Kochadaiiyaan Battles Idea That it isn't 'Rajini Film' - The New Indian Express

Kochadaiiyaan Battles Idea That it isn't 'Rajini Film'

Published: 10th March 2014 07:42 AM

Last Updated: 10th March 2014 07:42 AM

Grandeur and star power. ‘Super-star’ power. When you’re making a film that has Rajinikanth as the hero, you’re bound to have both — and Sunday’s over-the-top event at Sathyam Cinemas in Royapettah, where Kochadaiiyaan’s audio was launched, had all that and more.

And yet, the whispers about the fate of the period film shot with motion-capture technology by his daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin, are something that most of the crew are well aware of. Rabid members of Rajini fan clubs from as far as Kanyakumari were thrilled at getting to see their ‘Thalaivar’, but the movie’s trailer did not inspire too much joy, by their own admission, “I have been a fan for 26 years,” said Kumudhan, “And this is not a Rajini film. It does not have any of the usual fights or dialogues that we love. But I will still watch it with my entire family first-day-first-show, because that is how much my Thalaivar means to me,” he added, as he jostled his way out of the theatre. Similar admissions of discontent flowed forth from several seasoned fans, though their love for the actor stopped them for blaming him, “He is doing it for his daughter. That is how great his love is,” said Kumar, from the Tambaram Fan Club.

Even more stinging was some of the feedback to the film’s teaser, which fans likened to a ‘video game from the late 90’s. Soundarya, who appeared to be well aware of the expectations of the fans, said, “One of the things that people keep asking us is whether this is a bommai (cartoon) film. It’s an animation film and not all animation films are cartoons,” she said before adding, “This is a humble first attempt at something new. If we had six years, which is what Hollywood films like Avatar take, and more of a budget, maybe we could have done better.”

Producer Dr Murali Manohar pointed out that films like Avatar cost over`3,000 crore back in 2009, while they had made Kochadaiiyaan on a comparatively modest `125 crore.

Though the crew quashed rumours about the Superstar not being entirely happy with the way the film has turned out, directors like K S Ravikumar and Shankar said that this could not be enjoyed if audiences looked at it like a typical Rajini film, “Animated films as a genre have been accepted by people abroad, but that sort of acceptance is not yet there in India. If we watch this film like watching Basha, Padaiyappa, Endhiran or Sivaji, it will not be possible to enjoy it,” pointed out Shankar, as he hoped that audiences appreciate the new technology.

Composer A R Rahman admitted that he had initially hesitated before signing on, but went on to add that he hadn’t looked back since, “I asked for a week to decide and then Rajini sir called me. I believe that this movie can create a whole new industry, as people abroad love our culture, traditions, language and this sort of global movie can take it to various nations and a larger audience,” he said. Incidentally, Kochadaiiyaan is releasing in 12 languages worldwide of which six are Indian. With Rajinikanth attending an audio launch function for one of his films in the city after ages (Endhiran’s audio was released in 2010 in Malaysia), the crowds were massive from as early as 8 am, for a programme that eventually kicked off past eleven. All the six screens at Sathyam Cinemas had cancelled shows till 4 pm, and were packed with fans who watched the live telecast of the function. With Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone seated next to Rajinikanth, K Balachander, S P Muthuraman, Jackie Shroff, AVM Saravanan and practically the entire who’s who of Kollywood seated before Sathyam’s main screen, Soundarya could’ve asked for little else for her debut film.

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