- The rule of the thumb for Tamil movies should be, ‘The more hype, the bigger the disappointment’.
Rajinikanth’s 2.0 was expected to be the blockbuster of the decade. It has to be, right? Being the most expensive Indian film ever made, costing a monumental US$75million. Lyca Productions pulled out all the stops when it came to promoting 2.0. They even released the video clip of the song Enthira Logathu Sundariye a full 4 days before the premiere, an unprecedented move in the film fraternity. Shankar promised us the moon, but what we got was, possibly, a bird.
Straight to the point.
Rajinikanth movies off late seem to be cutting the unnecessary pizzazz that come with it. 2.0 follows suit, and is straight to the point. There was no mass hero introduction scene. No colourful group dance shot from up above. No needless hip swaying. No irrelevant banter between the hero and comedian, because there was no comedian! The comedic elements, however, were well placed. The only time wasted was during Vasi’s phonecalls to Sana to explain why she isn’t part of the movie. Meh.
Rajinikanth, our saviour!
2.0 would have been a flop if the lead actor was anyone other than Rajinikanth. The Superstar is still at the top of his game, carrying out his roles with equal amounts of sass and seriousness. In fact, he actually looks like he is having a good time, and jovially takes on the peculiar requirements of the script with ease.
Rahman NEVER DISAPPOINTS!
A R Rahman is an asset to 2.0. With only three songs (you read that right) in the entire movie, one would imagine that this would be a gripe. Nope, the audience isn’t left thirsty for more Rahaman-ness. The music was well timed, and quite perfect. The song Pullinangal by singer Bamba Bakya is a breath of fresh air in the movie, literally. The beautiful tune captures the essence of the movie during the flashback, and Na Muthukumar’s lyrics certainly do it justice.
Enthira Logathu Sundariye was dreadful to watch unless you enjoy watching Amy Jackson’s failed lip sync to the simple word ‘raajali’, she kept mouthing ‘paajali’. Can’t help but to wonder how the filmmakers missed this. The classic robotic Rajini dance moves work well as Chitti dancing, though.
Akshay Kumar portrayed two very different characters in the movie, both executed to perfection by the actor. In fact, if Rajinikanth wasn’t Rajinikanth, Akshay would have stolen the show. We must add that the makeup for Akshay was done perfectly for both characters. We can’t say the same for Rajinikanth’s makeup though.
The whitest of them all
It is laughable that in the most expensive Indian movie made to date, there was ONE female character amidst a sea of men. And that female character was a robot played by an actress who isn’t even Indian.
Amy Jackson, however, may have found her true calling in acting. Robots. The Brit carries the role of Nila perfectly, so much so that we knew she was a robot even before it was revealed. Her stiff, wooden acting would make Arnold Schwarzenegger proud. In fact, sci-fi movies might become a trend in Tamil films, just so they can cast Amy Jackson in a role that she does so damn well.
Anniyan + Marvel + Transformers
Two important parts of 2.0 resembled the Shankar’s earlier flick Anniyan. The beginning is unmistakable as people get killed in odd ways one by one. Later on in a movie, there is a scene where a character goes through a similar Ambi-Anniyan back and forth.
The duel between the the huge Chitti-turned Magneto and the antagonist in a stadium is reminiscent of one of the many Transformers movies. But somehow, Enthiran’s Chitti formations seemed to be more enjoyable.
Hey Shankar, a little déjà vu is fine. What we could’t take was that Anniyan felt creepier. Shouldn’t a revolt of technology be creepier than a man with multiple personality disorder?
A CGI orgy
The whole movie felt like a CGI fiesta. Yes, we admit, in terms of effects, it is certainly a step up from Enthiran. And don’t get us wrong, it was mind boggling to watch so many Chittis run about, but it didn’t feel legit. In a Marvel movie, even a monster stomping on a city is believable. 2.0 just didn’t. Honestly, anyone who has visited knows that there are no skyscrapers in downtown Chennai, so why bother putting all that in?
The flashback alone felt REAL. The audience collectively sighed, and it’s safe to say that everyone was thinking, “Oh wow, there’s actually a story here,”. That bit was certainly a lovely respite for the eyes.
Shankar may have spread himself too thin
Shankar may have taken on too much. He is behind the story, screenplay and the direction of 2.0, and yet it falls short. It almost feels like he has thrown a bulk of the budget to the visual effects guys. More thought and time could have been put into the story itself, and the end product would have been a perfect package.
Will 2.0 go down in history as one of Rajinikanth’s best work, probably not. Heck, it isn’t even Shankar’s best. Let’s not forget that Shankar is a visionary. If anything, the execution of 2.0 is going to pave the way for better visual effects in future Tamil movies. And for that, kudos.