I have never been a fan of Rohit Shetty comedy films though I have no aversion to them either the way I despise Sajid Khan’s sense of humor yet I did not have too many expectations when I decided to watch “Chennai Express with my family.
The movie starts with Rahul (Shahrukh Khan once again in his Lucky name) who looks amazingly fit for his age decides to go to Goa with his Lokhandwala type of friends but his plans go for a toss when he gets inadvertently drawn into a situation with he lands up trapped with a Runaway girl Meenamma ( Deepika Padukone)who escapes from her South Indian Mafia Don Boss father who has plans to get her married to another South Indian Don.
The introduction of Meenamma into the movie is a DDLJ type of a scene with humorous background. One cannot ignore the fact that Shahrukh Khan still manages to hold himself as a romantic hero to a much younger Deepika many years after romancing with Kajol. Meenamma is chased by some hideous looking south Indian bad guys but in spite of drawing any anger or fear they end up appearing rather cute.
The movie shifts to Meenamma’s hometown in south India which has machete wielding fierce men on the streets waiting for them in the most menacing manner. Rahul engages in series of comical situations and could easily give Jim Carrey a run for his money. In a scene where he is faced with the prospect of fighting with a much stronger and taller adversary reminds of Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura. In the South Indian village we have a completely incongruous character in form of Mukesh Tiwari as a Tamil speaking Sikh police Inspector, I wonder what apart from Rohit Shetty’s personal preference would have Mukesh Tiwari in this role.
Shahrukh at his best as Rahul ends up getting drunk and has a rather funny scene with his would be father in Law Mr. Dugeshwara, played by Sathyara, Rahul manages to escape with Meenamma and after a few comical events manages to reach another village that readily helps the couple. There are some real hilarious scenes here particularly the one where Meenamma wakes up in the middle on the night and kicks, Rahul because of her childhood syndrome and Village also gives them an opportunity to indulge in some song and dance without which Bollywood movie would never be complete.
Finally in a reminiscence of DDLJ Rahul takes Meenamma back to her village and her Don father and his bête noire the Tangaballi, played by Nikitin Dheer is a don of another village. The climax is when Rahul takes on the Bad guys and his cronies. Rahul in spite of being physically weaker to Tangaballi faces him with courage and in a very well shot action sequence manages to catch all the audiences empathy in fact towards the climax we actually forget the fact that it was a comedy.
The Movie is a great team effort with excellent cinematography by Dudley, There are some wonderful change in scenes my favorite is when there is dawn emerging from the mobile phone. The movie is mainly shot I guess in Maharashtra near Mahabaleshwar and it passed off as South India. But some spectacular south Indian locations are used in the songs.
Shahrukh Khan has once again scored 10/10 with what he does the best as a loveable boy next door. Deepika never looked as pretty as she does esp. in those south Indian sarees and kudos to her for a very restrained performance particularly the scene of kicking SRK in Midnight. But the real star of the Movie who deserves all the superlatives in Rohit Shetty who holds the movie together and managed to give us such a clean and enjoyable comedy yet with enough substance to feel nice when you leave the auditorium.
Enjoy your weekend with Chennai Express. Don’t miss this one.