Clash of the titans

Down south

Clash of the titans

Thick Friends in real life, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, the two top stars of Tamil cinema, are always viewed as competitors in the box-office.

Their styles Are different, their ideas are different and their choice of movies are also different, but still, their films, whenever they have clashed with each other, have witnessed tough fights, besides fetching huge revenues.

It was in 2005 that their movies Chandramukhi and Mumbai Express last released together. And after eight long years, it is now expected that Rajini’s Kochadaiyaan and Kamal’s Viswaroopam would hit the screens on the same day, on Pongal.

Says K B Kumar, a trade analyst, “If this happens, it implicitly means that 2013 is going to start on a positive note for the industry. For, there is no big hit so far in 2012, with almost all the films of leading stars, except Vijay’s Thuppaki, biting the dust.”

He adds, “Both Rajini and Kamal command a huge fan following. And there have been no films from them for the past two years. Hence expectations are high for Kochadaiyaan and Viswaroopam.”

Similarities galore

Interestingly, Kochadaiyaan and Viswaroopam share a lot of similarities. Both have been in the making for a long time, they are being made in more than one language, the budgets are above Rs 100 crore, and they are set to introduce new technologies for the first time in Indian cinema.

Kochadaiyaan, directed by Rajini’s younger daughter Soundarya R Ashwin, is a period flick being made using performance capture technology on 3D. An animated film, it has music by A R Rahman, and Deepika Padukone, Sarathkumar, Jackie Shroff, Aadhi and Shobana play crucial roles.

Viswaroopam, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan, who is also playing the lead role, is equipped with Aura 3D technology. With music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the movie which harps on global terrorism has Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah and Shekar Kapoor in pivotal characters.

Says popular filmmaker K S Ravikumar, who supervised the making of Kochadaiyaan, “Soundarya has shaped up the movie as an edge of the seat entertainer. The film will sure be a treat to Rajini fans.”

Ravikumar, who has also penned the story, screenplay and dialogues for Kochadaiyaan, adds, “The film will sure set a benchmark in Indian cinema, in terms of technology and presentation. In short, it is a period flick made in the most modern way.”

On Viswaroopam, Kamal says, “Viswaroopam is no anti-US or anti-Islam movie. We should find out the root cause of terror. I don’t celebrate religions, only mankind.”
On Aura 3D, he says, “It will elevate the film watching experience to a new level. Over 30 theatres will have Aura technology when Viswaroopam hits the screens.”

The audio launch of Kochadaiyaan, which is being made in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, English and Japanese among other languages, will be launched soon in Tokyo.

“Rajini has lakhs of fans in Japan and hence the Kochadaiyaan team has decided to release the music album in Tokyo. This will be followed by promotional events across the world, since the film is going to have an international release,” sources close to the unit say.

Meanwhile, the buzz in trade circles is that some big corporate companies have evinced interest in forging partnership with Rajini and Kamal to distribute and release Kochadaiyaan and Viswaroopam respectively. Since these two stars are popular brands themselves, corporates are interested in investing in their film projects.

This, the companies feel, will boost their image besides ending up fetching huge revenues.“For Rajini and Kamal, their financial burdens will be shared if they agree for the partnership. This is a win-win kind of offer,” says an insider.

Going by all these developments, we can confidently say that it is going to be an interesting and colourful contest in the Kollywood box-office this Pongal. Literally a harvest festival, so to speak.

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