Release Date : Aug 08,2013
Chennai Express
Review by : Kaushik L M
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Production: Gauri Khan
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Shahrukh Khan
Direction: Rohit Shetty
Screenplay: Robin Bhatt, Sajid-Farhad, Yunus Sajawal
Story: K. Subaash
Background score: Vishal–Shekhar
Cinematography: Dudley
Dialogues: Rohit Shetty
Editing: Steven H. Bernard
Distribution: UTV Motion Pictures
Extravagant commercial filmmaker Rohit Shetty teams up with Shahrukh Khan for the first time in Chennai Express, a movie which has a distinct Tamil flavor as there are many prominent actors from the Tamil space making an appearance in the movie. 
The plot is about Rahul, a 40 year old Mumbaikar who is down on luck when it comes to romance. After the death of his 99 year old grandfather, his grandmother wants him to travel to Rameshwaram down South, to immerse his grandfather’s ashes.
Here begins his tryst with Chennai Express, as he encounters Meenamma and her goon cousins. After this, it’s a cat and mouse game which involves a lot of drama, running, chasing, hiding, of course romance and the ultimate cliched resolution.
The first half of the movie is peppered with some comedy as the train scenes when SRK is stuck up with the goons and the way he communicates with Deepika through Hindi songs are a bit funny. The little portion at the start with the granddad, a big Sachin fan, also makes some emotional connect.
But the main romance is lifeless, lacks depth and we don’t root for the lovers to unite. Therefore, even when the hero spurts out a big emotional monologue about ‘pyaar’ and ‘bada dil’ and later unimaginably bashes his burly enemies to pulp, we aren’t affected in anyway. 
Shahrukh is energetic as always but tries too hard to be funny and overacts at times. The 'Don't underestimate the power of a common man' punch dialogue is lifted by SRK's inimitable style and charm.  

Tamilians speak neither Tamil nor Hindi like how Deepika does in the movie and this outing is a big downer for her, after some sterling performances in Cocktail and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. It’s an ear-sore listening to some of the words spoken the way, she does in the movie. Who gave the team the idea that Deepika should speak like this? Are there living specimens who actually speak like her? Highly questionable. 
She is all decked up in rich sarees, half-sarees and jewels and there isn’t a trace of Tamil nativity in her as she appears more like a rich Malayali. The lush green surroundings, lakes, mountains and the usage of ‘Kathakali’ elements in the songs, again add to the Kerala 'flavour' of the movie. 
Sathyaraj is just there as a puppet in few scenes after a super build-up at the start. Some well-known Tamil villain artistes add to the comedy of the movie and have made a mark. Nikitin Dheer has to be among the most monstrous men in Indian cinema and seeing him getting bashed by a wiry SRK in the end, is again a typical cinematic exercise. 
The first half has just one item song featuring Priyamani while the second half has 3 songs in quick succession and though ‘Titli’ and ‘Kashmir Main’ are hummable, the impact on screen isn’t there. The 'Lungi Dance' at the end is not a tribute to Rajini, but a farce. 
The film has the production values that you would associate with an SRK, Rohit Shetty film but the action scenes and chases could have been done much much better given the reputation that Rohit carries as an ace action designer. The climax fights are so farcical and implausible. 
Added to this, we have scenes totally lifted from landmark South movies such as Muthu and Okkadu (Ghilli). Even North audiences might find more than a slight resemblance to the plot of Jab We Met. 
On the whole, the film might probably work with the family audiences, kids and the masses looking for some mindless festival entertainment, but there is no originality or novelty in the movie. Given the star power and such a wide release, the box-office might be receptive.
Verdict: Many stereotypes and a few segments of mindless entertainment
( 1.75 / 5.0 )



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