In 1984, the first Hindi 3D movie Chhota Chetan had hit the silver screen, wowing audiences with its special effects. The kid adventure fantasy gripped the nation and immortalised the movie for generations of children to come. School authorities across the country arranged for special shows for their pupils who wore those special 3D glasses and howled with gleeful fright when the evil magician reached out beyond the screen.
Now after more than two decades, 3D fever is back to thrill the audiences and filmmakers are lining up to make movies using the high end technology. Director Vikram Bhatt revived 3D craze with a special tweak in his Haunted using stereoscope technology.
The movie, one of the first Indian movies to be shot in stereoscopic 3D, was released in May 2011 and received rave reviews mostly because of the special effects which intensified the eerie chills felt by the audience. Bhatt now plans to make the Raaz franchise sequel too in the 3D format, with Emraan Hashmi playing the protagonist.
Bhatt's venture literally seems to have opened the doors for a line of filmmakers who are suddenly gung-ho about using 3D effects for their movies. Dabangg Salman Khan, who has reinvented himself as the sole action hero in masala films ever since Wanted, also seems Ready to hop onto the 3D bandwagon for his forthcoming Sher Khan, an adventure thriller set in a jungle.
The movie is to be produced and directed by brother Sohail Khan who has left no stone unturned to get to know the technology inside out. In an interview, Sohail Khan was quoted to have said that he was updating and educating himself about the technology.
Bollywood baadshah Shah Rukh Khan who will be seen in the role of a superhero for the very first time in Ra.One has also shot some parts of the movie with 3D though he is said to be still waiting to take a final call on the issue.
However, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan would not be the only major stars to be seen in 3D splendour in the near future. If things go according to plan, Punjab Powerhouse Sunny Deol will soon be seen roaring and uprooting water pumps to bash up enemies in the 3D version of his epic love saga Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.
In a recent interview, the Deol strongman expressed his desire to see the movie being re-released after converting it to 3D. "It is my humble request to the producer that he make the film in 3D. I would like him to convert the film and re-release it. I would also like fans to share their views on the matter. If the majority says 'yes', I"ll try my utter best to convert Gadar into 3D," promised the actor.
Recent developments have hinted that Nikhil Advani, who is working on his animation film Delhi Safary, is also ready to join the 3D brigade. The movie, which has well-known actors like Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Suniel Shetty and Boman Irani lending their voices to the characters, will be India's first animation 3D adventure. Advani was reportedly inspired to convert the movie to 3D format after seeing the winning audience response to Hollywood 3D animation films like Ice Age, Monsters v/s Aliens and How To Train Your Dragon. Maverick director Ram Gopal Varma is also reportedly planning to make a 3D horror film starring Kangna Ranaut. No Raaz here.
Not to be left behind, the South Indian film industry is also set to follow the soon to be well-trodden path. South mega star Rajinikanth, who inspires manic mass following across the nation might soon triplicate the effect in an animated mythological film Hara (earlier titled Sultan-The Warrior) to be directed by his daughter Soundarya.
Guess movie goers can gear up for a two… er, make that three good experience…and reach out for more!
(A weekly feature by Jaidev Hemmady on the various trends showing up in Bollywood)