Kochadaiyaan: India's Avatar is fantasy stuff

 

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The Independent Culture

Bollywood's answer to Avatar could change the way we think about Indian film for ever. Kochadaiyaan is one of the boldest hands an increasingly muscle-flexing Bollywood has played of late – it will be the first ever Indian film completely shot using performance capture technology, otherwise known as photorealism.

"India is a land of mythology and fantasy – and through this technology, we are able to watch that come to life," says the film's director Soundarya R Ashwin. "This will set a new trend and open [up] a whole new medium in Indian cinema – animation."

Kochadaiyaan was shot between January and March of this year in Chennai – then at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire – and is currently in post-production.

The hi-tech technique is instantly recognisable from such Hollywood blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix Reloaded.

"It's a highly technical process. But in its simplest form, when filmed in a 3D space, the actors' actions are captured and then attached to a 3D model. The rest is worked on worked on thereafter."

The titular lead character in the film is played by 61-year-old superstar (and father of the director) Rajinikanth, who is so famous on the sub-continent he doesn't need a second name. Meanwhile, the score has been composed by double Academy Award winner A R Rahman.

The movie's team believe they have a breakout global hit on their hands: "What we have achieved sets new standards in the Indian film industry," says Ashwin.

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