Friday, August 16, 2013

Chennai Express

Chennai Express' success cocks a snook at all critics who panned it.
The 8th day, and it is running houseful. People have loved it. I loved it. It is a through and through entertainer. 
As a South Indian, I understand a smattering of Tamil and this made the experience more enjoyable.
Shah Rukh Khan, the only non-South Indian cast as admitted by its director, Rohit Shetty, has done a marvelous job of being the comic character trying to come to grips with the Tamil culture.The story is about his journey from Mumbai to Rameswaram and how he finds himself trapped amidst the don (Deepika's father) and his followers. The South Indians aren't treated with derision. But the cultural differences do evoke a smile from the audiences. There were times when I felt I was watching a South Indian movie and not a Hindi one. So strong is the south flavor and the sensibilities within.
A thin story line, no great dramatics but not a moment of boredom as the film keeps you engaged throughout. There are references to past movies of Shah Rukh Khan but not so many that they leave you bored and yawning. In a way it was funny watching Shah Rukh try to dance in rhythm with the southern music, especially in the item number. To compare, Dhanush's dance in Ranjhana is a good example of showcasing the speed, intensity and loudness in southern film dances. For a change, Shah Rukh doesn't do the slanted- Christ posture but he surely couldn't keep up to the required speed. 
Shah Rukh is back doing what he does best--the romantic role of Rahul--which fits him like a glove. Deeepika, dancing attired in her 'pavadai' ( a long skirt), long plaited hair adorned with jasmines, to music from south is so different from  her head-swaying-hair-flying-bikni-clad dances (Dum maro Dum, Cocktail, Yeh Jawani...). She is definitely the surprise factor in the movie. May not be an intense performance but an energetic one without going OTT.
This movie is funny and silly but neat, delightfully free of sleaze, double meaning dialog and exposing.
Everyone can head to this movie with their parents, brothers, sisters and kids and thoroughly enjoy the movie. I did.
It is such a relief to watch an uncomplicated entertainer!