Fanfare typical of the first day of any Rajinikanth movie was missing; animation disappoints many

Fans cheered deliriously as Rajinikanth’s animated version burst on to the scene in Kochadaiiyaan, a hi-tech, big-budget movie that hit the screens on Friday.

A younger, fitter ‘superstar’, as he is popularly known, delighted audiences, who got to watch him on the big screen after four years.

However, viewers looking for the amazing technology, a la Hollywood flicks, were a little disappointed. Also, the fanfare typical on the first day of a Rajinikanth movie was missing.

“Good effort! I was delighted to see thalaivar (chief) flaunt his six pack,” said a visibly excited Samyukta Sridhar, who watched the film at the Satyam multiplex in Chennai. She has not missed the first show of any Rajini movie since his 1995-hit Bashaa, in which the actor portrayed a good-hearted man on the wrong side of the law.

Tech disappointment

There were many like Samyukta at the cinema complex on Friday appreciating a “good effort” with advanced technology, though the comparisons with Hollywood hits such as Avatar and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn quickly faded as the movie progressed. “I was a little disappointed when I saw Rajini smile — it was so unlike Rajini,” said Saravana Kumar, who works in the movie distribution business.

Nevertheless, the plot was taut, and kept the audience engaged till the end, he added.

“Major cinemas across Tamil Nadu are booked for the first three days,” said Abirami Ramanathan, distributor of the film (for Chennai) and cinema complex owner.

“However, we will know the exact trend only on Saturday, as online bookings, which will be the true gauge for us, usually happen on the night of the launch date,” he added.

Cities down South, such as Madurai and Tiruchi, have also reported a good response.

The ₹150-crore Kochadaiiyaan is being launched across a record 4,000 screens in India (450 in Tamil Nadu, 300 in Karnataka and Kerala, 700 in Andhra Pradesh and around 2,000 across the North) and 700 screens in the US and Europe.

(This article was published on May 23, 2014)
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