Sunday 11 August 2013

Chennai Express - Colorful Comic Chronicle


Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express is regurgitation of his trademark style that comprises his repertoire of work. Bountiful of silly gags, and car-smashing stunts, the film’s hilt is Shah Rukh Khan as he revisits his role of Rahul in an action avatar which he has mostly kept alien from him. Deepika Padukone’s smoothing screen presence is a delight. Chennai Express is a must watch entertaining flick that will juggle between romance, humor and action and is enjoyable for its run time!


The journey on-screen begins with Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan back with one of his favourite screen names) on way from Mumbai to join his friends in Goa for a vacation. But at his foster grandmother’s behest, he reluctantly agrees to go to Rameshwaram to immerse the ashes of his dead grandfather. He boards Chennai Express but all his plans are foiled by a Tamilian damsel in distress – the runaway Meena – daughter of Komban village’s don Dugeshwara – who runs into Rahul accidentally while being chased by four of her brothers. Now as the story unfolds, it is revealed that Meena’s father wants her to get married against her wishes, and Rahul is supposed to be the girl’s knight in shining armor. The rest of the story is a riot of hilarious, romantic and action sequences with some interesting drama peppered and pickled in.

The Tamilian don and his henchmen (with hacking knives in hand) are shown in their full glory; as are the exotic locations down South. Seriously, cinematographer Dudley has an eye for capturing the Southern landscape in its abundance, and the breathtaking locations that one would see in ‘Chennai Express’ are going to make nature lovers fall in love with the lower reaches of the Indian subcontinent.

Chennai Express uses South Indian words and anecdotes to entertain the north Indian audience for whom it is all Greek and quite funny too. Sometimes the "ille-ille" becomes boring, but since Rohit always makes an honest and unabashed attempt in making things funny, it does not matter so much.


There was a boy, with a dusky complexion and average looks who taught us in the nineties that if you love with the right intensions, you are bound to succeed. He created a belief in true love. He gave an altogether new definition to romance. Shah Rukh, seems to relive those moments of his youth through Chennai Express in which we get fleeting glimpses of his earlier films.

Chennai Express begins with the famous train sequence of DDLJ and this time it is Deepika who needs the hero's hand. Chennai Express can also be called the 'best of SRK' as its storyline has assimilated the best shots from several of his films.

There is a clever humor, a few really genuine laughs and a man whose charm doesn’t wear out – SRK.


There is another boy, Rohit Shetty. His father was a famous action director of Bollywood. Carrying the same genes, Rohit's inclination towards action was evident in his first film, Zameen. But the film fell flat on the box office and Rohit realized that action alone cannot sell, unless it is tempered with the spice of comedy and drama. This realization led to the making of several chartbusters like Golmaal series, Bol Bachchan and Singham. Chennai Express picks the best of all these films along with Shah Rukh. So there hardly was any loophole left that might have toppled the film.


Deepika Padukone pulls off her bit with panache. She is truly the surprise package for whom you should watch this film. A total delight, that's what she is here, has out-shadowed her co-star (which is impossible and thus highly commendable of a task). I am an ardent fan, and sometimes a shameless eulogizer of this typical Indian beauty; but after watching her performing a role with utmost sincerity, where she has deliberately washed away her glamorous persona and became a sweet and simple "Chhen-nahi" girl, my heart is full of respect towards her for growth she has achieved for herself with the passing time.

Six years ago, Deepika Padukone made a celebrated debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in a rollicking entertainer Om Shanti Om, that marvelously spoofed his stardom. At the time, her acting inabilities were cannily masked by the director giving her little to do except look staggering, and by Khan himself, carrying the film on the muscles of his tremendous charisma.

Chennai Express is, in a way, full circle for that very lady as she — enervated by box-office success and increasingly self-aware as an actress — holds up her end of the film far better, and more consistently than her leading man. She makes an effort; he makes faces. And he’s never seemed more at sea.

So confident is she that even her outlandish accent seems normal after a bit, and she commits to the role most enthusiastically. I’d comment on her comic timing if this film had any well-written gags, but by herself (and especially in comparison to her hero here) Padukone is a delight. She’s visibly having a blast and her glee is infectious. She delivers a Bachchan line with √©lan, and is particularly awesome in a scene where — in a nod to the southern horror clich√© — she’s casually possessed by a ghost. This may not be the most demanding of roles, but the actress revels in the madness around her and shines through like a bona-fide star.

Note: Sorry for being a little more shameless this time in praising her, but I have always looked upto her - and she never missed to surprise me. Am thankful to her for such a lovely performance which gave me enough of reasons to prove my points. Kudos girl. You rock! After Cocktail and Yeh Jaawani Hai Deeewani, you are once again in a superlative form. Cheers!!


Chennai Express is another average fare which stars King Khan. He will make you laugh with his flawless comic timing, romance with Deepika with a flattering charm (I need to give him some credits as well, don't want to be unfair and mean here); and Rohit Shetty helps him absorb some superhero powers as well by which he beats to pulp a man twice his size. Yes, the last part doesn’t quite make sense but then Chennai Express comes with an unwritten statutory warning – it isn’t supposed to embody logic but it is, nevertheless, quite fun! I am going with a 3/5. Go with your family and have a good time!!


1 comment:

  1. ” tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo :)

    and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.
we are the fifth largest speakers!

    we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage
you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have :)
its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world. ”

    MBA (2013), IMT Ghaziabad
    Bengaluru, Karnataka
    hometown: Kolkata, WB