Someday, I am going to give up wondering about the reasons for audiences laughing at attempted humour on screen when actually, the joke is on them. I am only tempted even more to make it a subject of my thesis (whenever I get to it). I was not just flummoxed but downright exasperated to see the reaction in the hall to Chennai Express. I hope the audience realizes someday that quality cinema is their right.
It would seem that it is perfectly normal to joke about a grandfather dying a day before his 100th birthday? So what if he has bought you up since you were orphaned at 8. His last wish was for part of his ashes to be immersed in Rameshwaram. But then taking a break to Goa is more important. Apparently, the water from Goan rivers eventually end up at Rameshwaram (someone please give a crash course in geography to this crew).
Next, a gorgeous damsel in a Dawani & Paavadai (Traditional Tamil clothes – also referred to as Parachute in slang) attempts to catch the train that you are in. No points for guessing which train. No points either for guessing which movie this sequence is inspired from. The difference being, you also help 4 men looking like goons onto the train on what is an endless platform at Kalyan Junction. It never crossed your mind that these goons maybe after this good looking damsel.
Whatever happens after that is of course most predictable. Girl informs hero that her father is a Don in a village called Kumbangaon which falls en route to Chennai. Girl uses boy as excuse / reason to avoid getting married. Everyone in the village looks like a goon and can easily beat up 10 people single handedly. But our hero survives and eventually falls in love with the damsel. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Yawn.
I usually like Rohit Shetty movies except Golmaal 3 where he became boring to the point of nausea. With Chennai Express he takes it one step further. It is nauseous from frame 1. It seems like he has begun to ape Karan Johar for no apparent reason. The sets are lavish and hugely colourful. Rich. But the screenplay, dialogues and story are anything but classy. Most of the time you are tearing your hair apart.
Lines such as, “Shauchalaya, Shauchalaya, Ja Ja, Shauchalaya” & “Meena ki chhoti si family ko dekh ke mujhe China ki population yaad aa gayi” & several others which were much worse, make it an ordeal. And then there is the forced Tamil from Thangabali (Niktin Dheer) and Meenalochini Azhagasundaram (Deepika) which will embarrass any self-respecting Tamil person.
To Shetty’s credit, he has ensured that most of the Tamil cast speak fluently and without any stammering or stuttering. If only there was some more attention paid to the 2 characters mentioned above. And then there is Shah Rukh hamming in Tamil which makes it even more ugly. I can assure you that my Tamil roots have nothing to do with these views.
The performances are tacky all around. The dialogue delivery is forced. There is much lesser mindless action than what you expect from Rohit Shetty movies – which is not something good. Why would you go away from tried and tested and successful formula? Deepika scrounging her face through the movie doesn’t help. And why oh why would you want to make it all soppy?
In all, Chennai Express is really not worth it. Having said that, most of you aren’t going to listen to me and will definitely land up wasting 3 hours (including breaks) over this below par flick. Stay back for the tribute to Thalaiva (Rajani Saar) at the end. It is the highest point of the movie. I hope I have prepared you for the worst. It could only be better than what I have said no? 3 on 10.
Watch the trailer on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZGR5Sj1Bfo