"The day I heard the narration I knew that @iamsrk + Rohit Shetty can only mean one thing. A Blockbuster," music composer Shekhar Ravjiani tweeted last night. His tweet more or less sums up most of the expectations from Chennai Express. With the Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan and comedy king Rohit Shetty coming together, do they rise to a new level?
Critics have reviewed the movie and most of them appreciate this Shetty-Khan joint venture.
Chennai Express is the story of north Indian man - Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) who accidently lands in a south Indian village after meeting Meena Amma (Deepika Padukone) and how his life changes thereafter.
Rohit Shetty has not fared any better getting a more solid storyline than his earlier comic capers (last being Bol Bachchan). This is a crowd-entertainer for the typical Bollywood-masala film lover. Sarita Tanwar writes for DNA, "It has all the ingredients -- big star cast, drama, action, comedy, songs, the car chases and the big finish, all delivered in Rohit Shetty's unapologetic ishtyle."
Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV writes, "Chennai Express warms up pretty quickly and delivers exactly what you would expect from a Rohit Shetty film: runaway entertainment."
Tamil is used too often in Chennai Express; sometimes with Deepika Padukone offering a translation but most of the times there are no subtitles, as SRK would say in the film. Chatterjee writes, "What is most unusual about Chennai Express is that at least half its spoken lines are delivered in Tamil. Yet comprehension is never a problem, thanks to a screenplay that tides over the need to explain every dialogue in chaste Hindi."
Chennai Express is funny in Rohit Shetty style but mostly in the first half. Shubhra Gupta writes for Indian Express, "The laughs came intermittently through the first half, and I was still sitting in my seat at the interval."
Film critic Mayank Shekhar, however, does not find Chennai Express funny at all: "Throughout, at least I couldn't spot a single moment that had me even mildly chuckling. I didn't hear too many people howling away from the seats behind me either."
Shah Rukh Khan returns to his romantic self, only he plays the common man instead of a stud wooing his heroine. Here, he is the vulnerable man who can run off to Deepika Padukone so she saves him from her family of goons. Tanwar writes, "The actor returns to what he does best -- romance. But it isn't the sacrificing and soppy love of Jab Tak Hai Jaan. This one is a crowd-pleaser."
Deepika Padukone, too, has essayed her role with perfection. Tanwar writes, "Deepika delivers yet another fantastic performance. She stays in character throughout and matches her co-star's energy and enthusiasm whether it is singing dialogues or fighting goondas."
Saibal Chatterjee agrees, "Chennai Express also gives Deepika Padukone a vantage seat in the best coach and she makes the most of the opportunity. As a southern mafia don's feisty daughter, Meena, she lays it on really thick, both in terms of accent and body language."
The movie, however, does falter on a few stops. Mayank Shekhar writes, "The picture looks tackier than most low-budget stuff you may have seen lately. Lighting is shadowy in parts, camera sometimes zooms in on the hero's make-up, key sequences inside a running train or car appear as if they've been shot with a screen in the background."
Shubhra Gupta writes, "This is a pair trying to have some fun, and coming up with some genuinely funny moments. Padukone looks lovely and sticks to a spunky over -the- topness, and doesn't waver, till she's made to go all emotional. That's when her graph dips. That's when Shah Rukh's raffish charm slips. And that is also when Chennai Express derails."
The viewer is treated to some beautiful scenes when the film enters south India. There are breath-taking aerial views of mountains, rivers and the sea - scenes you expect from an SRK movie. This is the most picturesque film Shetty has given us.
Watch Chennai Express for Shah Rukh Khan carrying off comedy the Rohit Shetty style, only sans his below the belt humour. Avoid it if Bollywood potboilers are not your cup of coffee!
Shashi Tharoor: yes I thought Chennai Express was a terrific entertainer. Esp 1st half. Didn't want intermission to come! Well done @iamsrk
@karanjohar: The word is out that #ChennaiExpress is a huge BLOCKBUSTER!!! Seeing it as I get back!!! This express is going to hit the roof!!!!
Abba Dabba Jabba @OB_noxious1m: #chennaiexpress
is KICKASS!! Pacy film with some really good performances. Sure-shot success! Kaushik LM @lmkmoviemaniac3m: Finally
ill be gracious enough to rate #ChennaiExpress anywhere between 1.5 and 1.75 stars, that too only for some scenes in the 1st half Divya: @divyangana40s
: Chennai Express will cross 100 cr. I mean if Bol Bachchan did, then why not this. And this is the only reason why SRK agreed to the movie.