CHENNAI: Almost 50 years after his magnum opus hit the screens in 1963, Sivaji Ganesan’s classic Karnan is all set to enthrall mythology enthusiasts and film buffs again, thanks to the dogged efforts of a film distributor and Sivaji fan. A restored version of the film—with digital enhancements and restored audio to enable its screening in digital cinemas—will be released in about 50 screens across the state in mid-March.
Karnan is considered an important milestone not only in actor Sivaji Ganesan’s filmography but the history of Tamil film. Tracing the trials and tribulations of Mahabharata’s unsung hero Karnan, the movie is remembered for its grandeur in shooting as well as casting, which brought together two doyens—Sivaji (Karnan) and N T Rama Rao (Krishna).
Directed by B R Panthulu, the movie’s war sequences were shot in Kurukshetra and—to lend authenticity to those scenes—even featured soldiers from the Indian Army.
The mammoth effort of re-releasing this movie, which cost Rs 40 lakh and consumed three years of hard work, has been undertaken by film distributor Santhi Chokkalingam. “When I saw Karnan as a child, I became a Sivaji fan for life. I just wanted the pleasure of seeing the movie on big screen,” says Santhi.
Speaking about the technical enhancements, Santhi explains that noise restoration processes were done and the movie will be released with DTS 5.1 surround sound. Visual improvements—Digital Intermediate in industry parlance—ensure the viewer sees improved colours and effects.