When a film stars Rajinikanth, it needs no other reason to work. The name is enough. However there are more than enough reasons why Kochadaiiyaan does not work.
Kochadaiiyaan is credited as India's first photorealistic motion capture film - a technology earlier used in movies like Cameroon's Avatar and Spielberg's Tintin. But it is shamelessly off target when it comes to technical finesse. A film marketed on ground of the technology only does marginally better than the regular animation films that are made in the country.
That however is not the biggest of problems. Kochadaiiyaan is a loose piece of writing. Though it starts off well it loses pace and fails to build up a climax. Leaving space for a sequel means that the conclusion to this film is almost rushed up.
Kochadaiiyaan is about one man called Rana's quest to clear his father's name. Both father and son are played by Rajinikanth. The film has a story of politics, warfare and revenge. Two southern states - Kalingapuri and Kottaipattinam - are eternally at loggerheads. KS Ravikumar scripts a storyline which is quite calculated to the tune of what a regular Rajinikanth fan would like to watch - a grand introduction, some superb long action scenes, song and dance numbers and clap-worthy one-liner dialogues. However few of these work the way you would have hoped for because the motion capture could not recreate images as consistent.
With two primary aspects of the film failing to live up to expectation, even the stylish Rajinikanth or beautiful Deepika could not add the zing.
Among good things are the excellently choreographed action scenes and well planned photography work. At best Kochaidaiiyaan is an average entertainer.
Having said that, Kochadaiiyaan does serve an important purpose. Before it rolls there is a five-minute documentary introducing the audience to the new technology used in the film. This includes a clip of Amitabh Bachchan claiming that Kochadaiiyaan will remain a landmark in the history of Indian cinema. I agree. Though not up to the mark, this film has the capability to reach out the largest audience possible - all thanks to the presence of Rajinikanth. And for a country which still calls all animated films cartoon, Kochadaiiyaan could very well bring a change in perception.
Critic: Noyon Jyoti Parasara
(2 / 5) : Average