You're not expected to use your brains, when you're watching a Chennai Express-esque or a Rohit Shetty film. You know what to expect right off the bat. Mindless entertainment. But this ride is scantily entertaining even if you turn off your brain. Some of the dialogues are so clumsy and sub-standard (Tum Don ki nahi donkey ki beti ho....seriously?), they barely evoke laughs except in a few places.
I wish SRK wouldn't have done something like this. He's better placed in a DDLJ doing what he does best. Romancing. Or in a restrained, serious role like Chak De, Swades. Not a common man, desperate for attention. In real life, he's witty, he's spontaneous, he's fun. Wish I could see him play himself. Subtle, and still make you laugh. But expecting sobriety of a Rohit Shetty film is like asking an elephant to jump off a tree. One scene he sounded genuinely funny is that has Deepika sleeptalking.
The last scene, though, totally had my attention, as filmy as it might have been. Where Shahrukh redeems himself, emerging the real hero. And with a short but heartening tribute to women. The second half of the film is more watchable.
Deepika essays her part well but there's nothing entertaining about her dialogues either. It's only her accent that enthuses you at first. But her constant subtitling every scene gets to you after a point. More entertaining than the Antakshri between Shahrukh and Deepika, is the one towards the end, where the villain (Nikitin Dheer) joins in. His only entertaining side. Otherwise, he's an angry, overbearingly tall young man with the same expression in the entire film. All characters were as trite as out of any other Shetty film.
Musically, Chennai Express keeps you entertained with the foot-thumping 1234, the melodious and hummable Titli (my most favorite), the colorful, bubbling Kashmir Kanyakumari, the soothing Tera Rasta Main Chodoon Naa, and last but not the least Thalaivaa. Visually, the film looks beautiful in the scenic South India.
Overall, the director tries hard and loud to appease every kind of audience, mixing up everything he possibly can - action, comedy, drama, romance, SRK, Deepika (with her near-perfect accent) North meets South flavor, DDLJ, Antakshri, Sachin Tendulkar, Don, villain, item number, Sri Lanka (Seriously?), Honey Singh, and last but not the least Rajnikanth! But it all ends up becoming more messy than merry.
What did you think about the film? Loved it? Hated it? I'm waiting to hear from you in the comments below.
You can also connect with me on my facebook page or on twitter.