Vanakkam, Hollywood

The Conjuring 2  

The movie The Conjuring was a trendsetter that created box-office history.

The film, released in 2013, was first released only in English. After its immense success, it was dubbed into Tamil and re-released two months later, and the dubbed version turned out to be a much bigger hit in Tamil Nadu.

Says film publicist R. S. Prakash: “This movie was a turning point for Kollywood, and it was after its release that many horror movies were made in Tamil. Warner Bros. is planning to reach a wider audience by releasing the dubbed version (Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi) in more screens. Care has been taken with the dubbing, unlike the dubbed Jackie Chan films, where even serious dialogues sound funny.”

The Tamil dubbing for The Conjuring 2 was coordinated by dubbing artist and director P. Kulothungan, who has been in this field for 15 years. “When dubbing for English films, it’s important to perfect the lip sync, the point of view of local audiences, characterisation, and voice texture by using matching voice artists.”

He says that The Conjuring 2 was a different experience, because in this film, it is the shots and the special effects that are important, not the dialogues. “But we made up for it with excellent voice artists. They are the backbone of these dubbed films,” he says. As there were fewer characters in this film, the focus was mainly on voice matching and using relevant Tamil words to lip sync.

Shona Tabitha, writer and independent media creative supervisor, says that the biggest challenge was translating technical words. “We had to convey the correct, relevant meaning of words such as psychotherapy, neurosis and hysterical. We could not take much creative liberty.”

Dubbed Hollywood films target the B and C-class audiences, as A-class viewers would watch the English version. “Dialogues for Hollywood films are written keeping in mind the class of audience that comes to watch the film. That is where understanding the local audience’s perspective plays a role,” says Kulothungan. He says he especially enjoyed writing the dialogues for the climax scene, which is a conversation between four characters.

TV artists Shakthi and child artist Nimmy have dubbed for the role of the mother and daughter in the film.

Shona points out that the performance by Nimmy, wherein she perfected voice modulation (talking like an old man and a young girl alternatively) and also her high-pitch screams, were remarkable.

Did they consider using star voices for dubbing the sequel, given that the first film was a blockbuster? “It will be great if stars lent their voices for Hollywood dubbed films, but the producer’s budget does not permit it,” he says.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 3:06:17 AM |

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