Khandaan: A Bollywood Podcast is now on it’s 62nd episode… and we’re once again doing a Corona round up. For those of you struggling with all the current events in the world and need a break, we suggest you skip the first 10 minutes because we’re not in the best of moods to be honest.
However! We soon move on to discussing the latest Red Chillies Production for Netflix: BETAAL. Sujoy is happy to report that it continues a long and proud Red Chillies tradition by being absolutely mediocre.
Asim broke character to watch KAMYAAB, another Red Chillies effort for Netflix that isn’t entirely awful. It is definitely the better reviewed project of the two.
After that gargantuan effort, Asim needed a little cheering up so he obviously looked up KAALA BAZAAR (1989), starring Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff. This is a segue onto our discussion about Jackie, an actor whose work we grew up watching but never discuss for some reason. Do let us know your favorite Jackie movies.
And to round everything off, we discuss a recent article in Bollywood Hungama wherein single screen owners complain about the lack of massy content from Bollywood and the artistic ambitions of its most reliable performers.
We don’t have a timeline for you as these special episodes go back and forth, but join us next week for our regular programming!
If you want to read the Bollywood Hungama Article you can click here.
If you want to watch The 9 Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition winning films available on London Indian Film Festival you can visit: www.loveliffathome.com
(Please note that the films are geo-blocked to UK audiences only.)
When we met the Kochadaiiyaan team for a press conference back in April 2012 producer Murali mentioned: “Kochadaiiyaan is going to be a very different animation film with Indian and international technicians. Even better than Tin- Tin. And first of the kind to use photorealistic technology., making it more realistic”
Since then we haven’t heard too much about Kochadaiiyaan and today the first teaser has dropped and is frankly quite dissapointing.
Animation has never been of too high a standard, because most of the times it is still seen by Indian audiences as something meant for children and not adults. And even though there have been collaborations with even with Disney, it has never been an attractive proposition on the box office.
But what no one can’t, Rajni- can (t)! or that’s what we hoped for.
According to Producer Mural the movie is “a fantasy film with an indian subject, which has been carefully done to attract international audience”. Director Soundaryha (Rajnikanth’s daughter) added that Photorealistic Animation was used because: “It immortalises my father and everything is really created. He plays a warriorin the movie. And we wanted him to do something that we as a fans would want to see. Everyone wants the sound and vision to be spectacular”
We know this is just the first shots we are seeing but they are quite dissapointing shots, the realism spoken about still needs quite a bit of work and what we see doesn’t look much better than a video game (an old and cheap video game for that matter).
Deepika Padukone, who we don’t see in the teaser, is paired opposite Rajnikanth, which i hope looks less creepy than it sounds and one place where having the movie animated migh pay off.
Here is the press release which next to the actual teaser looks like someone talking about an entirely different movie:
Film aficionados across the world are gearing up for the futuristic fantasy event of the year with the release of the eagerly awaited film Kochadaiiyaan – The Legend worldwide in cinemas this December 2013.
Poised as the grand finale film of the year, Kochadaiiyaan will rival and transcend the CG capabilities utilised in such Hollywood masterpieces as Avatar, Tin Tin and Beowulf. The avant-garde film features the unique visual mastery of Photorealistic Performance Capture technology, a first within the realm of Indian film-making.
Kochadaiiyaan is an epic dramatisation of good versus evil starring South Indian megastar Rajinikanth who is cast as the archetypal superhero in a dual role. Also starring in the grand production are Indian A-listers Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff and South India’s leading stars R. Sarathkumar, Nazzer, Aadhi, Shobana and Rukmini.
Providing the musical score is maestro and Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman, whose list of credits includes a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards for his outstanding musical compilation for the multi-Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. The story, screenplay and dialogues have been penned by K S Ravikumar and the lyrics by National Award Winning lyricist Vairamuthu.
Kochadaiiyaan stemmed from the grand vision of the director Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin, a talented and forward thinking filmmaker who is well versed with various trend setting film techniques. She says: “My ambition has always been to immortalise my father and bring the legendary Rajinikanth that audiences around the world adore in an ‘avatar’ he hasn’t ever been seen in nor experienced.
