Padmaavat, 2.0, Thugs of Hindostan: Looks like 3D is back for good in Indian cinema
The immersive cinema experience of 3D is making a comeback in Bollywood, and this time, it has the backing of industry giants.bollywood Updated: Mar 15, 2018 18:13 IST
A three-dimensional stereoscopic motion picture or 3D film is not a new phenomenon. Hollywood continues to release some of its biggest films in the format. Bollywood, too, has on-and-off enthralled its audience with 3D films. But what’s noteworthy is the big comeback that this kind of immersive cinema experience is making here, and this time, it has the backing of Bollywood giants.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat dazzled viewers with its lush settings and spectacular war sequences in 3D earlier this year. Sonakshi Sinha and Diljit Dosanjh starrer Welcome to New York, too, released in the format. There are reports that Thugs of Hindostan, featuring Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, also will be big on 3D.
Sure, it’s not every filmmaker’s cup of tea, also because the production costs shoot up. But this flurry of big-ticket Bollywood films in 3D, after almost a two-year hiatus after films such as ABCD 2 and Mr. X in 2015, is reason enough for film buffs to get excited.
“People loved the VFX in Padmaavat. Thugs of Hindostan, according to my sources, is going to be an Indian ‘Pirates of the Carribean’. It’s going to be full of grandeur,” says trade expert Atul Mohan.
The audience these days just doesn’t want a scene or two with 3D effects just for kicks, but an immersive experience. “Ra.One was one film which justified a 3D release way back in 2011. But even then, there were not many screens to support the format, there weren’t enough multiplexes. Now more cinemas are equipped with the facilities,” adds Mohan.
Ra.One, powered by Shah Rukh Khan, was one of the most expensive films of its time, complete with chase sequences and gaming characters coming to life etc.
Director Anubhav Sinha explains, “At that point (in 2011), 3D had just come in. Like what happens with every fad, people thought it will beat 2D, which will disappear gradually. There was a surge of 3D projection systems. We made the decision to convert Ra.One rather late, after I thought it would be a good idea. The biggest struggle was the conversion in time, and not exhibition. We had to break a lot of rules with the budget, as the film crossed all boundaries of technology.”
Another much-awaited 3D film is 2.0. While most 3D films are converted into the format after the film has been shot, this Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar-starrer is being shot in 3D. However, Pappu, the film’s assistant director, foresees a challenge in terms of the number of 3D screens in India. “There are only 8,000-9,000 screens in total. China has 28,000 3D screens! In the United States, 3D is a failure, hence not many screens. We are trying that in the coming three-four months, we make the 3D screen count increase in India from 800-900 to 1200-1400, by providing maximum aid to the theaters,” he says. Pappu, however, is confident that the “magnitude and visual grandeur of the content will definitely make people go and watch it”.
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