By Sreedhar Pillai
Tamil superstar Rajinikanth is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in Indian cinema with a phenomenal reach at the worldwide box-office. His last release Endhiran (2010) is the only Tamil film in the exclusive Rs 100 crore club.
But, his forthcoming motion-capture flick Kochadaiyaan, directed by his daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth, has been under production for more than a year.
Kochadaiyaan was slated for release on Rajinikanth’s 62nd birthday falling this year on 12/12/12. But due to the delay in post-production, that includes a lot of animation and special effects, the film has been postponed to the summer next year.
However his fans need not be disappointed. They have enough reasons to celebrate.
Rajinikanth’s Shankar directed blockbuster Sivaji (2007) is now re-releasing as Sivaji3D on 12/12/12, a date which comes once in hundred years. AVM, one of the oldest and reputed producers in Tamil cinema, has tied up with Prasad EFX in Chennai to convert Sivaji into 3D. Sivaji 3D will also be the first Indian film to use Dolby Atmos sound system.
After seeing some scenes and two songs, Rajinikanth said: “Sivaji in 3D is fantastic, I clapped seeing the 3D effects, forgetting that I was watching my own film. The 3D effects and Dolby Atmos sound have made it so different. The 3D conversion that we did in Prasad EFX is on par with 2d-to-3D converted Hollywood films. I feel 3D would be the future of cinema. My Kochadaiyaan will also have cutting edge 3D.”
MS Guhan, CEO of AVM Productions is equally enthusiastic: “It is five years now since we released Sivaji, and last year when Sai Prasad, director of Prasad Group told me that he had the technology to convert a 2D film to 3D, and with Sivaji being a film with grandeur and opulence, I asked him why don’t we try that?”
Prasad EFX, a leading Chennai-based digital post-production services company, has provided the complete range of 3D movie-making solutions for Sivaji 3D. It took more than a year for about 400 professionals to make it possible. The buzz is that there would be one 3D special effect every 10 minutes of the film, which has now been trimmed from its original 191 minutes to 137 minutes.
Sai Prasad, Director, Prasad Lab said: “We are in an exciting phase as the world of cinema is moving towards 3D. Our association with international leaders and technology providers has given us an edge over other service providers in India.”
Their earlier release this year in 3D, Raaz 3 is a hit and its 3D effects have been much talked about. Vikram Bhatt, the director of Raaz 3 had mentioned at the success party of his film that the 3D-impact did wonders for the film and its success. Prasad Lab is now busy with Remo Fernandes's Prabhu Deva dance musical ABCD - Any Body Can Dance.
Rajinikanth’s Sivaji 3D will be the first Indian film to use Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is a new audio platform that is going to revolutionise the way we hear sound on screen. It was a new experience, especially the scene where Rajinikanth flips a coin in his trade-mark style.
Dolby Atmos enhances the scene with more natural, realistic sound that truly envelopes the audiences. The Atmos sound system can handle up to 128 audio tracks and up to 64 speakers, which can be controlled independently.
Pankaj Kedia, country manager of Dolby Atmos said: “Dolby Atmos will revolutionises the experience of sound in cinema. Today top Hollywood studios like 20th Century Fox with Taken 2 and Life of Pi, and Warner Brothers with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have adopted Dolby Atmos platform.”
Kiran Reddy of Sathyam Cinemas, the biggest multiplex operators in Tamil Nadu said: “Rajinikanth’s Sivaji 3D in Dolby Atmos is going to be a treat for the audiences. It is going to be a ground-breaking, all new cinema experience.”
The producer of Sivaji, MS Guhan feels there’s a need to have more 3D compatible cinemas in Tamil Nadu to augment the viewing experience. Guhan points out: “We realised the need for more 3D compatible cinema screens when we decided to release Sivaji in 3D. At present, there are only 65 3D screens in Tamil Nadu and we are in the process of converting 50 more screens into 3D. The future of cinema is 3D and we should be ready to embrace the change”.
Meanwhile, Sivaji 3D is crucial for superstar Rajinikanth. He hasn’t had a release for the last two years, and the actor had not been keeping good health. If Sivaji 3D works at the box-office, it will assure the trade that he still has a solid mass following. Rajinikanth in the promotions of the film said : “Films with grandeur and action go well with 3D and Sivaji-3D is my gift to my fans on my birthday.”