The heroine is running towards a train going to Chennai, even though she is running away from Chennai. The urn containing the hero’s grandfather’s ‘precious’ ashes plays hide and seek conveniently. The goons kill everyone around but spare the hero, and most of Tamil Nadu cannot decipher Hindi words like they are the aliens of 'Krrish 3' …so on and so forth.
Well, this film is Brand Rohit Shetty so you are expected to leave your brains at home. (While you are at it, keep it in the refrigerator, it would help if it stays cool when you return after watching the climax of this movie).
Well, if you leave logic and some of your education behind, 'Chennai Express' manages to get some chuckles out of you, keeps you entertained for part of it and also makes you sheepishly want to be silly and dance to the Lungi song. That’s most of the battle won in this country, isn’t it? Frontbenchers, rejoice.
Deepika Padukone plays Meena Lochini, a girl with unpronounceable second name and an intolerable don for father. Shah Rukh Khan plays Rahul, a 40-year-old (that’s such a pleasant surprise) North Indian man, who’s spent most of his life pleasing his insufferable and ‘undying’ grandpa. Rahul sets out on a holiday for Goa and a dumb decision later, ends up on Chennai Express and a lot of trouble. His troubles begin when he encounters Meena, who’s running away from her father and a forced wedding to Thangaballi (Nikitin Dheer).
Even while the oily, well-fed goons, who are chasing ‘Meena-amma’, toss people and phones off the train with unbelievable ease, even when Rahul irritates them for more than one reason, for some inconceivable reason, they take him back to their town, Kumban (where Meena’s father rules). Kumban is the place where men are oilier and plumper, crowds with readymade shocked expressions appear at a moment’s notice, sickles and coconuts fly around at alarming speed and the poor ‘dreaded’ don in a crisp white lungi seems stuck with a fixed, stony face. It has to be something to do with his dumb expression, that his terror is just limited to the 100-odd people in Kumban and the neighbouring village seems to be absolutely unaware of his clout. Once in a while, Tangaballi, the man with many frowns, looms large and tries hard to be menacing.
The script might be totally devoid of common sense, but to give the due credit, Shetty’s typical flippity, casual humour and innovative action sequences, keeps you thrilled and involved in most part of it. Except for the forced emotional bits about missing maas and babujis and the hero’s idiotic ‘I will nearly get killed for love’ climax, the film is fun and easy on the senses. Shah Rukh is most endearing in some parts, especially when he plays this helpless urban fellow caught in the clutches of dangerous goons with weapons. Ironically, when the superstar within him surfaces (mainly in the climax), he takes on the predictable and over-the-top acting route.
A special mention has to be made of Deepika’s near-perfect performance. I give that half extra star for this girl who shows immense potential for comedy in just one scene where she is sleep-talking. Yes, her Tamil accent goes around the South of Vindhyas and gets lost somewhere at the border of Kerala and Karnataka, but it is difficult to take your eyes off her, even when she is sharing the screen with SRK.
Watch it, if you think your brain needs some rest.
Photos: Swara Bhaskar, Sonali Kulkarni at Jagran Film Festival awards
Pics: Shahid Kapoor's transformation from chocolate boy to hottie
Photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan and Aamir Khan at Mumbai airport
Photos: SRK, wife Gauri, Aishwarya Rai, Shweta Bachchan at Vogue Awards
Photos: Harbhajan Singh-Geeta Basra's TV outing with daughter Hinaya