Ready, Steady, Po!
The two odd hours of the bumpy ride on Chennai Express via Komban will leave you in dire straits on whether to love or hate the movie.
As the case is, the negatives do really outweigh the positives, love the movie becomes out of context.
The movie starts with Rahul, a 40 year old bachelor living in close ties with his grandparents. After the death of his grandfather, his grandmother wanted him to travel to Rameshwaram to do the last rites. His friends want him to join them on a joy ride to Goa to party. Goa went on and off after the random meeting of SRK and Dippy on the Chennai bound train.
The accidental rendezvous, the chases, the fights and the love that emerges forms the rest of the movie.
Rohit Shetty has done justice to the meaningless script that couldn’t have been made better. The movie has left the boundaries of what a normal Hindi movie would have to offer (clearly what exactly a Rohit Shetty movie does) and did not reach the exact Tamil movie level where a puny hero would beat the hell out of the monstrous looking villains.
Shahrukh Khan was as usual at his best of abilities. Trying to make you laugh and trying not to make him cry is what King Khan is usually best at. With age catching on and numerous surgeries to his credit, the 47 year old actor’s ability to woo the audience is pretty much still in shape. Still, the usage and abuse of the 5000 year old Dravidian language was condemned.
The lady lead Deepika Padukone was undergoing transitions between heavily accented Hindi, Tamil and at times, was swept back to the old memories of her proper Hindi. The charming lady draped in silk lost her charm when compared to her previous screen appearance in YJHD. Deepika’s on-the-bed hysterics was funnily insane and yes, she could be used if they wanted to make a spoof out of Bhool Bhulaiya or Manichitrathazhu.
The esoteric don portrayed by Satyaraj was immense mockery of the south Indian local-goon-based patriarchy which was no less than poor anarchy put to rest.
Tangaballi (Niktin Dheer) was all muscles and merely a prop used on screen. The dubbing was pathetic as accent crept in to the macho man’s mouth.
The Tamil speaking Sardar policeman , the song based communication etc were all quite blown out of proportion.
The songs except Titli did not manage to make any impact. A dancer as good as Shahrukh failed to make his body groove the south Indian way while he was on the dance floor. Lungi dance was a clear underestimation of what Rajnikant was, is and will be.
The film had abrupt editing glitches that underwent sudden emotional surges at times. If not editing flaws, the movie certainly lacked solid foundation regards to the script.
Many of the themes in the movie seemed to be borrowed from the neighboring state of Kerala which included Theyyam, Kathakali, Pulikali etc. The camera department had captured the scenic beauty at its best.
North Indians beware! Despite Chennai Express being a Hindi movie, almost 40% of the movie is in Tamil.
SRK ought to get paid by Nokia and D&G as he has done free branding for both the brands.
VERDICT: Chennai Express is worth a watch keeping aside all its flaws. The movie is an out and out entertainer clearly scripted for the masses.
Did Rohit Shetty underestimate the power of a common movie goer? I flipped a coin and it stood on the edges.