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ApunKaChoice » Article » Movie Review: 'Kochadaiiyaan' rocks, but no match for Rajinikanth in flesh and blood

Movie Review: 'Kochadaiiyaan' rocks, but no match for Rajinikanth in flesh and blood

'Kochadaiiyaan' is a visual spectacle, but you will miss real Rajinikanth
By Nikhil Kumar
Fri, May 23, 2014 11:31:38 GMT

The ApunKaChoice movie review of Kochadaiiyaan. First things first. There is no matching the Rajinikanth in flesh and blood. A real Rajini spouting a crunchy oneliner, flicking a cigarette in the air and lighting it with a gunshot, before going about his usual business of decimating the bad guys to a pulp is worth more than two animated Rajinikanths taking on the armies of evil schemers in an imagined world of warring dynasties.

So it’s only with a sense of reserve and apprehension one saunters in for a viewing of Kochadaiiyaan, touted as India’s first photo-realistic movie made with the motion-capture technology we saw in James Cameron’s Avatar. If that sounds techno mumbo jumbo to you, director Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin takes the trouble of doing the explaining for the layman at the start of the film. We see behind-the-scenes shots of a body-suited Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone shooting against a green screen and instantly realize the painstaking work it must have been to create the visual spectacle that follows.

Trailer: Rajinikanth, Deepika Padukone in never seen before avatars in ‘Kochadaiiyaan’

Backed by Amitabh Bachchan’s voiceover, the Hindi version of Kochaidaiiyaan ushers us into a neverland in a distant past, where Rana (Rajinikanth) is the senapati of the kingdom of Kalingapuri. A devoted, valiant warrior, Rana strikes fear into the heart of the enemies of the kingdom ruled by King Mahendra (Jackie Shroff).

On the other side of the battlefield is King Rishikodgan (Nassar) who holds the strings that could weaken the seemingly invincible Rana. It has something to do with Rana’s father Kochadaiiyaan (Rajinikanth again), a legend, a demigodic figure and a conscientious warrior par excellence.

Deepika Padukone plays Rana’s childhood sweetheart, Princess Vandhana.

PHOTOS: Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan, Kajol launch Hindi trailer of Rajinikanth's 'Kochadaiiyaan'

Essentially the tale of a son avenging his father’s murder, Kochadaiiyaan starts off well and packs in a lot of action and visual splendor in the first half. The film’s plot is interestingly poised at the intermission point (thanks to twists and turns), but thereafter things go a little downhill with an overload of theatrics and drama.

The CGI work may not be on par with Cameron’s Avatar, but made on a budget of around Rs. 125 crore, Kochadaiiyaan offers some awesome visuals. The battle scenes, save for the background score (A R Rahman), leave you breathless. There’s a Rajinikanth tandav dance sequence that will have the diehard fans showering the screens with the leftover change from popcorn purchases. The film essentially belongs to Rajinikanth, but one rues the lack of lifelike expressions in the characters of Kochadaiiyaan and Rana.

Rajinikanth’s sequences with Deepika Padukone are something to watch. Though relegated to the sidelines, Deepika shines in a dance and action sequence.

Watch Kochadaiiyaan for its technical prowess and visual spectacle. It creates a surreal landscape where Rajinikanth does all the unimaginable things that the real world renders impossible. That’s the ace of Kochadaiiyaan. It takes the Rajinikanth action to an all new level. But it robs that very action of the real Rajinikanth we’ve come to love and revere over the years.

Rating: ***

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