It's been a long road for Superstar Rajnikanth after the international record-breaking success of Enthiran
). That film, directed by Tamil visionary director Shankar, not only broke box office records in India, but also captured the popular imagination of film geeks worldwide, something Indian films rarely manage. That was in 2010, here we are, nearly three years later and we finally have a look at his follow-up feature; a long-gestating, constantly mutating motion-capture epic known as Kochadaiyaan
This project began its live as Sultan: The Warrior
back in 2008, but was shelved when Enthiran
took off. Sultan
was a CG animated feature for which there was already a live teaser way back in the day, however, it wasn't to be. Rather than finishing Sultan
, directed by Superstar's daughter, Soundarya Rajnikanth, he decided to go into a new project with director KS Ravikumar titled Rana
, a period piece very similar to Sultan
's production was scrapped when, on the very first day of production, Rajni fell ill and ended up in a Singapore hospital for a couple of months. Upon his return, it was no longer Rana
that was on his docket, but Kochadaiyaan
, a seemingly related story this time to be filmed in motion-capture, presumably to save wear and tear on the fragile performer.
Then came the incessant chirping about the production of Kochdaiyaan
. The film was largely shot on a sound stage in London. You can find many images of the principal cast wearing those ridiculous motion-capture bodysuits online if you look hard enough. The teaser was announced as being ready for the Cannes film market, but when the time came, director Soundarya announced that she wasn't satisfied with the product and wanted to wait until it was polished more before showing her creation to the public.
Here we are, four months later, with the first sixty seconds of footage from Kochadaiyaan
, and it kind of looks like a video game cut scene. I've never been terribly impressed with Indian animated features, and this first footage does nothing to sway me. Granted, motion-capture is a very clunky mechanism in the first place, but this just doesn't quite look up to snuff.
As a huge Rajni fan, I'll be in the stands, first day first show, but it'll be for the man himself and not for what looks like it could be a colossal technical nightmare. No date has been set for Kochadaiyaan
, but Diwali is likely. Check out the teaser for yourself, am I being too hard on it?
Edit - The new release date is December 12, Rajnikanth's birthday. I still take this with a grain of salt, but it's what the studio says.
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