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Chennai Express review
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Chennai Express review

For last couple of years  now Bollywood’s Eid release date has been monopolized by Salman Khan. This year, though it’s the  baadshah of Bollywood Shahrukh Khan who is all set to catch the box office train with Chennai Express.

Deepika pairs with the Bollywood Bhadshah for the second time after her super- hit Bollywood debut  film Om Shanti Om 6 years back. And for Rohit Shetty it’s a different golmaal  doing a movie without his favourite Ajay Devgn. With Salman’s movie, Mental being delayed and thus skipping the Eid date, SRK teaming first time with commercially hit director Rohit Shetty seems to set the box office on fire

Arithmetics of  Box office has changed, with Chennai Express releasing in almost 3700 screen,  the super star power of SRK and the massive marketing budget plus hype alone  is sure to make the movie a declared hit even before it is released.  So let’s keep the box office verdict aside and just see how good is the movie as king khan movie? And yes, also as an entertainer in general. So let’s Ready, Steady Po directly to our Chennai Express review.

Boarding Chennai Express is like a true Indian rail journey. Its chaotic, colorful, multilingual as well as unappologetically uncaring and poor in quality.

In one of the dialogues, SRK utters ‘Mere dictionary mein impossible ka shabd nahi hai‘ but it would be apt to say in Rohit Shetty’s dictionary there is no word by the name logic. Luckily for him this bakwaas dictionary has done commercial wonders for him so far. So much that Shahrukh khan not withstanding his super-stardom and at his pinnacle chooses to do an illogical, stereotype movie.

In K Subash’s story finally Rahul turns 40. I am talking about SRK’s favorite on-screen character name. After his grand dad’s death, 40-something bachelor SRK, finally chooses to live his life own way. But his life changes when he boards the Chennai Express train and meets Meena Lochni (Deepika Padukone) who is being escorted back to her native in Tamil nadu by her father’s men. Her father is no ordinary man but periya thalai (don). Situation takes him to her native where Rohit Shetty gets enough comedy reels to fill in encashing on the Tamil-Hindi language translations. Quiet obviously love blooms between north and south and how they overcome  Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer) , the beefy guy who is supposed to marry Meena and halts at a stale and pale climax.

Playing to the SRK fans, Rohit gleefully digs into DDLJ moments unabashedly and has got the script and one-liners in particular to mock at his and Shah Rukh Khan’s earlier movies.  Admittedly, many of this self-potshots does manage to bring mild chuckles.

Chennai Express has a heavy identity crisis. It’s neither a Rohit Shetty movie nor a SRK movie. As the movie develops, it is quiet obvious both the ace director and super-star are a mismatch couple. Rohit especially is struggling to find balance between his action and SRK-sque romance and style quotients.

Though we have the director’s trademark action stunts, in-between he wakes up to the need of having to show Shahrukh khan’s romantic image, dimples and other mannerisms / antics. Net result, it’s neither here nor there.

It’s Deepika who steals the show with her beauty, over-the-top accents and charm. While Sathyaraj, the mercurial villain-turned-hero Tamil actor who greases the role as periya thalai disappointed me big time. Having seen many of his movies, I expected him to dazzle on-screen with the same magnetic presence he shows in Tamil movies but cuts a sorry figure with a restricted, conscious-acting and uttering couple of his famous Tamil dialogues in an unconvincing way.

Why this obsession for gaudy colorful colors di Rohit?  The entire villages and almost all reels are painted in bright, gaudy, atrocious colors that strains our eyes and numbs it.

Stereotypes, stale jokes apart Chennai Express does has its fun ride moments. It’s aimed at SRK fans and it’s best enjoyed if you are one among his million fans.

1 06 August, 2013 Movies August 6, 2013

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He is the lead man of GingerChai and plays the multi role of chief author, editor, business development and also of a chaiwala! (Tea maker!) He is the master brewer at Ginger Chai.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan

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