Baba Tamil Movie
A large dose of spiritualism, blended with the usual Rajini-style of mannerisms and punch lines, and some graphics. A story of sages - denouncement - rebirth - Unscrupulous politicians - rowdies and encounters. A bit of an uncertain and confusing cocktail.
That only goes to reflect the confusion and dilemma of the superstar, who seems to have almost come to the end of his innings, exhausted most of the ideas in his repertoire, is forced to think of new ones, and is in a dilemma on how to project himself, newly on screen.
The prediction of some sages that a child would be born to an elderly couple turn out to be true. The sages visit this special child, name him Baba, and tell the mother that they would return and take him back with them at an appropriate time. Baba grows up with all sorts of vices under the indulgent eye of his widowed mother and his uncle. As an atheist, gambler, alcoholic and a rowdy. The latter quality, of course, reserved for the deserving villains! Baba falls in love with his new neighbour Chamundeeswari, but when it comes to marriage she dithers. She does later on return to Baba, but this time it is Baba's turn to reject her.
Baba has this on-going feud with Purshothaman and Ramasamy the Chief minister and his minister respectively, both enemies of the people. Ramasamy had usurped the land occupied by Baba's people. Baba had bashed up Ramasamy's son resulting in unending violence and clashes between the two parties. There is quite a few lines with political overtones in the film.
There is again this cranky tramp-like character hovering around Baba and mouthing philosophies. After an elephant blesses Baba with his trunk, the cranky sage transports him to the Himalayas. It's here that Baba realises who he really is, about his previous birth, and the reason for his being reborn again. Baba is now given a 'manthra' to recite, and a 'mudra' to go with it, using which he can get seven of his wishes fulfilled. Baba and his gang of cronies (mostly comics) waste most of it by trying to test if it was working. The scenes of the 'wish fulfillment' could have been more imaginative. There's the unwanted interpolation of the character of Neelambari from Padayappa into this film, in one of these 'wish fulfillment' scenes.
Baba uses his wish to get 'good' minister Kandha the seat of the Chief minister. The unscrupulous Purushottaman - Ramasamy duo shorn of their powers, get a 'tantric' to get the 'manthra' and 'Mudra' from Baba, but the attempt fails. In the confrontation that follows, Baba's mother is killed. A disillusioned Baba, now shorn of all earthly desires decides to leave for the Himalayas with the sages who had come to take him. But it's not all over. The new C.M. Kandha is killed, and Baba has to make his final choice. No guesses of what Baba finally decides! Would he be the king or the king-maker?
Rajini is vibrant in the dance numbers, like he still has it in him to match strides with the younger crop of heroes. The blazing fiery looks are all there, the intensity too. But it's not like he has not done it before. And there's a desperation which shows through. Emotional performances from Sujatha as the mother, and Nambiar, as the uncle. Not much for Koirala for performance here, she is discarded by the hero without an afterthought. If Sanghavi thought she'd had it good acting with the superstar, she'll have a change of mind after viewing the couple of vague scenes she's been given. Goundamani, to a large extent, keeps the proceedings alive. The Japanese actress has been sidelined completely.
It's definitely not Rehman's best, but it manages to gel with the proceedings. What doesn't gel is the rap bit in the background, the refrain of 'Baba, Baba........Hey Baba that's me!" A bit kiddish here. He could as well have kept it as 'Baba Black Sheep.........!' quipped a wisecrack from behind.