HEADLINES:
August 19 2019
2.0: A dream larger than life, in 3D
28 November 2018

Here’s what to expect from director Shankar’s magnum opus ‘2.0’, where Chitti reboots and takes on the Crow Man

Shankar, Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar whizzed past Hyderabad on Monday evening, stepping up the promotional drive for their dream project, 2.0, releasing on November 29. The long wait for the trio to arrive was compensated by the engaging discussion that ensued. Highlights from the press conference:

The third dimension

A small portion of 2010’s Endhiran (Robot in Telugu and Hindi) was converted to 3D and the results made Shankar consider a complete 3D film. He didn’t resort to shooting in 2D and later converting it into 3D. The team shot in 3D, which guaranteed better control of space and depth. Rajinikanth pointed out, “More importantly, Shankar had a story that warranted 3D.”

 

2.0: A dream larger than life, in 3D

Immense planning and precision was required from the team. As Shankar explained, “We shot the entire film using four lenses that were viable for the 3D format. The cameras and rigs were heavy and you can’t pan easily. We would mount the heavy 3D cameras on steadycams and while moving them, invariably some cables would get disconnected. Re-aligning them would take time. We learnt to be patient. Where a 2D sequence could be filmed, say, in an hour, 3D would take nearly 90 minutes.”

Both Shankar and Rajinikanth reiterated that the film needs to be watched in 3D, promising a viewing experience that would be “10 times more satisfying than in 2D”. Shankar also hopes that after 2.0, more screens in India will be equipped with 3D projection facility.

Left to imagination

Rajinikanth admitted that it was challenging to play the robot Chitti during Robot. Having been in that space before, playing the rebooted Chitti was easier. What was tricky, though, was “shooting against a plain blue backdrop, imagining how the background and foreground would be filled later through visual effects. At least 35 to 45% of this film is driven by visual effects,” he said.

Can he?

The team was geared up to film the climax, assembling a large team of technicians and actors. But Rajinikanth was still recuperating after his surgery. “We had to shoot in Delhi summer where the temperature went up to 47 degrees. We weren’t sure if Rajini sir could manage. Cancelling the schedule would incur a huge loss. Despite his health condition, he assured us that he would finish his work and kept his word,” said Shankar.

The Crow Man

 

2.0: A dream larger than life, in 3D

The toughest part of working in 2.0 for Akshay Kumar was sitting still for two to three hours as his prosthetic make-up was being done, followed by the false teeth, lenses and a costume that was several inches thick was strapped on to him. “I’ve been in this industry for 28 years and feel I’ve learnt so much more in this one film,” he said.

Is the Crow Man all evil? Shankar refutes, “There are several shades to this character, which is why I wanted an actor like Akshay Kumar.”

Akshay on his part heaped praises on Rajinikanth, stating, “I don’t know how he weaves magic uttering the simplest of lines. It was an honour to be punched by him.”

Social drama

Shankar is known for his social dramas, with his protagonists weeding out the corrupt. In 2.0, he focuses on mobile phones. Without revealing further, Shankar pitched 2.0 as an action entertainer that addresses a social concern: “Everyone uses a mobile phone these days, so people will relate to the story.”

The delay

2.0 has been long in the making, with the team postponing the release date a few times due to post production issues.

Shankar elaborated, “A visual effects studio we had entrusted some of the work to had promised to deliver two months ahead of the original release date. Then they asked for another six months. And we weren’t happy with their work and engaged another studio, this involved time and money.” He lauded producer Subaskaran for standing by the decision and stated that the team is proud of the end result.

Signing off in style

When Shankar began a tad apologetically about his Telugu but held forth in the languge the entire conversation, he surprised everyone, including Rajinikanth. The actor recalled how Shankar resorted to English during the audio launch of Robot.

Rajinikanth had words of praise for Telugu language, music, bhojanam and, “the Telugu women!”

When someone pointed out how he looks super energetic and has had Kaala and 2.0 this year, Rajinikanth added “Petta”, with a playful mirth in his voice. Petta (Tamil) is expected in January 2019. On a serious note, Rajinikanth stated that 2.0’s release fills him with the same enthusiasm and curiosity like his maiden film Apoorva Raagangal in 1975, and he’s eager to watch it on the large screen.

 

 

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