Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Nikitin Dheer,
Director: Rohit Shetty
Censor Certificate: UA
Run Time: 142 Minutes
Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) lives a humdrum life with his grand parents in Mumbai. After the death of his beloved Grandfather, Shahrukh tries to break the rules and decide to go for vacation to Goa. But to fulfill his Grandpa’s last wish, Rahul has to plungethe ashes in Rameshwaram. He fools his grandmother by catching a wrong train to Rameshwaram and plans to get down in the next station to enjoy his vacation. But Rahul lands into trouble after meeting Meera (Deepika Padukone) in a Chennai Express. How Rahul and Meera fall into love with each other and prove love is above everything else forms the rest of the storyline.
Deepika Padukone is good as Meera. Her looks, innocent face and southern traditional costumes make her a treat to watch. Her expressions while performing situational songs in this film are top-drawer. Shahrukh Khan has worked a lot to show variation between prosaic Rahul and Rahul in love in terms of mannerisms and body language. He did extremely well in dance in 1234… Nikitin Dhir looks good, but has limited character to play. Mukesh Tiwari and Sathyaraj are wasted. Priyamani sizzles in item number.
Rohit Shetty’s story reminds us of Gudumba Shankar, Dhai Akshar Prem Ke and Jab We Met. Rohit Shetty has even lifted few scenes from southern films like Vaana (Temple Scene), Bavagaru Bagunaru (Letter Scene), Badboy (Interval Action Sequence) and Okkadu (Trying to Escape using Deepika). First half of the movie starts off with a decent funny moments Shahrukh pulling Deepika’s cousins inside the train (in DDLJ style), Shahrukh getting drunk and teasing Deepika’s family, SRK and Deepika singing songs to communicate and Deepika’s sleep kick scene. But as the movie progresses the jokes seem to be insistent, which doesn’t seem funny anymore. Then a major doubt grows in you the train Deepika catches to runaway from home directly takes her to her home town, where she will be forced to marry a hefty goon. Shahrukh looks energetic in Priyamani’s special number 1234… get on the dance floor.
Post Interval movie drops and gets dragged due its thin storyline. There are few emotional moments here and there, but which fail to elevate the love feel in the movie. Movie just rolls in loops – Rahul leaves Deepika only to meet her again, Shahrukh gummed to Deepika’s hometown, long-drawn-out Thungabali fight sequence. The overdose of Tamil dialogues might not go well with non – Tamilians. It could have been lot simpler if subtitles were included in the movie.
Music Vishal Shekar is dull compared to his recent albums. Songs like 1234.. and Thitli looks good on screen. The dialogues (by Yunus Sajawal) are very witty and go hand in hand with Shahrukh and Deepika’s characters. Rohit Shetty misses his mark in Fight choreography for Chennai Express. Rohit failed utilize Shahrukh’s mannerisms in a right way, unfortunately nothing leaves an impact. Cinematography by Dudley is first class, especially Komban village scenes are lovely. Editing in second half could have been crispier.
My hopes regarding ‘Chennai Express’ have been smashed no doubt, as it is a film that perhaps had a noble tale to tell, but which has been reduced to a routine movie that fails to engage interest in a cinegoer. Chennai Express has a script that lacks the variability, refinement or good humor to pull it off.
What is Good: Lead Pair, Locations, Starting 40 Minutes and Cinematography
What is Bad: Routine Storyline, Southern inspirations, Dragged Second half, Slow Narration, Direction