At last the long wait is over and the Rajinikanth fans across the globe will get to see his much-awaited and anticipated Tamil film Kochadaiiyaan, a directorial debut of the matinee idol's younger daughter Soundarya. When it unravels on the silver screen Friday, the film will introduce moviegoers to a new technology - first motion capture photo-realistic 3D animation.
A labour of love, Soundarya's Rs.125-crore directorial venture, which has been cleared with U-certificate, will have a wider release - it will release in 10 countries on approximately 6,000 screens and dubbed in six languages, including Telugu, Hindi and more likely in Bhojpuri too. Jointly produced by Media One Global Entertainment and Eros International, the film has been dubbed in Spanish and Japanese too.
It took Soundarya two years, over 200 technicians in India and abroad to make the film, which was tagged as a “delayed project” by many. But the 29-year-old tech-savvy director, who keeps herself abreast with the latest technology, said there wasn't any delay, “it is the process that takes such a long time to make a film like this”.
It's Soundarya's tribute to her father's illustrious career. Braving all "technological" odds, Soundarya completed the film and hopes that Kochadaiiyaan breaks the myth that animation film is cartoon, and is accepted as an alternate filmmaking medium.
Comparisons with Hollywood films Avatar, made with the same technology, are inevitable, but the makers are unperturbed because they feel looking at the budget and time, comparing Kochadaiiyaan with these films is not practical. The makers explained that Avatar was made on a budget of Rs.3,000 crore and was completed in five years, while Tin Tin cost about Rs.4,000 crore and also took about five years.
In the film, Rajinikanth, 63, has been paired with 28-year-old Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone, who also has elaborate stunts in the film. According to Soundarya, her father felt awkward to shoot romantic scenes with Deepika.
"I guess it was because I was around and calling action and cut, dad felt very awkward to shoot some romantic scenes," said Soundarya.
Deepika's stunts are described as never-before-seen action by a female star from any part of the world and said to be on par with Uma Thurman's Kill Bill and Angelina Jolie's “Lara Croft”. There is a ten-minute stunt in the film, which has been choreographed by Peter Hein, the man behind Rajinikanth's stunts in Robot. Apparently, the superstar personally requested Hein to make Deepika's action sequences "super-hero style".
Soundarya feels Deepika's stunts are one of the highlights of the movie. One of the biggest Tamil stars, Rajinikanth, who is technologically not as sound as his daughter, gives credit to god for being able to do Kochadaiiyaan. He also marvelled at his daughter's passion and understanding for the technology. "I am amazed... Soundarya, in her childhood, had this obsession. She liked to read books with pictures and my wife identified her talent and encouraged her. I am proud of her with all the legends praising my daughter. I hope people like the film."
Even her mother Latha is proud of her. Double Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman's music is another high point of the film, but the maestro was not confident about working in Kochadaiiyaan. Though the film is yet to release, Soundarya has already been honoured with the NDTV Indian of the Year Technical Innovation in a Film award.
All eyes are set at the box office and how the audience receives Kochadaiiyaan", especially Rajini fans, who in the past turned his The Boss and Robot into humungous successes.