Chennai Express Visitor Review - When North meets South

Chennai Express Visitor Review - When North meets South

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Two biggies were released in conjunction with Eid this week, one of it being Shah Rukh Khan's Chennai Express and Vijay's Thalaivaa. There is one common element in these two films which is the presence of Sathyaraj in the cast. Directed by Rohit Shetty, Chennai Express paired SRK with Deepika Padukone in the leading roles.
The story of Chennai Express revolves around Rahul (SRK) who comes across Meenamma (Deepika) and her father's goons on-board the Chennai Express train and the events that unfold after Meenamma cooks up a story that both of them are in love in order to escape her arranged marriage to village thug Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer). 
Chennai Express is delivered in typical Rohit Shetty style, complete with breathtaking and physics-defying action sequences. Basically the film has nothing much to offer other than SRK's screen presence. Being a Bollywood superstar, he plays the role well shining in the comedy scenes involving Deepika. SRK also mouths bits and pieces of Tamil dialogues which should be commended. Deepika as Meenamma just fills the quota for a heroine, does what is required. The only annoying element is that her Hindi-Tamil dialogues which are irritating and unrealistic and her Tamil pronunciation is clearly fake (Nobody speaks Tamil like that). I personally feel Asin would have done a wonderful job as she has a strong command in both the languages.The romance between Rahul and Meenamma is unrealistic and does not immerse the audience.Apart from that, the film has very strong South Indian flavour. The goons are similar to goons in Telugu movies while Kathakali dancers and the Tamil Nadu village setting make up for the South Indian flavour. Sathyaraj as the Periyathalai with his trademark 'Ennama Kannu' line does a decent job but he is definitely under-utilised. Apart from that, certain scenes are a clear rip-offs from movies such as Muthu and Ghilli (The South Indian audience will recognise those scenes). The hyped Lungi Dance song is intended to promote the film in the south and does not serve any purpose.
Technically, the film has little to showcase. Cinematography by Dudley just meets the requirements for a mass-masala film,with colour richness in every frame. Steven Bernard's editing is crisp and the film moves at a decent pace. Only two action sequences are featured in this film, one being the car-chase and the other one is the pre-climax fight. The stunts by Jai Singh Nijjar meets Rohit Shetty's requirements well. Vishal-Shekhar shone in the music department with their songs and background score.
In a nutshell, Chennai Express serves only two categories - the lovers of brainless mass-masala flicks and Rohit Shetty fans. Watch it only if you are looking for entertainment. Nothing else. Those who have high-expectations will surely be
Rating: 2/5
Verdict: A brainless Bollywood fare with heavy South Indian flavour
Vinod Nair

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