Avinash Pandian


Don’t be silly! Don’t compare Shankar and SS Rajamouli! , SS Rajamouli, Shankar


On a personal note, Baahubali was an endearing experience, being a huge fan of Game Of Thrones, Troy and plenty more historical war-action films. I was languishing to see one such film to release in India and with Baahubali, we finally get to have a similar kind of film on par with international standards. And I first thank SS Rajamouli garu and his team for this monumental vision to take our film industry a step forward at  the global front.

Ever since the release of Baahubali, the social forums are flooded with negative comments on some of the earlier regional films, as a part of our usual ways of penalizing older films by comparing them with a more advanced modern day films. The rousing success of Baahubali is welcoming and heart-warming but what is sad is the mother of all evil - comparison of two different, extremely creative individuals on their own right.

I could sense Shankar’s Enthiran and I being targeted in particular. There are in fact a lot of comments which say Shankar spends all his money for grandeur and gloss but doesn’t give importance to the core script. With all due respect to other directors, Shankar has achieved far more than what any Indian director has in visual effects. He has opened the doors for aspiring young directors who want to make out of the world type of films like how the West does.

In fact SS Rajamouli has been positive and open enough to state that Shankar is superior to him when it comes to CG and VFX, who also went on to say that he did not know what green matte technology at the time when Shankar was a pro at it.

Shankar’s films have always been the benchmark for technologies right from his Jeans - Indian days. Who can forget the graphical improvisation he brought with ‘chikku bukku raile’ song in Gentleman, his debut movie? That was in fact highly regarded as pioneering work in the Indian visual effects vertical in the 90s.

Coming to Enthiran, 5 years down the lane, it was one of the most cherished films. When we are offered something new, our mind tends to wander, that’s how things work, agreed. But that doesn’t mean you have to be less excited about the old films just because you have a fresh new product that gives you a high. Enthiran’s commercial success is perhaps what gave the producers of Bahubali the adequate confidence to take the plunge.

Enthiran is Shankar’s brain child which he had been working for 10 years before the release of the film. I could fully relish the impact that Enthiran made to the world cinema when I watched Walt Disney’s animation film Big Hero 6 (2014). Both the films were insanely similar. Be it the 2.0 concept, red chip gizmo, microbots shape changing concept (Though it’s a widely common topic, the way it changes resembles Enthiran’s magnetic formation concept), Baymax and Chitti similarities or even the character of the antagonists. These are too good to not be inspired. To me Big Hero 6 is loose adaptation of Enthiran, leaving out the love potions. In reality, social networkers trash our very own creation Enthiran while Big Hero 6 turns out to be among the top grossers of last year worldwide collection more than 10 times of what Enthiran did.

If we need things to change, it can be possible only by makers like Shankar and SS Rajamouli. They are both India’s treasured gems with distinct characteristics.

Shankar has been constantly striving to make us noticed. One can say, if  there is someone who is as aggressive as Shankar to take Indian films forward, specially the regional films to the West, that would be SS Rajamouli.

Be it his vision to make a duplicate Aishwarya Rai with mere filament of rays in Jeans, or his idea behind digital skin grafting technology used to give a European complexion look for Rajinikanth in Sivaji, Shankar has always been instrumental in bringing in many unexplored new age technology to India.

On the other hand to make a film out of fly is a no mean feat. SS Rajamouli is one of the best when it comes to screenplay and action sequences. The climax war portion in Baahubali was pure bliss to watch.

Shankar and SS Rajamouli have near-flawless careers with unprecedented success rates and both are distinctly special in their own rights and hence comparing them would be extremely silly. Only directors like them who have the ability to envisage out of the box, can open the doors for many more promising new ideas which demand to be made in a wider scale.

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