Movie Review: Chennai Express (2013)

Box Office: Block Buster

Review By Surveen (BollyGuide Official Reviewer)

If it ain’t broken, then why fix ?

Looks like Rohit Shetty didn’t learn this lesson. He was ridding high with his mindless comedies, typical leave your thinking cap behind, but with Chennai Express he tries to juggle between romance, drama, action and comedy where he fails miserably, specially the second half of the movie which is worse than any mediocre South Indian Movie.

Just by using South Indian Dialogues, Costumes doesn’t make the movie South Indian. Rohit seems to be missing this point. He misses south Indian Soul. Has he seen any South Indian Movies, specially this generation movies with Mahesh, Vijay, Teja, Prabhas or Karthik ? If he had he wouldn’t have made fool of himself by just using fat South Indian’s as mannequin in Chennai Express.

It is said too many cooks spoil the broth. The case fits as ‘T’ with Chennai Express with producers from UTV, Red Chilles, Tips pitching the movie the director seems to be torn between what to make ? Comedy, Action, Romance, Emotional Drama or what not ?. At the end of day it is mix of everything but none of which is handled perfectly. Action looks child play in front of South Indian Movies. Shah Rukh Khan and the director should have known beforehand; he is not Akshay or Ajay for that matter. Comedy makes you laugh in bits and parts that too during first half, especially with Deepika. Romance, Yes SRK is was king of Romance, but we don’t see the kind of romance which SRK in known for due to inept script and screenplay. Every time we feel ok now the movie will go in the right direction, it changes its lanes, Romance to Comedy, Comedy to Action, Action to Drama, etc. Nothing seems to be done in proper fashion.
The is it Emotional drama?
Well Mr. Shetty that is not your cup of tea.
Leave it to KJo.

Here is a scene from the movie for you to decide how sensitively Mr. Shetty handled an emotional scene.

Rahul, SRK had been brought up by his grandfather from early childhood as his parents died in an accident at the age of eight. The last wish of his Grandfather was to get his ashes to be flowed in Ganges and Rameshowram. Instead Rahul plans to go to Goa to enjoy with his friends in the pre-text of going to Rameshowram, lying his own grandmother who doesn’t believe anyone in the family expect Rahul for his goodness and kindness.

Mr. Shetty, you killed the goodness, kind hearted and sensible character Rahul which SRK built in decades, which his fans dote. It was like What The…
SRK instead of fulfilling his grandfather last wish, is planning to go to Goa even during the funeral ??
Was Shetty smoking pot? Is that an emotional drama?

Yes, we don’t expect much of sensibilities from Mr. Shetty’s movie, but sorry we are no mood to buy this kind of crap where Rahul is planning to go to have wild MASTI with foreign chicks in Goa during funeral ? This is totally insensitive.

Even the romance scenes which could have impact is handled in mediocre ways.
During a scene where Shahrukh applies vermilion over Deepika’s forehead, SRK feels nothing. It’s just an act for him to hide in a village and hide from the goons. Interestingly he falls in love with Deepika in no time during the penultimate reels. How & Why ?
Ohoo ya, there is a Mr. Shetty’s explanation. While flowing ashes of his grandfather on the banks of Rameshowram it suddenly hits his mind, he loves Deepika.
What ?
How ??
No flashbacks… nothing… Yun hi….

Performance wise, SRK does surprise us how aptly he can handle comedy scenes like Akshay Kumar, but without good lines its very difficult for even him to show anything. SRK is total miscast for the action scenes. On the other hand Deepika has matured in terms of acting, her over the top comedy during first half and some serious scenes during second half shows she has really grown up in terms of acting since OSO days. After YJHD, this is her second ticket to awards this year. All other South Indian characters look like mannequin just to watch the central characters converse and translate.

Dialogue, why and why Mr. Shetty forgets to use subtitles ?
There are lots and lots of Tamil dialogues without any subtitles. Were the makers in rush for release that they forgot to add subtitles? I know South Indian Movies are slowly ruling Indian and Overseas market, but that doesn’t mean you show whole movie with South Indian dialogues without any subtitles. This will be huge factor where North Indians audience might be repulsive especially single screen audiences and not want to repeat the movie, even hardcore SRK & Deepika Fans. If Rohit is targeting South Market too, then his plans will fall flat. Seriously first watch trending south movies and compare it with yours. Just using one boot shake item song wont pull the south crowd.

