Chennai Express – Not A Review!

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I tried. A lot. I tried a lot not to write about anything related to Chennai Express. Because, it is really taxing and stressful, to say the least, to maintain sanity afterwards, what with pro and anti SRK (and Salman) people (read fanbois) flooding the comments section.
But then, since the internet is flooded with articles around it, I thought, what the heck, let me jump in the bandwagon (read CE-blitzkrieg) and let me also give my opinion.
So, here are my 2-cents on Chennai Express (which I’m sure, nobody is bothered about!)Β and no, this is not a review.

Let us discuss the critic-reviews of the movie before moving on to my opinions.

  1. First of all, Taran Uncle has given Chennai Express 4 stars. We all know that Taran is like that encouraging uncle who knows that the work done by the kid is shitty, yet he appreciates the kid for his effort. I want the thesaurus he uses while writing the reviews. So many adjectives and new ones that too. πŸ˜€
  2. Komal has dissed the movieΒ more than appreciating it. Says the distributors may burn their pockets. (In totally unrelated news, he hasn’t made a proper post out of the review and one can’t link to the Chennai Express review individually and will have to link to an untitled post on his blog! But then, we aren’t speaking about the technical abilities of the reviewer, are we?)
  3. The real surprises were Aseem Chhabra‘s and Anna Vetticad‘s reviews. While these 2 were expected to be harsh on the movie, they both seemed to have taken a liking towards Chennai Express. Chhabra gives a decent mix of pros and cons of the movieΒ and has appreciated SRK’s energy. Anna has done the same in her review, but she has tried to read more between the lines and come up with some beautiful inferences.

Now we come to the most beautiful part. The negative reviews!

  1. Raja Sen has thrashed Chennai Express in his review.Β Says SRK is at sea and is over-powered by her co-star Deepika Padukone. And that he missed Ajay Devgn.
  2. The Telegraph calls it as Silly Express and says that ‘the kingdom SRK rules has always resided in his head. The way he has called the shots. The choices he has made. For 22 years.’ I’m yet to decipher whether this was a compliment or a taunt. [Will give the reviewer the benefit of doubt and take it as a compliment.] Oh, and in their review,Β they say that Chennai Express is strictly unfunny, needlessly stretched and mostly very rotten and that SRK has become jaded. (Again, what?)
  3. But, Mihir Fadnavis takes the cake. His review, although scathingly harsh and vehemently thrashing Chennai Express,Β has been the most hilarious movie review I’ve read so far. He makes fun of Deepika’s accent and writes the review in her language. “SRK ham-fest karti. Mai Facepalm karti.” At-least he says, ‘go watch it! :P’

The funniest thing is, FirstPost actually agreed to publish such a review. It’s a mix of Tamil and Hindi with a few English words thrown here and there.
And today, they come up with this disclaimer : “Editors note: We had inadvertently published this review with a few lines that contained Tamil swear words. The lines have since been removed and we apologise to our readers.”

Too late FirstPost, you already lost my respect.

Oh, and FirstPost also has so many other articles dissing Chennai Express and calling it a failed Rajni plotΒ or SRK’s mythologyΒ and his quest for that elusive blockbuster. [Yeah, right, he has had none :D]
I’m sure there would be many more of such posts from FirstPost in the coming days. πŸ™‚

I know there are many other reviews, but I haven’t read them and have no intention of reading them either. Nothing new.

Oh, although, there are mixed reviews above, they all have one thing in common. They all appreciate Deepika Padukone and her work. Some even go on to say that Deepika’s performance sometimes over-shadows SRK’s and that the film is more watchable for Deepika rather than SRK.
Way to go, girl! πŸ™‚

My apologies, I got so carried away by the reviews that I forgot this post was supposed to be about my opinions on Chennai Express. πŸ˜€ But then, when you read all these reviews, there isn’t much to add.

First things first, about Rohit Shetty.
Chennai Express is totally different from his previous works. His movies are loud, crass, filled with crude humor, hell bent on entertaining the audiences and all about flying cars. It’s another thing that almost all of his movies work and make great money at the BO.
But, here, when he has associated himself with SRK, he has toned himself down. The movie isn’t loud, crude, crass or cheap. It’s decent. He and SRK have made this movie for the family audience.
Of course, the movie is silly and mindless, but still, it entertains. And nicely so. It makes you laugh, cry, smile and enjoy.

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Coming to Deepika Padukone.
Although everyone thrashed or made fun of her accent after watching the trailer, almost everyone has appreciated her acting in the movie and have also taken to her accent kindly.
It is one of her best performances.
Well, this is more of an under-statement for Deepika. I’m sure, this statement was used when Cocktail released, then YJHD and now Chennai Express. Her performances and career-graph has only had an upper-graph, (so far, at-least) and she has become a star in her own right.
Also, Deepika looks so beautiful in the Sarees, especially in the songs, the background seems to be accentuating her appearance.
From OSO to CE, life has come a full-cycle for her. In both the movies, she stars opposite SRK.
Quite justifiably, her name appears before SRK’s in the opening credits. And, this is just not SRK’s generosity, she actually deserves it.

Coming to SRK, the less said about him the better. πŸ˜€
He plays the character of a 40-year old kid who is an idiot. His buffoonery makes you laugh, the weird facial expressions make you chuckle, his portrayal of a scared persona makes you identify with the character immediately and his energy is so high that you still can’t believe that he is actually 47-years old in real life.
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SRK has always played larger-than-life roles. The romance genre has given him the immense success and has made him the superstar that he is and is quite rightly titled the “King of Romance!”

