Reports suggest that 2.0 has minted over Rs 400 crore at the worldwide box office, and the Rajinikanth-starrer, directed by Shankar, is rumoured to be the most expensive movie ever made in India after Baahubali: The Conclusion. Watch the film, and you would feel the collective effort that the technical team has put into this film. Now, let’s meet some of them:
Production designer, Muthuraj
Though 2.0 is a sci-fi film, as a team, we were concerned about making it look less alienated. We wanted our product to reach everyone, and the idea was to break this perception that sci-fi films are complicated to understand. I worked on the set designs for almost three years and had to closely coordinate with the visual effects supervisor, Srinivas Mohan and DoP, Nirav Shah.
Everything was planned ahead — starting from the costumes, usage of colours, props, and so on. Before executing something, I would always place myself in the shoes of the character, and see if the audience would like it. For example, I made sure that the production designs were Indian-ised so that it established a connection in the minds of those who watch the film. On a personal level, 2.0 was a different experience because usually, I work with carpenters and painters, but for this one, I worked with 3D model animators. It was a huge learning curve for me as well. Would you believe if I say it took more than seven months to design the vehicles alone for the Endhira Logathu Sundariye song? Shankar made it easy for us. He is clear about what he wants. I sketched the basic set, after which it was converted into a 3D format. After discussions, we worked in sync with the CG team. Without my assistants, 2.0 wouldn’t have been possible.
Costume designer, Rocky Star
2.0, a sequel to Enthiran, was not an easy film to work on, and I didn’t want to go with a similar set of looks that the makers had in Enthiran. I was extremely thrilled when I knew I was going to be on board for a Rajini sir film. Superstar is like this canvas who can fit into anything, and he is one of the easiest people to work with. There are heavy dance movements in the songs, and I did my best to keep the outfits the way they had to be.
As for Akshay Kumar, I know him for many years, and my first film was with him. He has a great sense of fashion. I have always wanted to explore new realms, but I do justice to whatever I do. I came with a certain vision, and Shankar ensured that we were going in the same direction. He helped me realise my dreams and provided me with everything that he could.
VFX Supervisor, Srinivas Mohan
From storyboarding, each step of 2.0 has been different. To make a film of this magnitude in India is no joke. 2.0 has more than 2,150 VFX shots, so you can imagine the amount of hard work we would have put in. Each shot needed several layers of visual effects to arrive at the desired output. Shankar, as a filmmaker, believes in pushing the limits of technology, and his meticulous planning with pre-visualisation comes handy.
Every microsecond you see is Shankar’s idea which was executed. He speaks a global cinematic language and there is nothing to beat that feeling of bringing his vision to life. The past three months had been crazy, and there was no time for even a catnap! But he is a thorough professional. The day Shankar narrated the script, I knew that 2.0 was going to be at least 10 times bigger than Enthiran. I have been working with him since his Boys’ days. People will watch a film on the big screen only if there is grandeur and 2.0 has, of course, set a benchmark.
Stunt director, Stunt Silva
The best thing about 2.0 is that I got to meet some of the best action choreographers from Hollywood like Kenny Bates. Over the past few years, stunts in Tamil cinema have been veering towards raw action. It was wonderful working with Rajini sir, and I consider this as a blessing in my life. I remember once he got badly injured on the sets but never made a fuss about it. We were worried and forced him to visit a hospital nearby. Even the next day, he showed up for the shooting despite quite a few stitches on his leg. He also made sure the fight sequences were spontaneous, and not rehearsed. He wore a 40-kg outfit for Chitti’s character and with that, he performed all the stunts.
Choreographer, Bosco Martis
Rajini sir is too cool. He appears normal off the sets but transforms into a different person the moment he wears the costumes. His energy is unmatchable. Also, the kind of adulation people have for him is just unbelievable. There were two or three suggestions that he made during the shooting of Enthira Logathu Sundariye song — like how he wanted to sit on a big throne. It worked in his favour.
In Bollywood, we take four days to finish a song, but with Shankar sir, it took eleven days. He gave us the freedom to work on our own pace. Also, I enjoyed working with Amy. Amy thinks she is not a great dancer, but she pulls off even a difficult step effortlessly.