Kaushik L M



I - SWOT Analysis, Ai, Amy Jackson


It’s been more than 4 years since Shankar’s Enthiran and close to 2 years since Vikram’s David, hit the screens. For the numerous fans of both these huge personalities, the wait is almost over as their second outing together, ‘I’ is on the eve of its mammoth release all over the world in 3 languages - Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. There has been a lot said and written about this film but that doesn’t stop us from looking at ‘I’ again, carefully with a microscope to come up with the S,W,O and T of this multi crore marvel, funded by Aascar Films’ Ravichandran.
  • Just look at the names and brands associated with the film. Each of the following entities is known for a certain set of qualities and attributes and for ‘I’, all of them have pushed their limits to come up with their very best.

    Director Shankar (typical grandeur and unmatched vision)

    Chiyaan Vikram (no amount of words can describe the physical extents and extremes to which he has gone, for this movie. His ‘Koonan’ makeover is sure to shock and be remembered for years to come. Just read up on the efforts and strain that he had to endure for this particular look. Humbling!)

    A.R.Rahman (chartbuster songs yet again with great expectations surrounding his BGM)

    DoP P.C.Sreeram (brilliant visuals in never-seen-before locations to match Shankar’s ideas, imagination and vision)

    Producer Aascar Films (exceeding their own set benchmarks in budget, production standards, marketing campaigns and promotion initiatives)

    Make-up incharge Weta Workshop (be it the beast or ‘Koonan’, we are set to see Vikram in unimaginable avatars thanks to Weta’s expertise)

    Editor Anthony (his cuts for the teaser and trailer have been lapped up big time, the world over, with record-breaking millions and millions of views for both. He is bound to have worked his magic for the movie too, spread over 3 hours)
  • In addition to the above ‘brands’, we have Santhanam whose wisecracks and banter are bound to be a breeze, and art director Muthuraj who has come up with some fabulous set designs for the movie, particularly for the much-talked about beast abode for ‘Ennodu Nee Irundhaal’. Amy Jackson’s glamour and exotic beauty will be another cornerstone. She is sure to attract viewers.
  • Not much is known about the movie’s plot and Shankar himself has said that this romance-thriller genre is something new for him. Something new for us, the audience too. The excitement is nail-biting.
  • A massive release all over the globe in three languages and the festival release time, guarantee ‘I’ of one of the very best openings ever, by a South Indian film. Expect housefull boards all over, in the extended opening weekend.
  • Compared to other Shankar films, ‘I’ has been overexposed in the public eye and the media, by his own admission recently. Though this has resulted in unparalleled hype and massive expectations, this excess exposure can work in the opposite way too, if the film falls even slightly short of expectations.
  • Being a huge-budgeted film, ‘I’ has been priced pretty high too, and distributors and exhibitors must have shelled out quite a hefty sum to get hold of ‘I’, in both Tamil and Telugu. Nothing short of a really handsome run, would get ‘I’ a Hit status and all its stakeholders a positive balance sheet. 
  • The gory, unsettling and widely-promoted ‘Koonan’ makeover of Vikram has sort of sent a message that ‘I’ isn’t for the regular family audiences, comprising kids and ladies. Winning over this section of the crowd is a must for any blockbuster wannabe.
  • There was also a situation with the film’s censor certificate which was initially a U/A and later reportedly revised to U. So there definitely seems to have been a creative compromise in an effort to make ‘I’ a universal fare and also to get the related financial, tax benefits.
  • The run time of the movie is reportedly more than 3 hours. Though most of Shankar’s blockbusters have exceeded the 3 hour mark, the recent trend is towards shorter, crisper movies around the 2 hour 15 mins mark. 
  • ‘I’ has the massive screen count, all the big screens and the right release time to smash box office records all over the world and set new benchmarks for Tamil films (and also with its Telugu dubbed version). Brand Shankar would get even more gloss if the expected happens. 
  • Vikram would be looking at ‘I’ as his return to the topmost league. Of late he hasn’t been prolific, and if ‘I’ clicks, a spot right at the top awaits Chiyaan.
  • Glam doll Amy would be seeing ‘I’ as her big ticket to superstardom. She has already signed up films with Dhanush and Udhayanidhi and if ‘I’ works, then nothing would stop this sexy babe from ruling the roost.
  • Upen Patel may be the next non-Tamil face to crop up to our directors’ minds, when they scout for possible pan-Indian villains. 
  • If ‘I’ scores, then we may see more ambitious producers and talented directors going the Aascar - Shankar way in trying out such grand projects on a wide scale. In that sense, ‘I’ is an opportunity for the entire Tamil film industry to make its mark on a global platform. Not to forget, the bragging rights that we would get, in comparison to the other major film industries in our own country.
  • Like always, piracy can be a bummer for any new film that comes out. 
The red carpet has been laid out when it comes to the theater space, and other films would just have to compete for the left-overs after the lion’s hunt. Let’s wait for the real deal. ‘I’ will see you, coming 14th onwards ...

Kaushik LM

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