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Readers react: Endhiran will cross Avatar's collections

Last updated on: September 29, 2010 18:04 IST

Readers react: Endhiran will cross Avatar's collections

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Patcy N in Mumbai

Ace director Shankar returns to the marquee with one of the biggest films of the year, Endhiran/Robot, starring Superstar Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

The film trailers look very colourful, with the lead cast donning several looks in the film. But the highlight of the film is the special effects.

Shankar tells Patcy N more about the Tamil-Hindi bilingual, and why it deserves applause.

Do you think the Hindi film audience will appreciate a film like this?

Robot is an original Indian film but you can compare it with Hollywood standards. It is not a regular masala film.

It is different from my other films, and different from Rajni sir's films. It is different from what Rajni fans are expecting.


Image: A still from Robot. Inset: Shankar

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'Rajnikanth looks very young and convincing in this role'

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Was Rajnikanth your original choice?

No, my first choice was Kamal Haasan. We were supposed to do this film in 2000 but it never happened.

What was working with Rajnikanth like?

He is very hard working. He looks very young and convincing in this role.

For a visual effects scene, he had to spend four to six hours in bathtub because once it was set up, he had to remain there till we wrapped up the scene.


Image: A scene from Robot

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'Ash is a professional, it is easy to work with her'

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You worked with Ash in the very first film of her career. How do you think she has evolved over the years?

We had to explain to her a lot in Jeans. But in Robot, she was a pro.

I have seen her growth as an actor and professional. She is hard working and works like a hero! She comes prepared on the sets. She works from 7am to pack-up time. She is not only concerned about her role but also the other aspects (of filmmaking), and the other people, who are involved in the process of filmmaking.

Did you teach Ash Tamil?

No. She wrote her Tamil dialogues in English and studied it a day before the shoot. She would come well-prepared and not waste working hours in learning her dialogues. She learns the pronunciation and meanings of the words too.

Ash is a professional. It is easy to work with her. She knows the story and what scenes we would be shooting before each schedule. She knows what she will be wearing, what the other actors would be saying and what technique would be used. She is thorough with everything.


Image: A scene from Robot

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'Climax is one of the highlights of the film'

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What was the inspiration of Robot?

We think of many ideas before making a film. I was thinking of making a film with a non-living object for a long time, and that's where the story germinated

How difficult was it to make an actor act like a robot?

It's very difficult because both the actor and I have to imagine how he needs to act. I would watch from the monitor if I was getting what I wanted -- whether the movements were robotic or if they were too close to humans.

Tell us about the special effects.

There are a lot of special effects in the film; that's one of its highlights. We have tried something new in animation, which no one in the world has done before. You will see that in the climax, which is also one of the highlights of the film.

Normally, such films cost more than what we have spent. But we have reduced the cost by using a lot of manpower and hard work.


Image: A scene from Robot

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'Making the entire film was difficult'

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Now that the film is complete, are you satisfied with the outcome?

Yes. I am fully satisfied because it is an original film, and an Indian science fiction.

Since the film is made in two languages, are there two versions?

No. The script itself is international so people in any part of the world can understand and enjoy it.

What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

The entire film was difficult - there were just two or three not so difficult scenes. When two humans interact, it's simple. But when a human and robot interact, everything changes. Everything becomes difficult.

The script was very challenging. I tried to make my wild imagination come true with the help of actors and technicians.

What is the message of the film?

There are lots of messages. The film is about human relationships. It is about seeing ourselves in front of the mirror, and (analysing) our pluses and minuses.

Did you learn Hindi while directing the Hindi version?

I can speak and understand a bit. I have work hard to understand Hindi for my professional needs.


Image: A scene from Robot

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