You don’t rate or review Rajinikanth’s films, you mere enjoy them (or rather, enjoy his super-swagger self). While the swag stays intact in his digital avatar, it feels like a connection lost between the audience and this animated version of their superstar – maybe because the animation’s not crisp enough. The epic period drama ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ was years in the making, and the post-production technicalities further added months to the wait, but the end result boils down to this – the wait wasn’t worth it.
Kochadaiiyaan (Rajinikanth) is a decorated Commander-in-Chief of Kottaipattinam, and is loved and respected by all, thus attracting the king’s jealousy. Kalingapuri’s army, an adversary of Kottaipattinam, secretly attack Kochadaiiyaan and poison his army. Leveraging his soldiers’ lives above all others, he surrenders his army and returns back to his kingdom, where’s he’s tagged a treacherer and punished to death. His sons, Rana and Dharma (both essayed by Rajinikanth), then avenge their father and restore his lost glory.
The makers have pioneered the use of 3D motion capture technology in Indian cinema, and while the effort taken is appreciable, the final product looks incompetent. Now comparing TinTin and Avatar with this film would be unjust, given their mountainous-budget and skill with the technology, but then that’s precisely the very thing the filmmakers are asking of us. And the worst part is, this ineptitude with the technology has what given the movie a bad taste – the characters don’t look human enough, they all seem like those plastic toys which move and fall on a child’s whim.
In the beginning of the film is a short clip which explains how motion capture technology works, where they develop the character by placing several “dots” on the actors’ bodies and then registering their movements. Well, seems like other characters lacked as many dots as Rajinikanth, ‘cos he was the only one to move, fight and dance comparatively better than the rest. Deepika’s character looked the worst of them all, and except in one sequence where she fights and enjoys a nicely choreographed action scene, she’s been reduced to just another candy-prop. She’s dumped in funny dance sequences as well, sequences which should’ve met the editorial scissors. The resurrection of Nagesh in is wonderful, and the person who dubbed for him has done a commendable job. KS Ravikumar’s screenplay was good. The 3D version of this film is better skipped, for it affects the depth of the visuals. Not much to enjoy in 3D anyways.
Heavy melodrama weighs down the entertainment value, of whatever little entertainment there was (Thank you, second half). While AR Rahman’s music was decent, I’d have preferred they just had a separate album for the songs and not include them in the film itself. It’s seriously irritating that when you’re most emotionally charged up in a scene, the next moment that charge is doused with a song-and-dance sequence.
The climax points towards an inevitable sequel, and though I look forward to it, I can’t say that I share the same enthusiasm for the forthcoming as I had for this movie.