Movie Chennai Express: Vintage Shahrukh In The Biggest Bollywood Grosser!

It is not for nothing that Chennai Express has broken all records in Bollywood history and Rohit Shetty has become the most successful director ever of Indian Cinema. Shahrukh Khan’s Chennai Express has crossed Rs.202 crore (2020 million rupees) mark beating the four-year-old record set by Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots. Rohit Shetty has already given three Rs.100 crore club movies namely, Singham, Golmaal3 and Bol Bachchan, and this unique feat has never been achieved by any other Indian film director.  Chennai Express in its third week run has achieved this with loving audiences all over and overcoming quite a few bad reviews. The reasons are not far to seek.

You are pleasantly reminded of the Shahrukh Khan of yesteryear when he was superlative in comedy scenes for his immaculate timing, for his sprightful elegance and for his typical gesticulations plus monosyllables. All these qualities of the Bollywood superstar have come back in Chennai Express to regale you yet again and you are indeed grateful to Rohit Shetty, the director of this blockbuster, for presenting King Khan in all his royal comic flavors. You can call Chennai Express a super comedy flick with an underlying serious plot or you can call it a masala humdinger with an uplifting super comedy track. However, with Rohit Shetty around you are much better off with the first option and enjoying the movie unconditionally and without complaints concerning your sense of logic or the logical senselessness about the whole thing.

Maybe Rohit Shetty himself would have been better off keeping a matching lighter plot throughout thus putting some sense into it. From the very beginning of this almost a bilingual Bollywood movie the dead seriousness of the story never leaves you with bulky and sinister characters around adding more scares to it. The main lead Rahul (Shahrukh Khan), a Hindi speaking mithaiwala from Mumbai, hatched a conspiracy to freak out with his friends in Goa over the assignment of immersing the ashes of his grandfather in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, but then had to take the designated Chennai Express train from Mumbai and thus getting entangled with Tamil speaking Meenamma, the female lead played by Deepika Padukone. If Rahul was in a double-jeopardy Meenamma was in a far more precarious situation being captured by her Don dad’s goons to get her married by force at hinterland Tamil Nadu. But then, if the plot was not serious enough the ridiculous scenes of language tangles could not have given you the laughs for which you would probably go to the theater again. Contrary to various opinions expressed I would like to state that the bilingual structure of the movie is its most enlivening feature and it is unique in Bollywood more used to dubbing or remaking rather than charting out bold originals.

Therefore, the so-called ‘senselessness’ part of the movie is a foregone allegation. You are treated with giggles, laughs and howls all the way and this is what makes sense—courtesy Rohit Shetty who never forgets his flying cars or chases or the powerful 'lion' punches in any of his films. In this movie too the climax was as formulaic as it was predictable. 

As we have maintained Shahrukh has given a vintage performance and after a couple of rather listless years he has delivered masterstroke tying up with Rohit Shetty to produce this ‘senseless’ wonder. His marketing strategy of taking the Chennai Express  into almost every popular television serials for over a month has worked wonderfully by roping in his admirers thronging households across the country. However, his new-found love for ‘never underestimate the power of the common man’ line has asserted itself a little too often. Deepika Padukone, not so famous for her acting prowess, has given a sterling performance too taking a lot of pains to inculcate the Tamil accent. The chemistry rather the linguistic chemistry between the two is just deliriously funny.

Lose your senses... and enjoy!


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