During the making of Kochadaiiyaan, I began to realise that through the medium of this film, we had to embrace a much broader aim which had the potential to be a game-changer for Indian cinema on a global level.
I have been passionately involved in film animation techniques and production for the last six years and for Kochadaiiyaan we wanted to do something unique and to create a new cinematic experience for India. To achieve this we decided to use Photorealistic Performance Capture technology which allowed us to have unlimited creativity on all grounds from building lavish sets, directing expansive fight sequences and creating elaborate costumes. Through the film, we will be able to transport audiences back to historic India and provide them with a much broader sensory experience.
Kochadaiiyaan has created not only firsts in Asia but also on a world level through the use of the technology. What we achieved with the support of our technical partners in the UK, USA, India and China, has made this project a truly international venture and we are sure that Kochadaiiyaan will set the path for Indian cinema’s next 100 year journey.”
The British funded project by reputed producers Mediaone Global Entertainment Limited and the AIM listed company Eros International has been shot exclusively at Pinewood Studios in the UK with a team of world-class technical experts including the London based Centroid Studios, a state of the art facility for Full Body Motion Capture, which have worked on various famous Hollywood productions including the recent Brad Pitt starrer World War Z, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ironman 2 and Harry Potter, and Counter Punch Studios from Los Angeles, who have been behind successes such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua. They worked in collaboration with Faceware Technologies, who have worked with The Mummy 3 and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the Facial Capturing technology. A team of technical experts from South India and China have worked on the animation and the overall completion of the project.
India’s first Photorealistic Performance Capture film Kochadaiiyaan – The Legend is not only set to transcend boundaries creating a market first in the realm of world cinema but will cement Indian Cinema’s place indefinitely within the global film fraternity.
Kochadaiiyaan – The Legend releases worldwide this December 2013.
Yet another gangster flick made its London Premiere (the other one being Gangs of Wasseypur) at the London Indian Film Festival. And like a moth to the flame, I sniffed my way to the cinema screen to witness one of best selections of the festival overall. Director Thiagarajan’s “Aaranya Kaandam” (referring to the ‘jungle chapter’ in the Ramayana) throws away all the rules in the rule-book, and narrates a story so compelling, that we are bound to lend him our ears and eyes. Soaked in dark hues, this gangster flick set in the grit and dirt of Chennai, bypasses all set clichés and stereotypes associated with the genre.
The story circles around the rivalry between drug-lords of Chennai. In the red corner (there is a lot of red), is Singamperumal aka Ayya (Jackie Shroff)- impotent, dangerous, and a mental freak complete with a signature smile that shows the ins and outs of his lack of dental hygiene. He beats his mistress Subbu (Yasmin Ponappa), and bemoans her fate with the timid Sappai (Ravi Krishna). Sappai and Subbu fall in love. And in the blue corner, is the gang of the Gaj brothers – Gajendran and Gajapati, one uglier than the other. And we are also told of the legend of Gajendran. (You’ve got to find that out for yourself).
But when it comes to gangster films, nothing is as simple as just two opponents battling it out. Thrown in the mix are Pasupathy (Sampath Raj), Ayya’s lead henchman,who comes up with a stolen drug deal, which actually belongs to the Gaj brothers. And this sets the ball rolling for the rest of the movie which moves at an insane pace, jumping across the numerous characters and building up to a climax that wraps it all in, in a very satisfying way.
I am trying hard not to reveal much about this movie, because I’m concerned if that will dilute your experience. You should sit through this movie, without any prior knowledge of it, just like I did, and just let yourself get consumed by its sheer powerful imagery. Be it from Jackie Shroff’s relentless and no-holds-barred portrayal of a gangster struggling to “keep up” even when he’s way past his prime, to the little kid Kodukkapuli (Master Vasanth) whose smile and tears can melt your heart.
Aaranya Kaandam quenches that thirst for something “new” to watch. With stylish cinematography and action choreography, as well as an anime inspired moody omnipresence, Thiagarajan’s array of quirky, mad and loud characters come to life in their rawest form. Accompanied by a rocking background score, dollops of humour, and razor sharp dialogues, Aaranya Kaandam breathes life into the jungle of Chennai and its wildlife. For a debut feature, this is a must-watch.