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Friday, 23 May 2014

Kochadaiiyaan (Tamil)

Somewhere between a heavily interrupted show of Kochadaiiyaan (Tamil) @ Cinemax Sion, my good friend Varun Suresh decided to figure out what did it cost to make Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn.  Apparently the estimated spend was between $100-125 million.  It cost less than the difference in the range to make Kochadaiiyaan.

An aspect that is reflected sorely in the final cut of this much touted movie that flatters to deceive.  Rest assured, the delayed release of the movie had nothing to do with any improvements in finishing.  The actual reason for the delay – no matter what it was – had little or no impact on the end product.

I have been a huge critic of animation in India for a long while now.  People who read this blog on a regular basis have a first-hand experience of my reviews of bad animation movies such as Delhi Safari – just to call out one.  Kochadaiiyaan has little or nothing different in terms of animation quality.

Grand horse-drawn chariots leave a flurry of dust behind them and suddenly the dust disappears for a few seconds only to reappear a couple of frames later.  Needless to say, the terrain shows no change at all.  Elephants and Horses appear to slide on the surface and not rampage or gallop through as should have been the case.

The same is applicable to the human aspect of the movie.  None of the characters actually appear to be making contact with the ground below them.  Even in a dance sequence that is set in 3 inches of grass, the grass remains intact during and after the dance as if nothing actually occurred.

All characters seem to have some cervical problem – could well be spondylitis – because they just seem to be unable to move their necks in any direction.  Thalaivar seems to be suffering from horrible fatigue – and I am sorry to say this – but looks his actual age.  The prosthetics in Robot did more justice to the great man.

Deepika Padukone changes from being rank fair in a few sequences to a dark southern beauty in others.  Maybe she stepped out in the merciless sun a bit too often to give herself an even tan for her long lost friend - Kochadaiiyaan Ranadheer (Rajinikanth) who has returned to a hero’s welcome after several years.

The movie is the eponymous story of Kochadaiiyaan Ranadheeran, a Pandyan warrior king from the 8th Century AD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kochadaiyan_Ranadhiran). Apparently, it is one of the most expensive movies made in this part of the world but in all honesty appears tacky and anything but expensive.

In all, I was mighty disappointed.  Rahman’s music was probably a saving grace but even that wasn’t his best.  Resul Pookutty in sound should actually be disappointed because the sound mixing and editing didn’t have his solid stamp of excellence.  Why would people indulge in such a wasted exercise?

I am, like most Indians, a huge fan of Thalaivaa. So it pains me to say, this one is NOT WORTH A WATCH.  3 on 10 for the concept, attempt, story and of course some dialogues that were vintage Thalaivaa.  It will make money because of the great man but it is anything but a good movie.

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