Cast: Rajnikanth, Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff, Naseer, Sath Kumar, Shobhana
Directed By Soundarys Rajnikanth Ashwin
So finally wait gets over and with his much awaited CGI cine delight ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ finally Saar Rajni returned to cine arena. The movie which was touted to emerge as a milestone of a sort for Bollywood opened with an average occupancy of 37 % (obviously except the carnatic region).
But before going ahead with the with the autopsy of the movie I would like to praise the efforts of Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin and her technical crew for stepping in the territory which was so far considered to be alien for the ilk of Indian filmmakers. And there is no denying the fact that with ‘Kochadaiiyaan’, Soundarya set-outs an gargantuan task of not only directing her matinee legend father, but also breaking new grounds in digital effects for any Indian film.
Well undoubtedly this time with ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ we have our very own Saar Rajni in truly a never seen before avatar that is CGI. And this incarnation of Rajnikant is quite different from his previous avatars, because so far we have seen him flipping cigarette, his sun glasses and doing many more unbelievable things but while being in hominoid avatar. And besides, the edge which ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ has as compared to its predecessors is that it presents you with “three-much” of Rajnikanth at the cost of one.
Anyhow let’s unfurl the premise of movie! ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ which means the king with a long, curly mane is a story of an invincible warrior Rana Ranvijay (Rajnikanth) whose sole objective is to avenge the injustice done to his father, Kochadaiiyaan (again Rajnikanth) , by an insecure emperor and to bring back his lost glory. With frames rolling ahead in order to execute his intentions, Rana wins over the ruler of Kottaipatanam, Rishikodayan (Naseer) and gets appointed as the commander of the kingdom. But the his objective remains unperturbed in-spite of that. So does Rana succeeds in his aim and what tactics does he adopts to reach out his goal to know watch this Rajnikanth starrer gala CGI affair, Kochadaiiyaan.
Well as far as premise of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is concerned, then despite its being a period film and garnished with some mandatory condiments required for such movies like, age old rivalry between two ruling dynasties, revenge,betrayal, conspiracy, romance etc etc, entire plot of of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ looks nothing more than a bunch antediluvian ideas tied together to develop a cine tale.
Although with the voice over of Big B narration of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ takes off of with a magnificence, but with the moments passing by it start loosing its captivating vigor. It won’t be wrong to say that contrary to claims knitted around it ‘Kochadaiiyaan’, it thoroughly lacks the novelty which was expected out of its premise. As far as linking-up of various sequences is concerned then even on that front job is done quite sloppily. Probably some may say that movies belonging to animation ilk don’t bank much upon the narration and its the quality of animation which matters most, but on the hind-side one can’t negate the fact that, subsequently its that rock solid script which paves the way for the success of any and every movie.
So keeping in view various perspectives like depiction of war between two rabid kingdoms or shift of the narration from past to present and vice versa, everything seems to be done without the deployment of even an iota of introspection, by ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ scribe K.S. Ravikumar. Contrary to the nature of narration screenplay of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is somewhat better and keeps you hooked to the onscreen proceedings for most of the run-time, except when the obtruded aural delights emerge as spoil sport of a sort. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that screenplay of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ up-till some extent covers the shortcomings embedded in the story-line. But Kochadaiiyaan’s screenplay’s being better than its written counterpart doesn’t mean that it is absolutely unsullied, even it has its own set of shortcomings. In first half it looks like pouncing towards the culmination, but as soon as the second half arrives, it turns into a more settled form of story telling. So for working a bit better on this front pat on the back of K.S. Ravichandran. Editing of Anthony is good, but could have been better had he tried to reduce some obtruded elements (of course the songs) from this otherwise smoothly flowing saga.
Now the most important and talked about factor associated with ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ the CGI techniques or the animation perspective. Well, undoubtedly Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin deserves a huge bunch of accolades for stepping in a territory of cine making which had hitherto remained a dream for Indian movie makers. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that it takes tons of courage to conceptualize and execute a cine idea which is first of its kind in any cine industry. But kick-starting of an initiative doesn’t gives its propounder a leverage of dishing out a humdrum affair. As far as technical aspects of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is concerned then they look quite shabby in finesse.
Probably after listening about nature execution of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ and legacy of Rajnikant many of die hard Rajni fans would have speculated about its being a cine offering of Avtar’s stature, but unfortunately nothing of that sort exists in reality. As far as depicting those macro perspective pertaining to ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is concerned then it looks somewhat convincing, but when it’s about capturing the micro perspective like facial expression and body movements of characters, then the sequences of the movie thoroughly lacks the perfection which is required to make such CGI-delights a praiseworthy cine cantata. In-fact I don’t have any qualms in saying that the technical team of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ has miserably failed in recreating the facial expression and smooth body movements of protagonists, and have end up creating a floundering video game where even dancing moves of those on the big screen looks more of like a yoga. But yeah keeping in view the budgetary constraints of Indian cine makers as compared to their western counterparts some lenient consideration deserves to be give to our desi cine sorcerers.
As far as performances are concerned then even in his CGI character of Thalaiva, Rajnikanth’s character looks impressive, so what if he was not doing swishing moves with his ciggis and gogs, this time he had swords to do the same. Hence there is no denying the fact that the iconic actors charisma is independent of his humanoide presence once again leaves a massive impact with his latest cine flick.
Although the movie had an odd pairing where svelte Deepika is seen romancing Rajni, but its the stupendous acting prowess of Deepika which makes even that look not only mesmerizing but believable too. And there is no denying the fact that that as princess Vardhana she conveniently succeeds in proving her mettle. Rest of the characters comprising of “animated avatars” of Jackie Shroff, Naseer, Sath Kumar, Shobhana et al, looks quite convincing and well executes the responsibilities assigned to them.
On the whole, certainly ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is a praiseworthy effort of Soundarya, where she has not only dared to direct her father and legendary actor, but has also tried to experiment with innovation. But due to shabby execution and a rugged plot she uptill great extent fails in delivering the end product for which many of die hard Rajni fans were waiting. And it’s this cluster of shortcomings prevailing in writing and execution departments, specially on the technical front which makes even Saar Rajni helpless in doing any charisma for ‘Kochadaiiyaan’. So I am going ahead with two stars for this passable cine flick for which even Saar Rajni’s charisma fails in doing any miracles.