Soundarya R Ashwin’s Vikramasimha (2014) Movie Review

Staring : Rajinikanth, Deepika Padukone, Shobana, Nassar, Aadhi, Sarath Kumar, Rukmini, Jackie shroff, Nagesh
Director : Soundarya R Ashwin
Music : AR Rahman
Production : Eros International , Media One Global Entertainmen
Some of the top Hollywood studios are involved in the making of the film Vikramasimha that has Rajinikanth playing a superhero. He will be seen in the country’s first ever film using photorealistic performance capture technology. After numerous delays in release, Rajinikanth starrer Vikramasimha directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin was finally expected to hit the screen on May 9, but last minute problems have tentatively pushed the movie’s release to today (May 23). Here’s our review to animated motion capture 3D film.
At the centre of this animated motion – capture 3D film is the Rana (Rajinikanth) chief of Kallingapuram army ruled by Raja Mahendra (Jackie Shroff). Rana takes Kottapatanam slaves into his army to make a powerful impact with the start. He wins every small kingdom in his way, and pens to attack Kottapatanam. But Rana has second thoughts to make his come back to his hometown with his army. Ugra Simha (Nasser) hugely impressed with his approach in the enemy combat, asks to lead his army. In the meantime Raja Mahendra plans to attack Kottapatanam and kill Rana. Surprisingly, attacks Ugra Simham and gets arrested. Who is Vikramasimha? Why does Rana attack Ugra Simha? Will Vandana Devi (Deepika Padukone) marry Rana’s in the end forms the rest of the storyline. 
It might not initially make sense to cast Rajinikanth in an animated role, but once you see the movie, you can see the brilliance in the casting. Majorly Rajinikanth (dubbing by Mano) voice delivers the performance. Mano can make any line sound impressive, and Rajinikanth character often has to overact in an attempt to impress his fans. It makes sense for Mano to voice , and Rajini delivers in style. Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff, Aadi, Nassar, Shobana and Nagesh are less impressive, although they’re much more reserved, down-to-earth characters. Dasari Narayana Rao voice over in the start is promising.
If the Vikramasimha suffers, it’s because of the supporting characters and cartoon-ish expressions from motion capture images. The rest of the characters other than Rajinikanth’s (Rana, Nasser & Vikramasimha) characters rest of the characters all are painfully underdeveloped and essentially have one gimmick each, But most of the time is dedicated to the three characters mentioned above. There’s really no reason for the other characters to even be in the film, and it would have been nice to see their roles expanded.
Any concerns about being India’s first motion capture animation’s ability to render photo realistic human beings faces are left behind; Rajinikanth and other characters are never really expressive. The animation team has even somewhat sidestepped the problem that 3D motion capture films almost always face, which is that the human characters almost always look significantly worse than the rest of the picture. Humans are more difficult to animate, apparently, and also wind up looking like jelly in comparison to the fur or textured surfaces that surround them. The themes aren’t exactly groundbreaking from writer and director K S Ravikumar and Soundarya R. Ashwin and the plot feels too repetitive with the Rana encountering one explored terrain after another and responding in predictable ways. Vikramasimha is a thoroughly modern, But its content is just a nostalgic piece.
The first photo realistic character was developed for Young Sherlock Homes (1985).  With every film since then, Willow (1988), Backdraft, Jurassic Park, The Lord Of The Ring: Two Towers…Etc motion capture has reached new heights in Hollywood and Here comes India’s first Motion capture movie, Vikramasimha in 2014. Hollywoodhas taken 25 years to perfect in Photo Realistic film making, our film makers must be appreciated for the intent in film making and coming up with middling result in the first attempt. Soundary R Ashwin must be appreciated for bringing new technology to Indian film Industry and making a Photo Realistic film in limited $ 20.5 Million budget in two years time.
The Music by Oscar winner A R Rahman is impressive in parts. Especially, at fight sequence between Deepika – Rajinikanth, Kallingapuram soldiers attacking on Vikramasimha ships and at Rudra Thandavam scene. Cinematography by Rajiv Menon is fine. The action sequences in the film are very long and looks inspired from 300. Even Depth perception ratio was not perfectly handled in the action sequences.  Dialogues by Sriramakrishna are ordinary, but the way final dialogues are written makes a special impact in the end. Editor coud have easily cut short the film by 10 -15 minutes. Production values of Media One Global Entertainment and Eros International are grand.
The motion capture periodic features a strong, star-studded cast, but the script and CGI doesn’t pop off the screen quite so effectively. Vikramsimha first half is boring and dragged, but the second half picks up the pace and ends with a promising note.  There’s a strange sort of disconnect one may experience while watching Vikramasimha. That’s because Vikramasimha isn’t our typical animated kid’s movie because we have been conditioned for a certain kind of animated movies.  Though it doesn’t hit the bench mark of Hollywood motion capture films in recent times, it doesn’t sink either. If you look back, Hollywoodhas taken 25 years time frame to come up with a promising motion capture film, we must be happy with what we have seen on screen in the first attempt itself. On the whole, Vikramasimha must be appreciated for the intent in film making, nothing else.
Survi Review : 2/5

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