'Kochadaiiyaan' review: Soundarya recreates the magic of Rajini!

By Ritika Handoo

New Delhi: What better treat for Rajinikanth lovers than watching their `hero` play a strong king and that too in a motion picture 3D animated format.

`Kochadaiiyaan--The Legend`, opens with a short but detailed clip showing débutante director-daughter of Rajinikanth, Soundarya R Ashwin, put in her blood and sweat in making India`s first ever 3D format motion picture.

The opening prepares the audience for what they can expect from the two-hour long film. It shows how a 3D computed-animated film actually works. The clip along with a casting scroll binds the onlooker with sort of butterflies in the stomach for what Anna would be like in the film.

With your 3D glasses in place, the real thrill begins. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan`s voice-over at the start gives the plot the much needed depth. His heavy baritone was perfectly complimenting the imagery that crops up before the eyes brighten up in all gold and suddenly you feel the rush; all thanks to the 3D glasses.

As the plot unfolds, the story seems like a typical `once upon a time` fairytale which has a `hero`, who often is described as the strong, masculine and an agile fighter but succumbs to the pressures mounted by people with evil intentions. Then like a twist in the tale, enters the son of the ruler (who looks like him somehow) and takes revenge from the wrongdoers in his own style. That is precisely what `Kochadaiiyaan` is all about.

We have the legend of `Kochadaiiyaan` - who is a firm and strong ruler, loves his people and can do anything to protect them. His subjects in turn give him the kind of respect and love that he commands. Anna has played both the parts in the film, that of `Kochadaiiyaan` and also of his son `Rana', the one who takes revenge of his father`s death.

Besides Rajinikanth, the film has an ensemble cast – Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff, R. Sarathkumar, Shobana, Aadhi, Nassar and Rukmini Vijayakumar in pivotal roles. The majestic fight sequences and the huge canvas of battleground does remind you of a 2007 film `300` which has Spartans in the center point but Soundarya must be credited for her brilliance in dealing with such a format. After watching it, one will definitely be reminded of James Cameron directed 2009 sci-fi film `Avatar`.

Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone plays the love interest of `Rana` and her dance moves make you tap your feet in rhythm. Also, one interesting classical dance piece by Shobana, who plays Kochadaiiyaan`s wife and Rajinikanth himself is beautifully crafted. The music by AR Rahman is soothing to the ears but only time will tell whether it strikes a mass appeal or not. Shreya Ghosal has beautifully rendered her voice to the song 'Mera Gham' where Deepika feels betrayed by Rana, as he is held captive by her father.

Kochadaiiyaan, the mighty ruler is shown to be a true lord Shiva devout and the `tandava` performed by him leaves you spellbound. The drums and other musical instruments used, makes the `tandava` a high point of the film.

The victory of good over bad is perfectly highlighted in the screenplay. Apart from big names in the 3D film, it is also very important to give perfect costumes to such characters on screen. Famous designer Neeta Lulla specially crafted a well-thought dressing pattern for each and every character.

The film however, does give out in the end that there is more. Speculations are rife that Rajini`s `Rana` might be the sequel to `Kochadaiiyaan`. And it sure looks to be promising.

After watching a folklore turned into a 3D computer-animated photorealistic motion picture format, all we can say is — this is a tribute to `Thalaiva`!