Enthiran Review

Inspite of not being a Rajnikanth fan, I had thoroughly enjoyed ‘Sivaji’ the big trio’s (Shankar-Rajni-Rahman) last outing. Despite its sheer ridiculousness, the movie was enjoyable, thanks largely to Rajnikanth. And anything following the massively successful Sivaji was bound to be bigger and better.

So when positive reviews began pouring in for “Enthiran/Robot” since Oct 1, I simply couldn’t wait. Inspite of steep ticket prices and the busy day that Saturday usually is, I managed to steal a few hours to catch the highly anticipated ‘Enthiran’.

Was it worth it? Well, perhaps not entirely, I should concede. The first half is definitely engrossing and worth your time. Contrary to most critique, the downslide starts when the “villians” start appearing and going on a rampage. Amateurish would be an understatement to describe the climax.

Since the story et al has been repeated ad nauseam, directly jumping to the pluses and minuses, as I saw them.

Positives:

+ the concept of a robot evolving and developing human emotions and its aftermath. Interestingly tackled.

+ Songs: Tunes are worth the CD price, the picturization excellent, and the locales are refreshingly new. Costumes too are good and Aishwarya is at her graceful best.

+ Attention to detail, especially in the first half. The way Dr. Vasi’s beard grows when he is engrossed in work or the human-like teeth the android has even when it does not have the Rajni exterior. Or making sure there is reason for Aishwarya’s appearances in fancy dresses and make up towards the end (Lifestyle shop gets robbed by robots!). No misses there.

The negatives

– The longdrawn climax sequence and its flaws. I had no clue as to what was happening – just how many Chitti clones were there, what was the point of all the shape formation etc. If it is known that the strength of a single robot is equal to a hundred humans, why isn’t there adequate planning to handle them than just spraying bullets randomly. And if the robot can scan and detect the blood group from a drop of blood in the distance, why does it take a while for chitti to track the lone human in their midst and finish him off.

– The “hero” Dr. Vasi, reduced to a “mere human” (remember, this is Rajni!) He ignores his girlfriend, mercilessly attacks another Rajni (albeit, a robot), panics at the sight of blood or any confrontation. Realism is alright, but in the process a demi-God is demystified. And to Rajni fans, that is blasphemous.

– Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. She has taken the “bimbette” role a few notches up. Over-the-top screeching and preening, standing all decked up and made up in the villian’s lair with a plastered smile when your boyfriend’s life is on the firing line – and more such things, probably a new high for even Indian heriones!

Summary: Probably it was the sky-high expectation that did it in, I felt let down this time.

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How to watch a movie

What’s the big deal about watching a movie.

That is what I thought till I came across a bunch of movie buffs and got the privilege of watching ‘Sholay’ with them.

This happened around seven-eight years ago, when I was working in Singapore. Our boss had arranged for a dinner party for the team. The boss was Indian and so were all the invitees. And the film chosen for post-dinner viewing was… Sholay!

 I knew of Sholay’s immense popularity and cult status. But to actually witness it in person for the first time was something else. Coming from a family where watching a movie is considered equivalent to wasting time, there was no way I could have known.

So when we all sat down to watch the DVD on boss’ big flat screen late night, I was probably the only one feeling sleepy.  The moment we settled down, there was pin drop silence in the room. People were waiting in quiet anticipation, for the drama to unfold.

And then when it did, boy, it was some hungama. There was constant clapping interspersed with uproarious laughs – when Asrani appeared, when Amitabh teased Hema Malini, when Dharemendra mouthed his legendary ‘chakki peessing’ dialogue. And collective sighs – when Sanjeev Kumar’s family gets wiped out and other such moments. Not to forget the awe evoked by Gabbar and his histrionics.

 That was not all. The logic behind the screenplay was thoroughly studied.

“Not one scene is unnecessary in the movie. Each one is tied to the others and see how one situation leads to another,” explained a colleague and went on to ‘dissect’ the Surma Bhopali scene.

I had really begun to see now, a new type of movie experience – noisy, expressive and one where audience becomes a part of the setting!

So my tip for an enjoyable 3- hour in front of big or small screen –choose a great movie but don’t forget to have some great company!