Friday, June 22, 2007

Sivaji mania grips San Diego

Last week, a wave of euphoria swept across the globe and San Diego was no exception. It was not a divine incarnation, not a festival, not a sporting event and definitely not a new invention. It was SIVAJI-THE BOSS. After weeks of anticipation, Superstar Rajini's blockbuster Sivaji finally stormed into San Diego. This was the first time, premiere of a tamil movie was screened in San Diego. Evening of June 14th was an eventful one as couple of hundred die-hard Rajini fans lined up outside the theatre almost 2 hours before the show began. As thalaivar with his immense screen presence and rocking style entertained the guests for 3 solid hours, the audience had their own celebration converting the quiet cinema hall into a carnival event. Hordes of emails followed the show with rave reviews of the movie and non-stop praises of the one and only Rajinikanth.

San Diego had to share the movie reel with Phoenix and so the next show in San Diego was scheduled only 3 days later. As the second show was to be screened in a much bigger theatre with stadium seating, a number of us had planned to watch the 2nd show. We had to go through a gruelling 3-day waiting session before we could get a glimpse of our thalaivar.

Slowly the big day arrived. We had already been to the premiere event just to experience the Rajini phenomenon without actually watching the movie that day. Having seen the celebration, we decided to have a bigger and a louder one. We went to the theatre almost 2 and 1/2 hours before the showtime and started transforming the movie hall into a Rajini paradise. The ticket counters and the hall were decorated with banners that shouted punch dialogues like "Vaada Vaada Vaangikoda.. Ticketa inga vaangikoda", "Pera keta odane chumma adhurudhu illa" etc. Everyone in our group dressed up in blue and we sprinted energetically to occupy a complete row at the hall#12 at Edwards Mira Mesa 18 in San Diego. We started distributing confetti shooters, saved a bagful for us and we were all set for the big moment.

As the trailers of Sultan (An animated movie of Rajinikanth set to release in 2008) hit the screen, the crowd was not able to control their emotions. By the time, the titles rolled with the inimitable fashion 'SUPERSTAR RAJINI', the theatre almost resonated with the noise the modest 250+ crowd generated. This was an experience like no other and only Superstar could generate such energy levels in the audience. For the next 3 hours, we were treated with pure Rajini magic and sheer high-quality entertainment. Director Shankar made sure that each frame looked like a scene out of a glossy high-resolution post card. The rich imagery, with a rocking A.R.Rahman score scorched the cinema hall. Staff at the Edwards cinema hall walked in to catch a quick glimpse, but never moved a muscle after that. Their eyes were glued to the screen and were amazed at our thalaivar's screen presence and the electrifying atmosphere we generated. It was a cracker of an experience and seemed like Diwali just got over looking at the number of papers strewn all over the place. At the end of the show, we felt many years younger and were gleaming with energy.


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