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By Arun

The importance of an achievement is sometimes not fully appreciated at the right time. That is why, it is important that we give credit to the team of Ambuli 3D when it is still in theatres. It is nice to see that the movie has gained the patronage of the movie goers. But, there seems to be a bit of apathy towards the path breaking nature of their achievement. This may be because most urban movie goers have had quite a few 3D experiences through Hollywood movies. But, that should not make us take anything away from the makers of Ambuli 3D. What they have tried and achieved certainly deserves a round of recognition.

Setting technological benchmarks for the film industry has always been the forte of acclaimed film makers and haloed production houses. Take any film industry for instance; Hollywood has always been lead in its technological advancements by 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Pixar, Warner Brothers or MGM – amongst others. Tamil cinema has always been lead by production houses with a rich history. The first color film in Tamil – Alibabavum Narpathu Thirudargalum was produced by Modern Theaters; a production house that many might not know now, but has produced a mammoth 150 films between 1935 and 1982. They were at the forefront of technological advancements in Tamil cinema; producing the first ever double role in Tamil cinema – Uthamaputhiran; the first ever color film in Tamil; the first ever Malayalam talkie and the first Malayalam color film. The production house also pioneered the use of the zoom technique when proper lenses for that purpose had not yet been in circulation.

Even in recent times, the torchbearers of technical advancements have been the more celebrated film makers. For almost 20 years now, the technical benchmarks in Tamil cinema have been the films by Shankar. Every time he made a film, the scale and technical aspects of Tamil cinema went up a notch and all others followed the precedent. Nanban is perhaps the first Shankar film that has not set any new benchmarks in terms of scale or technique.

If someone were to be asked a couple of years ago about the likeliest candidate to make a Tamil 3D film the most common answer would have been Shankar, because he is the one who has been searching new avenues all the time. If one were to say that a couple of hardly known names with just one film behind them would venture out to make the first Tamil 3D movie, the suggestion would have been laughed away. But, that’s what has happened.

When the directors of Ambuli debuted with Orr Iravu, they were viewed as film makers with quite a radical view of cinema; their movie was shot mostly from a ‘viewpoint’ perspective, had no songs and introduced the kind of horror that is seen only in English movies. But, no one thought that they would make such a quantum leap of an experiment with their next movie. The best thing about this is that the production house too is not steeped in history – KTVR Reels is not a very familiar name to the audience. The fact that these relatively unknown names Harishankar-Hareesh Narayan and KTVR Reeels have come together to produce a pioneering visual experience in Tamil cinema is something that needs to be applauded. Let’s hope we get to see more such daring and innovative experiments.

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