By: Keyur Seta
Director: Rohit Shetty
Producers: UTV Motion Pictures and Red Chillies Entertainment
Writers: Rohit Shetty, Yunus Sajawal and Sajid-Farhad
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Satyaraj, Nikitin Dheer
Music: Vishal-Shekhar and Yo Yo Honey Singh
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Rating: * *
Story Outline: Forty year old Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) is forced to go to Rameswaram to immerse his grandfather’s ashes. However, he is eager to go to Goa to have fun with his buddies. In order to fool his granny into believing that he is going to Rameswaram, he boards the Chennai Express with the intention of getting down at a nearby station and head towards Goa. As soon as the train starts, Rahul helps Meena (Deepika Padukone) and a group of heavily built men board the train.
But he soon realizes that Meena has run away from her native place Kumban and the men are forcefully taking her back. Those thugs work for Meena’s father, who is a ruthless don of Kumban. Unusual circumstances force Rahul to accompany Meena and her group to Kumban. How will Rahul escape from the don’s den?
Review: Time and again, Rohit Shetty has succeeded in providing hardcore entertainment with his potboilers. This reason coupled with his association with Shah Rukh Khan for the first time ensured high expectations from his next Chennai Express. But as they say, every day is not a Sunday. This time Shetty misses the target due to various reasons. They are as follows:-
- It is needless to say that one needs to keep anything related to logic far away while watching Shetty’s films. But there has to be some degree of conviction at least in the basic plot. I am referring to the whole idea of Rahul travelling to Kumban, which has no explanation. The thugs have come to take Deepika with them. So why are they so desperate to take Rahul along since he has nothing to do with their matter?
- Writers Yunus Sajawal and Sajid-Farhad are known for creating some entertaining lines. But this time, their writing doesn’t induce the kind of laughter it should. The humor is surely there but it is way short of being a laugh riot.
- Despite the above mentioned huge flaw in the story, the first half can still be described as moderately enjoyable. But the film just goes downhill post interval where there is just no story to tell. Then we have a climax lifted straight out of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which is not only unsatisfying but also cringe worthy for the bloody violence. It surely doesn’t gel with the nature of the film.
- Chennai Express also goes onto the level of being offensive. They have tried creating humour out of the death of Rahul’s grandfather. If this wasn’t enough, the scene during his funeral is shockingly sadistic!
Vishal-Shekhar and Yo Yo Honey Singh’s music is not so impressive. The songs fall in the average or above average category. The camerawork is very impressive and creative while the background music suits the subject.
It is Shah Rukh Khan’s performance that makes the film a watchable affair. His wit, charm and innocence will keep you smiling throughout. Deepika Padukone surprises with a good act while playing a typical south Indian girl. Nikitin Dheer is alright. He doesn’t get much scope to showcase his talent. In the role of a don, Satyaraj shines. Kamini Kaushal and Lekh Tondon are likable in cameos.
Overall, Chennai Express gets derailed due to some weak writing and lack of proper entertainment. At the box office, the film will surely become a blockbuster. This doesn’t come as a surprise when your film has such big stars and you book almost every theatre in the country.