Rating: 8/10 (Very Good-Entertaining)
Shah Rukh Khan is arguably the biggest star in Hindi cinema. Competing with his contemporaries, Salman and Aamir, his films usually break records and set new ones in the process and the Bollywood Baadshah has tons of fans across the globe. Teaming up with the actress he once introduced and action film specialist Rohit Shetty, his much awaited Chennai Express hits the screen. Could King Khan and Rohit deliver the goods? Find out in this review
Story: Rahul Mithaiwala (SRK) is 40 year old bachelor who owns a sweet shops in Mumbai. His parents died when he young and his grandfather has taken care of him ever since. His grandfather is approaching his 100th birthday and wants to celebrate the occasion but Rahul and friends wants to go to Goa to enjoy themselves. While watching a cricket match, his grandpa dies in a comical way and his last wish was to have his ashes poured into the Ganga and Rameshwaram rivers. His grandmother forces him to do the deed and he accepts while still having the Goa plan in his mind because he can dump the ashes there and they will eventually flow to Rameshwaram. He leaves the train but forgets the ashes and is forced to go back and in the process ends up rescuing Meenalochni Azhagusundaram (Deepika Padukone) who is running away from her marriage. He eventually gets into a tricky situation and goes to Tamil Nadu unknowingly and meets Meena's father Durgeshwara (Satyaraj) and she explains that she and Rahul are lovers. She is supposed to marry Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer) but she doesn't want to. The rest of the story is how Rahul and Meena get out of this tricky situation and in the process realize they're made for each other.
Performances: SRK is superb as Rahul. He plays a timid, but smart man to perfection and his performance is excellent at times. There are times where he overacts but the King Khan can be excused for little things. This movie belongs to Deepika Padukone. If SRK is the life of the movie, then she is the soul. Deepika actually outshines SRK in some scenes with her acting prowess and expressions. She is simply beautiful and gorgeous but vulnerable at the same time as Meena and it's rare to find that in an actress's performance in today's day and age. She has come a long way from Om Shanti Om till now. Satyaraj is good as Meena's father and provided some laughs. Nikitin Dheer as Tangaballi is intimidating to the core and does his part well. Mukesh Tiwari is hilarious as the Punjabi inspector who fears SRK will die at any moment. The goons gang is good and entertaining in parts. Priyamani sizzles in the item song.
Technicalities: Music by Vishal-Shekar is very good and the background score is also very good. Dialogues are fun and witty and well written. Editing by Steven H. Barnard is crisp and you rarely feel bored. A special mention must be made to cinematographer Dudley. His visuals are the highlight of the movie. The way he has captures certain scenes such as the train stopping waterfall scene and the songs are amazing. He lit the screen up in this film. Art is good. Production Values by Red Chillies Entertainment and UTV are extravagant and vibrant. No quality was compromised on an SRK film.
Analysis: When you watch a Rohit Shetty film, you can't look for logistics because his films will never have any. He loves to blow up cars, have gravity defying stunts, have amazing action sequences and really nothing else. To sum it up, he could give less of a damn if his film has a cohesive story or plot and only cares about entertainment. If Hindi cinema had a Srinu Vaitla, the closest director you'd find is Rohit Shetty. But honestly who cares when you're being entertained right from the word go. Shetty's forte is action and comedy and he sticks to his strengths in this one.
Right from the word go, Chennai Express is entertaining from SRK's voiceover to the last scene and dialogue. If you like masala films that are devoid of logic and keep you entertained for 2 and half hours like me, the you're bound to like Chennai Express. If you don't and you look for logic then your brain is probably gonna hurt in more than 10 ways. The film really only takes off after SRK meets Deepika and the real fun starts from there and keeps you entertained with comedy until the interval. Post interval things get a little serious at times and that is a bit of a drawback but a well executed yet predictable climax make up for the flaws in the 2nd half and end the film on a high.
On a whole, Chennai Express is an entertaining action comedy from Rohit Shetty and will be another sure shot hit at the box office. This is definitely going to be a huge blockbuster for SRK and Deepika. Performances, cinematography, direction, action, comedy, and songs are the plus points of this film. If you can ignore logic and the routine 2nd half, Chennai Express will entertain you and give you your tickets worth. In other words it's paisa vasool. I'm going with 8/10.