Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone

Director: Rohit Shetty

RunTime: 141 minutes

Entertainment is what you should seek before boarding the Chennai express and you might just get it, for the most part of it, albeit some tamil-telugu movie rip offs and clichés put together in many of the scenes. Nevertheless, the pace, Shahrukh’s performance, Deepika’s attempt in tamil and of course the Entertainment quotient attached through the journey keeps you seated in your berth, although doesn’t offer anything different.

chennai express movie review
The story is about Rahul (Played by Shahrukh Khan as always: P) and his accidental trip to a village near Chennai where Meena’s Dad, a don (Meena played by Deepika padukone and Sathyaraj playing her Dad) rules and forcefully wants her to be married off to another of his kind. She flees her home, only to be caught by the goondi (as she calls it) of her powerful dad. But this time she has company, Rahul ending up becoming a part of it all. The whole saga of running away, ultimately falling in love in the due process and fighting for their love in typical south-Indian movie style is what Chennai Express offers you.
Shahrukh charms his way through with witty one liners delivered effortlessly and this might just be the funniest that you have ever came across him before in a complete comic role. The king shows why he is called a king.

Deepika padukone in chennai express
Deepika tried hard to match up the Tamil accent and language, the effort is visible, but appears a stereotypical caricature in most of the parts. But makes up for it, with her chemistry with Shahrukh. Emoting has always been a big addition to her role-play, and she does it beautifully apart from looking beautiful in kanjeevaram sarees.
When it comes to direction and depiction, Rohit Shetty has used Tamil language as it is used, rather than accented Hindi version which hardly anyone in the rural parts of TN speak. Kudos to him for not falling prey to “making tit easy for the audience” rather than telling the story the way it should be. Scenes where the characters shift to Antakshari mode in order to talk something secretive are done creatively.
There’s spoofs filled in between from old SRK movies, the famous DDLJ train scene being one of the highlights. Ridiculous for times like ours but works surprisingly. The south’s’ version of North-stereotyping has also been shown, perhaps a first for a mainstream Indian-movie.
Cinematography is an integral part and helps the narration sail with Srks way of letting the story come to life. Shots are breathtaking, the south was never shown with so much elegance, and the sets are made amazingly well.
First half is entertaining and funny, while the second half tried to describe the romance between SRK and Deepika. The idea here was that deepika fells for srk before he does. Rohit tried to this “love bloom”, and the climax all in the second half. Like his Golmal brand of comic movies, where everything is fitted at the end of the spectrum. Although this makes it looks a little shabby. Not that the chemistry between the pair doesn’t work, but it’s the story that finally decides that it just cannot forego all the tried-and-tested tricks of movie making, and falls in the trap of giving an ending which we have seen many times.
Songs are good and few for a Shahrukh movie, but does their job of lending support to the plot and are a way to celebrate the North-south diversity, differences and unity. The shots taken in some of the songs are breathtaking.
The film works due to the banter between the lead pair, and resonate the north-south tiff but finally giving way to love. Instead of continuing with the slap-stick comedies, the come-as-it-may funny banter does well in the film. If not for the clichéd ending, with almost the same dish to offer eventually, it falls short of being a great entertainer. Not that it doesn’t provide you that, but in packets mostly spanning the first half of the movie.
For a festival season and a commercial tone underlying, Chennai express is fun to board if you are okay with eating the same dish for dinner, which you had in lunch, served with genuine jokes which are fun.
I’m going with a 2.5 for Chennai Express, enjoy your weekend if you don’t mind watching “nothing-new-yet-entertaining stuff”. It’s sure to “Ready-steady-po” towards box-office success.