Chennai Express – Movie Review

9 Aug

The Baadshah’s latest offering-Chennai Express was my way to kick-start the long holiday that we Indians were treated to on account of Eid. Not to mention that after the heavy-duty promotions that the film makers indulged in, there was no way anyone could escape their trip on the Chennai Express. I’ve never been a Rohit Shetty fan per se, and from the trailors I wasn’t too impressed but of course, being a die-hard Shahrukh fan, I just had to go!
Like any other Rohit Shetty film, Chennai express has a very simple story-line. Rahul (no prizes for guessing who that is) is the grandson of a sweetmaker (halwaai wala) and when his grandfather dies, he is entrusted with the task of immersing his ashes in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. Rahul believes that immersing them in the beaches of Goa is a better option as the water from there ultimately flows to Rameshwaram and so makes a plan of a holiday in Goa. To fool his grandmother into believing he’s off to Rameswaram, he goes to the railway station and gets into the Chennai Express with plans to get off at the next station. However, destiny has other plans while he gets entangled in the web of Meenamma, the daughter of a don and her cousin brothers who hail from Komban village in Tamil Nadu. He tries hard to get away but the don and his men including, Thangabilla, Meena’s suitor all threaten him with the power of force and he’s stuck there. How he deals with the situation and escapes into safety is what forms the premise of the film.

There are only 4 main songs in the film and none of them are spectacular. But still, they don’t really disrupt the pace of the film. The story too is quite ordinary and has nothing that one hasn’t seen before. Also, there are a lot of Tamil dialogues in the film with no sub-titles. While I managed pretty well, knowing the basics of Tamil, other non-Tamilian audiences might not really understand some parts. This film also has some of Rohit Shetty’s signature action sequences, cars being thrown here and there et al, which might seem a little unnecessary to some.
But the fact remains that Chennai Express is an absolute laugh riot! This is the first time that a mainstream film based on the South has come around, and I must say they’ve handled it very well without being caricaturish or showing the typical “Madrasi” nuances that Bollywood so far has shown. SRK has capitalized on his huge body of work, borrowing scenes and dialogies generously from his earlier movies and using it in comical sequences in Chennai Express. Needless to say, there are some scenes which are extremely funny and the whole theatre was in splits right from the start. The kids in the theatre were delighted beyond words, almost falling off their seats in laughter. While I have many favourite scenes, the one that comes to my mind is the antakshari of sorts that Rahul and Meenamma constantly play.

Both Shahrukh and Deepika don’t disappoint and show good comic timing. Deepika, particularly seems to be having a good 2013 what with the resounding success of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and now Chennai Express. Shahrukh of course, is brilliant as always. All in all, I would go with 3.5 out of 5 for Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express. If you’re a Tamilian, it’s a must-watch and otherwise, there is no reason for you to miss this one :). So, twirl your moustaches Rajni-style, do the lungi-dance and hop onboard the hugely entertaining Chennai Express!

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