Himalayas met real Baba. He uses that mantra to test the power by wishing a flying kite to come and fall in his hand. He waits for a few seconds and decide that it was all his illusion. Later the kite follows him to his house and falls on his hand. He feels that its coincidental and tries the mantra again to a different kite and wishes it to fall on his lap. He goes into his house and close all the possible entries in the house. But the kite makes its way falls on his lap. That is where he realizes that Baba is real and God exists in the world.

He still has five more wishes life. And the minister Krishna Murthy comes to know about it. They call a tantrik (Amrish Puri) to foil the Baba's magic powers. What happens in the end and what is the message Baba wants to give to the public are the interesting points that are dealt towards the end of the film.


Rajnikanth: Rajni had a light beard in this film to give a carefree image to the characterization. Rajni's name is associated with the style and he performed each and every moment of Baba character with great élan. Rajni's introduction is shown with the song 'Tippu Tippu', in a railway station set. He also did different dances for the songs 'Baba .. Neeku Mokkuta' and 'Maya Maya' in the dance direction of Prabhudeva and Lawrance respectively. His mannerism in the film is saying 'Gatham Gatham' (past is past) by showing his trademark Baba symbol (see the image of Baba). Another interesting mannerism is giving shake-hand to his pal for every dialogue he or his friends crack.

Manisha Koirala & Sanghavi: Manisha has a little part to play in the first half and has almost-nil footage in the second half. Shanghavi is just a prop in this film with a couple of dialogues to tell.

Technical Departments

Story - Screenplay: The basic story of the film is good. Its about how an atheist turned into a believer in God! It's based on lots of devotional tales where the greatest devotees of God started their life as atheists. But the screenplay of the film is not smooth and very slow.

Director: Suresh Krishna, who is known for narrating stories with power and punch, could not maintain the same tempo in this film. Some of the scenes in the film are brilliant and Suresh Krishna mastered the art of showing Rajni to a glorifying effect. But the magnification becomes more effective if he has the narration supporting it. But, Suresh Krishna failed to sustain the interest of viewers throughout the film.

Dialogues: Dialogues department in this film needs a special commendation. There are some power-packed dialogues in Baba like - 'aalochinchakundaa matladanu .. matladina tarvatha aalochinchanu'.

Music: The songs of the film are disappointment. But the background music is good. The westernized Baba rap bit that is played at background, when Rajni walks around is very good. AR Rehman's work could have been better

Photography: Photography by Chota K Naidu is good. The special effects done by Cutting Edge are also very suave and make you believe that those effects are natural.

Production: Rajnikanth's intention of mixing the Indian philosophy with mass elements is commendable. At the end of the film Rajni asks the Baba to tell him what everybody should do to have a harmony in society. Baba replies Rajni 3 principles

1. Manasu mariyu Tanuvu parisubramga vundali (You should keep your body and heart very clean).
2. Kutmbanni eppudu anandamgaa vunchali. (one must keep his/her family very happy)
3. Itarulaku Vupakaram Chellayi. Upakaramcheyykapoyina parledu kaani .. apakaram cheyyakoodadu. (One must help the society. Even if you don't help society, you should never harm it).

But, Rajni should have made an out and out mass film for the entertainment of crowds. And could have told these three points in some other format using other media, as he has the same reach if he wishes to propagate these points in other format as well. .

First half of the film is OK. Second half is average. There are some boring moments in the second half. There are political references about the mistakes done by the politicians and their apathy towards helping the poor. These kinds of references work well for the Tamilnadu crowds as that depicts the current situation of Tamilnadu where masses want to see Rajni in the seat of CM. For all its strengths and weaknesses, this film is definitely worth a watch for Ranji's style and mannerisms. We have to wait and see how it clicks with AP crowds.

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