Movie: Chennai Express
Banner: Red Chillies Entertainment
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukoni, Satya Raj, Priyamani and others
Story: K Subash
Music: Vishal Shekar
Producers: Gouri Khan, Roni, Sidardh Roy Kapoor
Direction: Rohit Shetty
Release Date: 9th Aug, 2013
Salman Khan did it. So, does Shahrukh Khan with his latest outing Chennai Express. To make up for the lull in his career, Shah Rukh joins hands with the 100 crore club-director Rohit Shetty for an over the top film which is based on quintessential south masala formula. The film is meant to be an Eid bonanza for Shahrukh Khan fans across the world.
Well, for starters, it’s the usual boy meets girl out of the blue and one thing leads to another. Only here, the meeting is reminiscent of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge and the boy is a 40-year-old Punjabi man Rahul. Yes, we do get the ‘Naam toh suna hoga’. En route to Rameshwaram to immerse his grandfather’s ashes on his grandmother’s request, he ends up meeting Meenamma alias Meena on the Chennai Express. Meena is on the run to avoid getting married to Thangabali (Dheer) from her neighbouring village. Meena’s father (Sathyaraj) happens to be a local don and she brings Rahul to him and insists they are in love. What follows is a madcap adventure for Rahul and how he manages to get Meena.
Shah Rukh is his usual best. He tries his best to fit into the Rohit Shetty-style of comedy. But towards the end of the film, he gets into his DDLJ inspired role and he is a pleasure to watch. The film hardly has any Bollywood actors and Shah Rukh manages to pull the film along.
But it’s Deepika who dazzles in her role. She actually overshadows Shah Rukh with her cute, dimpled smiles and thick Tamil accent.
Satyaraj plays the bad father who towards the climax relents to his little girl’s wish. He puts in a decent performance.
Priyamani does an item song and she sizzles adequately.
Music by Vishal Sekhar is good. They include an item number in the first half and it’s bound to woo the masses. A special mention has to be made of the picturisation of Titli and Kanyakumari songs. Though the first half stretches a bit, the editing is crisp in the second half.
Blending Shah Rukh-style romance and Rohit Shetty style comedy in one film is definitely tough. But director Rohit Shetty tries his best to make use of Shah Rukh trademark gaze and stretching arms to appease his fans. Of course, there are some glitches, but Shetty more than makes up for them by relying heavily on his lead pair.
- Shah Rukh
- The screenplay is weak in the first half
- The film has a lot of Tamil dialogues
If you are a regular watcher of Telugu and Tamil films, chances are that you may not find this over-the-top comedy to your liking. However, there are some comic scenes that are bound to evoke laughs. In fact, some of the popular scenes from Telugu and Tamil films have been copied directly, so there is a sense of déjà vu.
But Rohit Shetty surely knows the pulse of his audience. He deftly mixes action, comedy and sentiment in equal measures to keep his audience glued. Little wonder that he has made it to the 100 crore club.
While the opening scenes are gripping, the movie begins to falter towards the interval. Once the story shifts to Tamil Nadu, the story loses steam and there are many Tamil dialogues. In fact, you feel the need for subtitles. But Rohit Shetty manages to more than make up in the second half. He banks heavily on one-liners and his brand of buffonery to chug the train along.
The chart-topping Lungi dance comes with the title credits and is total paisa vasool.
Bottomline: Express entertainment.