Director: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Shahrukh Khan
Touted to be an action comedy, Rohit Shetty of Golmaal fame brings to screen the much speculated about Chennai express. While the trailer doing the rounds of social networking sites received a lukewarm response especially when it came to the representation of Tamil culture and Deepika’s accent, the film as such has fared much better with the first half outshining the second.
Registering an opening record of Rs. 33 crore, Shahrukh has shown that his fan base is still intact and silenced skeptics who perceived him as the aging romantic hero. While Shahrukh Khan believes in having his female co-star’s name before his in the credits, Deepika seems to have taken that lead rather seriously by giving a delightful performance that brazenly eclipses the King Khan on several occasions.
In a tongue in cheek reference to many of his earlier films, SRK’s character is again called Rahul while Deepika plays Meenamma a South Indian belle and daughter of a village don in Tamil Nadu. Rahul, a 40 year old Punjabi bachelor is entrusted with the duty of immersing his late grandfather’s ashes at Rameswaram although he is more interested in a vacation at Goa with his friends. En route the Chennai Express, he meets Meena who is on the run from her cousins who want her to get married to another don.
While the plot is a no brainer, the film’s success rests entirely on the comedy arising from the North South clash factor. Rahul constantly tries to outsmart the South Indian mob and sometimes even does an over-the-top act to regale his audience. The vehicle chase sequences, cars and people flying in the air and muscled goons are inspired largely from South Indian celluloid violence. Although your patience wears thin in the second half, other cinematic elements bolster the film. Music by Vishal-Shekhar boasts of a couple of good tracks like ‘Titli’ and ‘1 2 3 4 Get On The Dance Floor’ while cinematographer Dudley’s picturesque scenes of the South Indian landscape are a visual feast.
If you ignore the clichés and the predictability factor, this film is the perfect Bollywood potboiler and a masala flick with all the right doses of comedy, romance and action.