17 Years of Sivaji: A Technically Challenging Film of Its Time!

PUBLISHED DATE : 17/Jun/2024

17 Years of Sivaji: A Technically Challenging Film of Its Time!

Recently, Rajiikanth starrer Sivaji: The Boss (2007) celebrated 17 years of release. The movie with story, screenplay, direction by S. Shankar and dialogues by the late Sujatha (S. Rangarajan), was a venture of AVM Productions, had the late KV Anand for cinematography, and ace composer AR Rahman for music. 


Sivaji: The Boss (2007) was the most hyped film of it's time, uniting 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and Tamil cinema's most sought-after director Shankar. Unlike Enthiran (2010), a sci-fi film that relied heavily on technical advancements, and Rajinikanth-Shankar duo's most famous film to date, Sivaji (as it is mononymously known) was a proper commercial flick that presented significant technical challenges, all masterfully handled by Shankar and his team.


A curation of all the technical challenges, the team overcame:


1. Vaaji Vaaji Song

Shankar is known for grandeur in his films, and Sivaji was his most ambitious commercial project. Filming took 14 months, with only 65 days for talkie portions; the rest was dedicated to songs and action sequences. Shankar's vision demanded this effort. For Vaaji Vaaji, composed by AR Rahman, art director Thotta Tharani built a four-story Babylonian palace in 30 days at Ramoji Rao Film City, featuring 80 to 100 dancers.

DOP KV Anand, filming with Super 35 mm, faced challenges in lighting the massive set. The single song cost Rs. 3.5 Cr. Vaaji Vaaji ended up exemplifying director Shankar's grand vision.


2. Sahana Song

Sahana was another challenging song to shoot in #Sivaji, as Shankar wanted something unique. Initially, art director Thotta Tharani suggested a glass dome depicting the four seasons. However, Shankar specifically wanted a desert and flowers theme. Tharani then created a setup with waterfalls and flowers on one side, and a desert and rocks on the other.


The domes were in square, circular, and pyramid shapes, with water falling from a height of 50 meters. They used acrylic and normal glass for construction, and it took 30 days to build. Cinematographer KV Anand faced a challenging task in providing proper lighting with the glass elements. He was on sets for 3 days planning how to light the glass house.

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