But, in Chennai Express, he plays the character of a common-man. He is just another normal middle-class guy. Who is stupid enough to give hands to 4 bulky thugs to get on the train and miss his own plan. Who is scared of fighting and escapes at every opportunity. Who is stupid enough to get drunk and spoil his very own plan of eloping. Who is stupid enough to come back to the place where he knows he will be thrashed like a mosquito by the bulky Tangabali just to win his lady-love.

Of course, some have complained that he is trying too hard and that all those weird facial expressions were an exaggeration. Well, I found his comic-timing immaculate and was quite surprised because I didn’t really know that he had it in him!

And how handsome he looks in those aviators and cool tees. Especially in the blue jacket and white tee!
Some shots have been shot so beautifully that they simply accentuate the look of the stars. For instance, take that shot on the boat where SRK’s hands are tied with ropes and a close-up shot of him with helicopter in the background is shot! Beautiful!

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SRK does it all in the same movie. He makes you laugh, he romances, he sings, he dances, he makes you fall in love with him, he fights and he entertains!
And yes, he also does his trademark spread-arms step time and again! πŸ™‚
And the on-screen chemistry of SRK-Deepika is amazing, to say the least. They both look so cute together!

Coming to the movie, yes, it is mindless. Yes, it is stupid. Yes, it has loopholes. Yes, it could’ve been lot better. Yes, there could have been a story and logic. But, keep all this aside and yet, it is a beautiful movie.
It is cliched and stereotypical, yes, but it is not offensive. It doesn’t make fun of the region or the people of it.
The cinematography is amazing. Some breath-takingly beautiful scenic locations are picturised and the art-director has done a stupendous job.
The plot is a bit similar to SRK’s DDLJ, yes. But, the difference is, in DDLJ the woman wasn’t as strong as in CE. Also, SRK’s character asks the father in CE about the independence of women in the village and how come he is forcing his wishes upon his daughter against her wishes. Fair point, indeed.
Also, I found the (remixed songs) references to other movies funny. Many others didn’t. I already forgot all the movies but let me list out the few that I remember. SRK’s DDLJ, RNBDJ, MNIK and Ra.One. Also,Β Life Of Pi, The Dirty Picture and Singham among others.
Plus, some reviews say that the whole movie was trying to emulate Rajni-style. It is not so. Only the last song, Lungi Dance, was a tribute to Rajnikanth. Which was energetic and fun. πŸ™‚

At the end of the day, it is just a movie. Watch it and enjoy if you like or forget if you don’t. Simple. πŸ™‚

P.S : I know this post is so long that most of you won’t read it fully. But, no issues. Have something nice to contribute or discuss, please comment. No fanboy wars please. πŸ™‚

About Jigar Doshi

M.B.A. Blogger. Love to watch movies and read fiction. Occasionally, dabble with writing some fiction too. Spend most of leisure time on Twitter and Quora.
This entry was posted in bollywood, Chennai Express, critics, deepika padukone, movie reviews, movies, opinions, reviews, Rohit Shetty, Shah Rukh Khan, SRK. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Chennai Express – Not A Review!

  1. weboseowebsitedevelopment says:


    Thanks for choosing to write an article on this topic.I am from North
    who has stayed in Chennai and I can vouch for the fact that no one in
    South India has such a terrible accent. In fact, people in TN either
    know Hindi or don’t know at all. There is no stupidity like the one
    shown in the movie. Its funny that Rohit Shetty (presumably a Kannadiga)
    should make fun of Tamils. He seems to be working overtime to insult
    Tamils. The promos contain scenes showing Kathakkali dancers and the
    heroine is wearing sarees (white with golden border) more akin to
    Malyalis and not Tamils. Such crass depiction only strengthens the idea
    that Northies dont care enough to know and respect the diversity and
    richness of cultures from South. And the funniest part is that this myth
    is being propelled by none other Shetty (who I guess might be from
    South himself). Dumb movie makers want to continue to fan the hatred
    between North and South.

    • jigar doshi says:

      Hello Arvind,

      I am a South Indian myself and I know that Tamilians don’t talk like that, in fact everybody knows.
      It is just a movie, to be enjoyed and forgotten πŸ™‚
      (And since when did you start expecting logic and reality from commercial Bollywood movies?) πŸ™‚

      I don’t know about the ‘hidden agendas’ of the movie makers, but what I believe is that they wanted to entertain the audience and I think they succeeded at that.

      Cheers! πŸ™‚

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  3. Sunny says:

    This is the first review, where in the reviewer has judged the movie purely on what the movie was meant to be, not on what the reviewer would have loved to see πŸ™‚ Kudos to you n keep up the great work πŸ™‚
    And yes the movie delivered what was promised i.e. ENTERTAINMENT

  4. glutusmaximus says:

    The review reeks of SRKiss@ssery! There are no pros and cons…just pros
    for someone who has done something as wonderful as Chak De. After
    watching CD πŸ˜‰ I had renewed hope in the khan and the fact that he can
    act his age and can mellow down. So its very unfortunate to find that
    nothing really changed. There was RA1 and then this mess which might
    look funny for a non southerner but this is the very stereotyping that
    Southies have been fighting against for so many years! And please dont
    tell me that the ‘audience’ wants to see this balderdash. Anybody with
    an intellectual equivalent of a goat would understand that the audience deserves better! Hope your
    reviews have more poise and structure going forward without the suckup
    mentality that I am seeing on this one! Here’s to hoping πŸ™‚

    • jigar doshi says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t get paid for writing reviews. So, this opinion, is out of my own wishful thinking. Not for “suckup mentality” or something.
      Am a South-Indian too. Yet, I found it funny.
      To each his own, GlutusMaximus πŸ™‚

      Thank you for taking time and reading and commenting πŸ™‚


  5. Abhimanue says:

    first balanced review…. or an ‘actual review’ read so far….

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