Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beowulf and Sultan

Saw Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf yesterday. It is one of those 'realistic animation' films(like Final Fantasy or Polar Express) where the characters, though animated, look quite human and resemble the actors and actresses they've been modelled on(here, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich were the actors I recognized). Rajni's Sultan, being made by his daughter Soundarya, falls in this genre too. And watching Beowulf made me feel that Sultan has a good chance of working too.

The characters in Beowulf looked a bit too smooth and their movements were a little too stiff and that took some getting used to. And this was in a big-budget Hollywood production made by a big-name director and headlined by high-profile actors. When Sultan's trailer was released I mentioned that Rajni's movements looked kinda jerky and stiff. But considering that even Beowulf couldn't get it completely right, it might be too much to expect Sultan, which surely has a considerably smaller budget, to do things perfectly. So we should probably not be too harsh on it considering the new ground it is breaking as far as Indian cinema goes.

The important thing is that once one got past the imperfectness of the animation, Beowulf worked as a rousing adventure tale. There wasn't much emotional involvement with the characters but the action sequences, like Beowulf's fight with some sea-monsters and his climactic fight with a dragon, were quite a rush. And though I didn't recognize the actor playing Beowulf, many of the jingoistic lines he uttered were pretty stirring. That bodes well for Sultan, I think. Inspite of it being animated, a few good action scenes and some crowd-pleasing punch dialogs delivered in Rajni's inimitable style could make the animated Rajni work just as well as the real one!


At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, the guy who acted a Beowulf was Ray Winstone, a really good British actor.

You might recognise him as Jack Nicholson's top man, Mr. French, in The Departed... or as the Sheriff in The Proposition.

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is probably the few people in the film who didn't have his animated character modelled exactly after him, since he is much older now. However Beowulf resembles Winstone when he was much, much younger.

On another note, I hope Sultan ropes in some surprise guest stars as villains!

At 6:50 AM, Blogger giri subramanian said...

Yes Balaji, its going to be interesting to see our superstar as an animated character. This is going to be first of its kind in India, so will be really interesting.

Best of luck to Aishwarya and others who are involved in this movie. What ever may be the result, it surely will be a milestone in Indian Cinema.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Balaji. I have been reading your blog for a while now. FYI Sultan is made by Rajni's younger daughter Soundarya and Ocher studios and not by his elder daughter Aishwarya.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ink blot, i imdb-ed him after seeing his name in the end credits. didn't remember him from the movie i'd seen though :)

giri, yes defly a milestone :)

purni, always get confused between aishwarya and soundarya. have corrected the post now. thanx :)

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Blogger said...

I saw the trailer of Sultan on rediff and am eagerly waiting the release of the movie.


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