Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why Kochadaiiyaan is not an anachronism

My wife and I, along with a couple of friends managed to watch the last screening of Kochadaiiyaan near Los Angeles. We were the only occupants in the theatre and it felt like we had an exclusive screening of the movie.

As I left the movie, I had the feeling that Kochadaiiyaan has left an eternal sensation in my heart. I grew fond of the movie when we watched the director, Aishwarya's speech during the music release festival of the movie, much ahead of the actual movie release. (Yes that is correct, Rajinikanth's movie releases are indeed festivals for the Tamil folks). Unlike a typical celebrity figure, she spoke with cogency, clarity and a higher degree of delivery - something that resembled a keynote speech in a technical conference! I realized we are getting ready for a new breed of entertainers.

I feel Kochadaiiyaan's timing cannot be more perfect! CGI and motion capture technology is put together for a great purpose. Life is short, art is long. Actors, despite their surreal stunts, are humans and Tamil cinema is at a state where its prime actors are retiring to old age. Rajnikanth and other actors in this movie are so unique that they are true gifts to the Tamil speaking populace and this movie has used this amazing new technology to capture them while they are still acting. For an actor, the non-verbal cues like micro expressions, dialog delivery with voice modulation require several years of practice compared to stunts and dance movements. A movie like this, can use such refined delivery from an experienced actor and merge that with the physical stunt movements of a stunt actor to create a truly engaging thriller.

This movie has a story-line that is perfect for Rajni and Rajni could not have acted the way he did, if it were not to be an animation film. Kochadaiiyaan is the perfect candidate for Indian cinema's 100th year celebrations!

People cannot help compare this movie with Avatar, the benchmark for CGI and motion capture tech. Well, for a first time director and for being the first ever movie from India to be capture with this technology, I am very impressed.