Sivaji (Rajnikant) is an NRI millionaire with an ambition of starting a hospital-cum-medical college for providing free education and medical help to the poor people in India. His ambition is foiled by a local kingpin (Suman). Sivaji gets questioned by the authorities and dragged onto the street because of the ruthless political system. That is when he realizes that a state like AP has around 46,000 crores as black money. He collects data and robs the black money from rich people and sends the money to USA through hawala route to get it distributed into small denominations by his NRI friends. The same amount is routed back to India in the form of donations to the charity foundation run by Sivaji. There by he virtually runs an alternate government by using the black money, helps the poor and develops infrastructure. However, the CBI is hell bent on getting evidence to arrest him for his economic violations. The rest of the story is all about how he evades the cops, eliminates the kingpin and continues serving the society.
Rajnikanth: Rajnikant is a treat to your eyes. He looks extremely charming even in some of the weirdest get-ups. His walking style, mannerisms, get-ups and expressions are fantastic. What is more surprising is his body language and dances. The way he imitated the dancing styles of ANR, NTR and Chiranjeevi are excellent.
Others: Shriya is pretty good as the female lead. Nayana Tara sizzled in an item song. Suman is competent as the villain. Vivek is neat as hero's associate. Raghuvaran did a small yet important role. Stunt master Kamal Kannan appeared as himself. Manivannan and others are adequate.
Story: Story of the film is a typical Robin Hood kind of one. Rob black money from filthily rich people and distribute it to the poor and needy. The fascinating aspect about this story is orientation of black money. The suggestions given when title cards were rolling were great ideas. If Government abolishes the use 500 and 1000 notes and all the black money would come out. He also suggested the compulsory use of money card (similar to pan card with electronic features) where one has to produce it while purchasing costly items.
Screenplay - direction: Shankar is always known for mixing entertainment with purposeful message. He also tried the same thing with this film. But he had to add some other aspect called heroism to his recipe. By concentrating more on the love thread between hero and heroine in the first half, he missed his commercial formula. The mechanism in which he makes hero convert black money into white is good. The 'office' treatment is also good. If you observe all Shankar's films, there is always a strong motive for hero get the ultimate urge to help society (hero’s brother death in Gentleman, Hero's daughter death in Bharateeyudu, hero's sister death in Aparichitudu etc). But here we find no reason that prompted hero to develop the strong urge to help society. The following two points are unconvincing, more so because these two points are turning points to the movie -
1. Sivaji accepting that he bribed the officials to get permissions.
2. The CBI arresting Sivaji even without knowing what is there in the laptop (as the data in laptop is locked by a voice-recognition security system)
Other departments: The dialogues by Sri Rama Krishna are very good. Cinematography by KV Anand is an asset. Music by AR Rehman is adequate. On the picturization part, the second songs and the last song are extremely good. The main highlight of the film is Rajnikant dancing to Premabhishekam (ANR), Aaku Chatu (NTR) and Abba Nee Tiyyani (Chiranjeevi) with perfect body language. The fights of the film are adequate. The fight in music shop did not go well. Art work by Thota Tharani is good. The production values by AVM are lavish.
Analysis: First half of the film is little slow. There is momentum in the second half. The entire modus operandi of converting black money into white money is pretty intelligent. The plus points are Rajnikant and the main story concept of black money. On the flipside, director could not blend the story point uniformly into the story line. The screenplay should have been better. The much needed emotional impact is missing. The runtime of the film is pretty long (more than 3 hours). The name of Shankar itself is enough to get great openings and when a superstar like Rajnikant acting in Shankar's film, the expectations are unprecedented. You might want to watch it without any expectations.
Tailpiece: Before starting of the film, there is a little animation that shows Rajnikant as 'Sulthan' by Adlabs.
reviews of previous 5 films