Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Despite Rains Boss pulls crowd in Pune - Times of India

PUNE: God proposes, Boss disposes. And so it was that even the rain gods in all their resplendence could not keep fans away from superstar Rajnikant's Sivaji, The Boss.

Released in the city on Friday, Sivaji opened to packed houses in all major theaters. A total of 20 shows are running in the city each day. And thanks to the hype, the first day was a huge draw.

"The first day audience had quite a good number of non-Tamil speakers," said Vijay Shetty, assistant manager at a multiplex. "Actually, a lot of fans had no idea that the film was in Tamil or that there would be no sub-titles."

Parking attendant Mukesh Shinde, an ardent Rajnikant fan, is dying to see the film. "But I heard from my friends that it is in Kannada (sic). They should have made a Hindi version too. Even so many English films these days are dubbed in Hindi."

Student Anurag Jha agrees. "I love Rajnikant's style and attitude, and language makes no difference there. But a lot of my friends would have come today if there was a Hindi dubbing or sub-titles. For now, they are planning to get their hands on a CD and watch the fun parts."

But despite the language barriers, Sivaji is probably the biggest non-Marathi draw in the city in the past few years. Said Rajeev Patni, regional director of a theatre group: "We do screen several good regional films. But this is the first time we are screening four shows everyday of a non-Marathi regional movie."

"We are showing the film at our screens with bigger capacity. Usually regional films are shown in smaller halls or have fewer shows. But the response for Sivaji has been tremendous," said Neerav Panchamiya of a city multiplex.

"There are many who don't understand Tamil and are watching the film just out of curiosity. I'm one of them," said Panchamiya. And what does he think of it? "I totally enjoyed it."
Unlike hordes of Rajnikant fans, media professional Sharda Ganesan watched the movie primarily for the lead comedian Vivek. And now she is a believer. "I have become a Rajnikant fan."

"Even people who don't understand Tamil should watch the film for Rajnikant and his style. The entire audience, including me, was hooting and whistling throughout the film. I never thought a multiplex audience would behave like this, but it was fun," she said.

Art professional Virendra Shah plans to watch the film before he leaves for the US, even though he doesn't understand Tamil. "I am going to miss India and I am trying to take in everything about the country before I leave. I am eating Indian food, travelling and now I am going to watch Sivaji. The film is truly a representation of the country and its craze for films and film stars."

Shape Yahoo! in your own image. Join our Network Research Panel today!