Music has always been an important factor in any of the SRK’s movies which had made big. It was poor music which let down JTHJ, despite being Yashji’s last venture. Barring ‘Titli’ none of the songs touches your heart or makes you go ‘balle balle…’ and dance. Even the song tribute to Ranjani Sir seems lackluster and out of the context with no relation whatsoever with the movie.

The biggest and weakest is the script. Yes, we know none of the his previous movies like Golmaal series, All The Best had any notable story or plotline but when you cast the biggest names in the industry with Romance, Emotional drama then you need to have strong screenplay, dialogues to connect with the audience. Never during the movie does audience feels touched by the characters on the screen. You always see Deepika & SRK not Rahul and Meena. It is lack of tight script and screenplay, which in turn spoiled the editing. Editor must have been confused what to chop off from the whole reel? Everything looks out of line without any synchronization. Cinematography is good, especially ‘Titli’ song and the train sequence during the first half.

Box Officewise, the movie might garner strong collections during first weekend due to strong star cast and pre-release promotions but from Monday, it would be hard for the multiplexes to attract any more crowds. Once audience reviews and word of mouth comes out it will be daunting task for the makers to rake in further mullahs. The multiplex where I watched the movie had only 80% occupancy in its second show itself.

So, in summary Chennai Express does not entertain you whether you are north or south or NRI.
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.0 “CHENNAI EXPRESS has the trademark Rohit Shetty stamp all over.”
Bollywood Hungama
4.0 “This is a sure shot Blockbuster Express which has finally arrived. Don’t miss this train!”
Adda Today
4.0 “Chennai Express is like a ’80s Tamil potboiler reworked with a Hindi cast. It has a unique new flavour. “
4.0 “Chennai Express has all that an entertainment hungry soul of bollywood needs this festive weekend season of Eid”
3.5 “You may not like the film if Bollywood potboilers leave you cold.”
Times Of India
3.5 “Grab a bucket of popcorn, sit back and enjoy the ride.”
DNA India
3.5 “Forget the film reviews by us snobby critics and go watch Chennai Express and usher in the Eid festivities. “
3.5 “Combine Shah Rukh Khan’s infinite charm and comic sense with Rohit Shetty’s style of madcap fun and what you get is an enjoyable ride!”
3.5 “Chennai Express is a one-time watch, family entertainer”
Daily BHaskar
3.5 “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.”
3.0 “Chennai Express is a full-on masala film that is completely unapologetic about its intentions. And that is its USP. “
NDTV Movies
3.0 “Rohit carries the intriguing premises with responsibility without exploiting or hurtling any regional sentiments.”
3.0 “Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express is regurgitation of his trademark style that comprises his repertoire of work.”
3.0 “Chennai Express is a super masala entertainment and promises a great deal of laughter as expected from the typical Rohit Shetty style flicks.”
One India
3.0 “Rohit Shetty’s s(h)tyle of romance relies heavily on buffoonery and will be applauded mainly by Shah Rukh Khan loyalists”
3.0 “Chennai Express is a full throttle masala entertainment ruled by Shah Rukh Khan’s star power”
Aseem Chhabra
3.0 “A typical sambar-and-sandalwood creation”
Subhash K Jha: IANS
3.0 “This vehicle is worth being onboard for once!”
Zee News
3.0 “Chennai Express is a crafty commercial product more than a film, riding the diligent hype SRK has drummed up over the past few months.”
India Today
3.0 “The film is a rip-snorting entertainer with some good gags, catchy songs and a riotous Shahrukh Khan having a field day with a sporty, gorgeous Deepika. “
Average Reviews
2.5 “Chennai Express evokes a few laughs but otherwise it decides to shift tracks from droll comedy to dreadful drama.”
Sukanya Verma
2.5 “Board Chennai Express at your own risk.”
Deccan Chronicles
Negative Reviews
2.0 “This film could have been a fun one, but is weighed down by its pace and affected style. Watch it only if you must.”
Sify: Sonia Chopra
1.5 “For Shahrukh Khan fans this one will be a blockbuster. The audience who love their cinema with a little respect from the director will find this hard to digest.”
1.5 “Chennai Express is unfunny and probably one of the weakest Shah Rukh Khan films. “
1.0 “Shah Rukh Khan yelps and squeaks and shrieks and bares fangs and pouts and, well, exhausts himself overcompensating at every step, despite nobody else in the film following this template.”
Raja Sen
1.0 “Chennai Express – Doesn’t reach its destination.”
Blog Reuters

Video Reviews

Tagged , ,

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *