Rajinikanth’s blockbuster Muthu, released in 1995, has been enhanced and restored in 4k and will be released this month across theatres in Tokyo, Japan. The film, produced by Kavithalayaa Productions and directed by the renowned KS Ravikumar, is set to be released in other Japanese cities by mid-December in Tamil along with Japanese subtitles, reports The Hindu.
This is the first time a movie, which has been restored, is being released in a country apart from the country of its origin. Muthu attained cult status in Japan when it was earlier launched as the Dancing Maharaja.
There will be a two-minute video featuring Rajinikanth wishing the people of Japan and welcoming them to watch the movie, before the show, according to Kandaswamy Bharathan, joint managing director, Kavithalayaa Productions. The video featuring the actor would be used to promote the film across Japanese television and social media channels.
“We have restored the print in 4K and 5.1 CH surround. We went frame-by-frame and removed the glitches. We roped in a Mumbai-based firm for this purpose,” he said.
Apart from taking up the 4k scan and repair work from the original version, 5.1 CH digital remix was carried out under the supervision of music director AR Rahman. The entire process to enhance the movie took nine weeks to complete.
“In the 90s, we had mono-audio and so had to convert it to suit today’s technology,” said Bharathan.
The film was an instant hit in Japan as the Japanese people could identify with the human qualities which the movie predominantly revolves around, such as tolerance and compassion. The movie was first released across 50 screens in Japan during 1998 with the title ‘Odoru Maharaja’ (Dancing Maharaja) and completed a 100-day run with the highest box office collections in the Japanese market at that particular time.