Monday, October 04, 2010

Rajanikanth's Robot rocks: Movie mania sweeps across India [Endhiran Film review]

Rajnikanth’s latest flick, Robot, is truly a mind-boggling movie that has been made on a scale hitherto unseen in Indian movies. It entertains the audience with such special effects and stunts that surpass even some of the Hollywood movies.

Just a few initial scenes were enough to convince the guy sitting next to me that Salman Khan, whose Dabangg was released recently, now appeared nothing but a toddler after seeing the incredible action scenes in Robot [Hindi version, while it is released as Endhiran in Tamil].

Rajni’s persona and the way he carries himself as a scientist in love with Aishwarya and also the friendly robot built by him in the first half of the movie apart from the evil Chitti [robot’s name] in the second half, is laudable.

Enough has been written about the story. The fact is that Shankar has done a marvellous job. The stunts and fight scenes inside the train, atop it and the animations through out the movie are simply spectacular. The story is also original and not a lift or Hollywood adaptation.

A friend’s jaw remained dropped for most part of the film. While cine-goers in South are familiar with superhuman stunts, it might dazzle the North Indian audience at some point. However the way script moves ahead and it’s ‘Rajini the Robot’ who performs the action scenes and not the scientist, which make them somewhat credible.

It’s difficult to believe that a 61-year-old actor is in the midst of this breathtaking action. While Rahman’s music and the songs didn’t leave much of an impression, Rajinikant [as spelt in Tamil] with his tremendous screen presence and star value pulled the film all alone.

In process, he has also given a fresh lease of life to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s career that was in doldrums. It is undoubtedly Indian cinema’s major leap in terms of stunts as also animation.

There are interesting scenes, fun and also emotion. Dr Vasikaran, the scientist creates the robot, Chitti, which later gets emotions and falls in love with his own maker’s ladylove. A tale of rebellion with science fiction and fantasy unfolds thereafter. Even the robo’s end is no less dramatic.

Perhaps the climax is a bit outlandish though it has also been praised lavishly by some critics. It’s a rather longish movie, almost three hours. Most of the audience seemed either transfixed or at least impressed but there was a guy who complained of slight headache in the end.

Though there is a difference in taste of movie-goers in North and South considering which certain comedy scenes were cut for North Indian version, the film is all set to succeed across the country.

I loved it. It is advisable to watch Robot in the cinema hall. I am sure Bollywood directors and actors would shed the belief that theirs is the cinema which represents India.

What I like about the actor is that he is quite down to earth in real life. He behaves like an ordinary man and wears no makeup or wig to appear in public, unlike the rest of our super stars. But when he is on celluloid, he rules the screen like none else and fans get hysteric.

The Maharashtra-born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad alias Rajanikanth acted in his first movie in 1975, almost the same era when Amitabh Bachchan arrived on the scene. Thirty five years after, Rajani still rules and plays the hero while all of his contemporaries have other retired or been cast in side roles.

For years we have tried to unravel the mystery named Rajanikant. He is a cult in Southern India and Rajini mania is nothing short of religion. He had charged a whopping Rs 260 million [26 crore] for his last movie, Sivaji, the highest rate in Asia, and his films are hit in Japan and Malaysia.

For Robot he is reportedly getting aorund Rs 45 crore, which is three to four times what Shahrukh Khan or Amir Khan charge. Isn't this amazing, especially when in North India we remember him more for Andha Qanoon, Hum and Chalbaaz and consider him a regional star?

Perhaps after watching this movie, this phenomenon could be demystified in North India also. Despite being a super fantasy, Robot—the costliest film ever made in India, succeeds in holding you hooked till the end. My verdict is out. Superstar Rajni rocks.