I promised a long time ago that I will share my take on the movie ‘Chennai Express’ as soon as I have seen it. Well, the time has come as I have watched it twice now. That statement should mean something to you, my dear reader. Twice!
Remember my rant about the director mixing up the States of India etc? I take it all back! Rohith Shetty (the director) is on the top of my invitation list for a nice Tamil breakfast of Idli-Vadai-Sambhar-Pongal*!
(* for those people who insist on additional infos – it is like a combo-meal with 4 different items)
Mr. Shetty has managed to make a 2hr 24min movie in which 2 hrs have been dedicated to tourism in Goa and Kerala and in some part, to Tamil Nadu. What with the Rupee at its weakest, we could not have asked for a better blessing! Come people, come and carry your wives up the 300 steps and get blessed with the same woman for the next 7 births! If that is not incentive enough!
Enough of numbers, let us talk camera. Beautiful camera shots – saturated with vibrant colours! And I can say with certainty that they photo-shopped the delta of River Mandovi (which is credited as ‘International Waters between India and Sri Lanka’ in the movie) – I have never seen it that blue and I have been living right at that spot for a year now! Oh well, in show business , I guess even stately rivers have to wear make-up.
Mr. Shetty also tried to give the international exposure folk dances in Tamil Nadu and Kerala deserve – he managed to pack everything in that one song and make it not look jumbled! Hats-off! And that reminds me, the look Shah Rukh Khan carries off with that lungi & leather-jacket & hat – (let me paraphrase ’50 Shades of Grey’) – “oh my”!
Now that I have come to the part, I really wanted to rave about, let me say it – Shah Rukh Khan! As my previous post stated, I had ended our almost 14 years of relationship after ‘Don’, but now? He caught that ‘Chennai Express’ and choo-chooed back into my heart – extended his hand to help me back into his fan-coach! Déjà vu- ‘Maine yeh pehle bhi kiya hai’!
Yes, he over-acted his way back into my life and soon, my DVD-collection. Long live the King!
About the rest of the cast, Deepika looked lovely in her half-sarees and traditional sarees and I think there were others but I was not paying any attention (even the second time around). Okay, not true – the cast fit the bill and it was nice to see Sathiyaraj as a father looking rather menacing without saying much. And he can do the condescending look so well!
The real hero of the movie is, of course, the dialogues – it is LOL all the way. And both Deepika and SRK had great timing in dialog delivery.
Music- I do not have to mention 1-2-3-4 or the lungi dance – you should watch it yourself, they seem to be stuck in my head since I heard them. The other two songs grow on you and the background score is a firm favourite of mine now.
I loved that Rohith Shetty actually had put in a lot of homework and spoofed so many Tamil movies but in a very enjoyable and respectable manner. I admire him and his cameraman for keeping the camera from wandering around unnecessarily – even the item song was shot clean. It could have gotten vulgar or hurt the sentiments of the South but they kept it decent. Kudos!
I just wish they had edited the end sequence a bit better – or is it perhaps, I didn’t really like Shah Rukh getting that kind of treatment. It was way too long. And for people who say the film made fun of South Indians, it is not true, yes there is lot of that ‘Aruval’ and ‘rolling-huge-eyes’ in the movie but also kind-hearted and brave tamilians. Let us not get carried away by misplaced sentiments, it is entertainment!
And there was a message – perhaps comes as a surprise to many while talking about a Rohith Shetty film – when SRK’s character talks about how Indian women celebrating Independence day would be hypocrisy, he was so right. Indian women still have to go a long way before they can decide their own fate in a free country but we are going to get there – “get on the train baby”!
ps: I like the way Mr.Shetty soothed all Rajni fans with a tribute after spoofing so many of his movies (in a good way though). Smart move!
pps: there are two previous posts under King Khan- this is the Part III.