Director Shankar is taking us for a ride again. A literal one. If Enthiran was a miniature roller coaster at the nearby mall, 2.0 is a whole amusement park and probably the biggest one in Asia. The film that has been undergoing a painfully long production for nearly three years now, and has been unable to meet multiple release dates since last year’s Diwali. The reason cited was Shankar’s obsession to get the details right, in what is reportedly Asia’s biggest film.
A peek into how 2.0 is rewriting the rules around big-budget blockbusters in India:
1. Most expensive Asian film with an estimated budget of Rs 540 crore
Reportedly Asia’s biggest film, Shankar’s 2.0 cost an approximate $75 million dollar (Rs 540 crore) to make. That is Rs 100 crore more than the Baahubali films. This makes it the most expensive film to have ever been made in Asia. Using state-of-the-art technology that’s been developed especially for it (something rare for Indian films), it’s no surprise that the budget kept ballooning and the release date kept getting pushed.
2. India’s first film to be shot entirely in 3D
2.0 is the first Indian film to be shot entirely using 3D cameras. This is a rare distinction that has been successfully achieved by few Hollywood films including the likes of James Cameron’s Avatar, Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity.
3. The immersive experience of the 4D SRL sound
Sound Designer Resul Pookutty worked on and developed a unique sound for the film called 4D SRL (Shankar-Resul-Lyca), which allows the sound to be ambient and all encompassing. The director has been requesting exhibitors to switch to SRL, which requires a speaker under every seat and transports the audience in the middle of the action. The sound design helps propel an immersive experience of the film.
4. North-South crossover like no other
Shankar has managed one of the most high-profile north-south crossover by bringing together a superstar of the magnitude of Rajinikanth with the blockbuster viability of Akshay Kumar. With Kumar playing the antagonist, Shankar has managed a bit of a casting coup, after Shah Rukh Khan was in talks of doing Enthiran before Rajinikanth came on board. Kumar’s makeup as the ‘bird man-type’ character took about four hours every day.
5. Most VFX-heavy film of all time
Having been in post-production for nearly two years, 2.0 is India’s most VFX-heavy film of all time. According to a video explainer released by the makers of 2.0, Shankar revealed there were 2150 VFX shots, native 3D, animatronics, 1300 pre-visualisation shots and virtual camera technology, in the film. And all this work was outsourced from 15 different companies and nearly 1000 VFX artistes.
There is little doubt that 2.0 is one of those rare Indian films that has spent a substantial amount of time in looking its most authentic. Will that convert into the viewing experience for the audience? We’ll find out on Thursday.