Thailavar is back, with a BANG!!!
As you can surmise I am still in the Enthiran (Endhiran) mood! Let me first confess that while I am a big fan of Rajinikanth as a social phenomenon and a person, I have not watched all his movies religiously: to be honest I have seen more Kamal Hassan movies than Rajini movies (the last Rajini movie I had seen was Baba). To add to my lack of fanaticism my better half hardly knows the man except that he has a cult following of ‘normal’ followers ;) (* by normal; I mean people from all walks of life.) And of course neither of us understand an iota of Tamil.
Keeping this background in mind, it was with much trepidation that I took her to see Enthiran rather than Robot. My logic was that it is much more satisfying to watch the movie as intended, in Tamil, than to watch it in Hindi – it has been my experience that most hit south Indian movies suffer when remixed or dubbed with Hindi dialogues. The reason for me being this pedantic is that my lack of knowledge of Tamil could have affected this review (though I believe it has not ;))
The start of the experience was inauspicious – missed the opening scene and just saw entry of the Robot, was late due to bad time management on my part. However it was interesting to enter an applauding theatre :) Luckily things got better from then on and at the end of 3 hours it was quite a satisfying experience.
The short review of the movie would be –
Fantastic SoooperHIT masala flick, with Rajini’s special stamp all over. Probably only con is that it could have been about 30-45 mins and one song shorter
Lets move into the details with a quick glance at the smaller players,
Aishwarya was surprisingly not too bad in this movie. She hit all the histrionics on cue for the most part. And she really excelled in her dance moves. At other times she was more of a model showpiece, which as we all know she is really good at. So her casting is a good one for the role, as long as we do not expect an Oscar worthy performance. Danny Denzongpa was a fantastic choice for his character – great actor, great screen presence. A special nod to Kalabhavan Mani and Cochin Haneefa for shining in the bit roles they had – especially Mani.
Moving on let’s start with the Music by A.r.Rahman. This is one area where I cannot say I was extremely thrilled. The music was pleasant no doubt and at times interesting too. I specially liked a mashup done after the intermission and the soundtrack during the credits roll at the end. However there was nothing earth-shaking and new to write home about, in my opinion. Of course I could not understand a word of the lyrics – but I suspect that might be a blessing in disguise ;) Looking on the bright side the music did not really bog down the flow or take away from the movie, so all in all it was not too bad (except in one song as discussed below). The background soundtrack was quite decent too.
The songs were quite interesting, especially with the exotic locations, unique costumes and some interesting choreography. My favourite song was the first Robo song, I believe it was Irumbile oru Irudhaiyam This song really fit the movie to the T with electronica based influences. Another interesting feature was what I considered to be Aishwarya’s take on Fergie, Rihanna et al. She did a good job in this song.
My next favourite song was the one famous for its picturization in the lovely location of a lagoon in a desert (Lencois Maranhenses (Northern Brazil)), Kadhal Anukkal. Nice guitar riffs and soothing sounds, it was a sweet and beautiful number.
Finally i wanted to mention the song Kilimanjaro. The song in itself was pleasant but once again it was shot in a kick-ass fantastic location (Machu Picchu(Peru)), alongwith colorful Incan costumes and some llamas to boot :)
Most of the other songs were alright and not too boring except the last Robo song(I am not sure of the name of the song :( ;)). That was a real boring number and came at a very boring time of the movie. Luckily before I could get really upset at it the movie quickly moved to it’s fantastic climax :)
Another word for a Rajini movie is Action, and this movie does not disappoint in this department. The action is this movie was novel and world class. Be it his variation of a Hindu Diety, the fantastic car chase, the local train fracas or the climax action sequence the action never wavered. Animation, Animatronics, a splash of humour and basic Rajini will-power all combined to keep us regaled through all of these sequences. Having said this one scene I really liked was when Rajini did not think twice before running from a fight he could not win :) I have no clear winner among all the action sequences but will take a moment to specially mention the climax for it’s mind-boggling special effects. It is a must watch for anyone.
I cannot give too much input on the dialogues as was watching it in Tamil. The audience were reacting throughout the movie so I believe it must have been good. If you want to know more go and check it out somewhere else. DOT.
Now we come to Story, Cinematography,Direction,Editing etc. I was not paying a lot of attention to these departments as I did not go with any major expectations on any of these points:) Having said that I must say that the story was not half bad. A little difficult to understand why so much havoc was created and so many people killed for a girl rather than world terrorism, par chalta hai yaar. Another thought which came in my mind is that if this would have been a Kamal Hassan movie as earlier envisaged I am sure there would have been a treatment more like A.I. I mean he would have played out a little more with the moral ambiguities and checks. But this was an outright Rajini movie and hence there was no reason to unnecessarily tax our brains ;) Cinematography was quite good, especially in the outdoor locations. Direction and editing I do have an issue with. There is a part of the movie before the last Robo song/dance where I feel the movies got a bit bogged down. If this area could have been tightened up I believe the movie would have been airtight (* of course this part might have had a lot of interesting dialogues which I did not understand :)) Continuity at an exacting level s not a strong point of this movie.
Coming to the star himself – he was amazingly good in this movie. His age did show in some of his steps during dances, but leaving that aside he has carried this movie on his shoulders once again. He is there in almost all frames of the movie and even others shine in his presence. His actions were not as flamboyant as it used to br normally and his gestures were more subtle. However there was no doubt that he was playing to the audience and we lapped it all up, and will again. As we say, Total PaisaVassolFilm. In this movie he has proven once again that he is indeed the Boss. (btw my favourite Rajini getup was at the beginning of the movie when he looks like the archetype genius geek :) )
Thus we spent a fun Sat morning and I am happy to inform that my wife pretty much enjoyed the movie, while I enjoyed it 100%. It was a Funtastic movie which is surely aligned to be a SooperDooperHit.
Do not watch the movie if:
1. you are wondering whether to watch the movie
2. you want to find holes in the plot
3. you hate Rajini for some reason, or
4. you are watching the Hindi Version :P
And that as they say is that! Dot!