Monday, November 8, 2010

Kollywood’s gift to Isaac Asimov

After witnessing an extraordinary hype for over a month since its release, exorbitantly, yet sustainably high prices of tickets, reading innumerable articles on Rajni, the Superstar and soaking up the essence that he undoubtedly has a Midas touch, I watched Enthiran, the super blockbuster Tamil movie, during Diwali 2010. I got my turn for this interesting rendezvous with Kollywood’s work on science fiction, on Nov 6, 2010.

I put my share of Rajni frenzy under control for a month and waited for the price of the ticket to fall from the range of Rs 1000/Rs 500 to a meek Rs 70. I am still aghast at multiplexes in Bangalore screening the movie for no less than Rs 200 per ticket, for even the earliest show of the day. That, in short, suggests the kind of boffo this movie is, at the box office.

Date: Nov 6, 2010
Time/Show: 6 pm
Venue/Theatre: Single screen, Cauvery Theatre, Sankey Road, Bangalore
Ticket Price: Rs 70 per ticket

The film opens with Dr.Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth), a robotics scientist, researching and creating an andro-humanoid robot out of ten years of dogged diligence. His robot, his look alike, christened as Chitti, functions at a speed of 1 Terra hertz, has humungous memory, possesses ability to understand multiple languages, cook dishes from world cuisine, perform different martial arts, dance to classical, rock, jazz and techno tunes and grasp details from a dozen books in a single scan – be it medical literature or telephone directory records. Chitti performs all tasks as instructed by its master, Dr.Vaseegaran, blissfully devoid of emotions and any reasoning derived from them. The inability to comprehend human emotions and apply those drives Chitti and its creator to face varied problems. Chitti’s rejection by Professor Bora, played by Danny Denzongpa, in a conference held at research centre, drives Dr.Vasee convincingly into a compulsive urge to make his robot emote and take decisions based on emotional reasoning.

It is a treat to watch Danny don the role of a villain after a long span. When Vasee proudly announces to Professor Bora that Chitti can now emote, infer human emotions and is not merely a dumb machine that executes orders blindly, Bora laughs sheepishly and cites unfathomable problems are just about to begin.

Sana, Dr. Vasee’s long time girl friend, played by Aishwarya Rai, is cordial with Chitti right from the start and completely awestruck by his abilities. With human emotions newly activated in the robot and a hormone like mechanism topping its original neural schema, the closeness between the two lets love blossom in Chitti for Sana. All hell breaks loose. There is so much pandemonium that Vasee is forced to destroy his most cherished creation.

However, like a phoenix, from the garbage, with Professor Bora’s help, Chitti rises, with bouts of negative qualities injected via a red chip. A new stylish look is imparted to Chitti, the terminator, with insurmountable abilities to destroy and devastate. Intense love for Sana still lingers, forcing Chitti to abduct her from her wedding and confine her in quarters, run and managed by robot clones like itself. The remaining story is on how this mayhem leads to incalculable damage to life and property. Anyone/anything coming in way of Chitti’s love for Sana is ravaged completely without the slightest hesitation, not even Prof.Bora is spared.

The climax is stupendous as man takes up the extremely difficult and nearly impossible task of terminating the machines awfully gone wrong, he had created. It is a heap of special effects perfectly crafted and executed that leaves the audience spellbound and in complete acceptance of the fact that Enthiran is better than likes of English movies like I, Robot.

Good prevails over evil always; the red chip is ejected from Chitti, thanks to Dr. Vasee’s efforts. Chitti, the robot Vasee created and held close to his heart, becomes adorable again. It dismantles itself completely upon instructions issued by the court of law. Vasee and Sana marry. Chitti is lodged in the Robotics museum, available for millions to view and is hailed as a man-made marvel even 20 years later.

The film is 100% special because Rajinikanth stars in it. For audience who has seen Rajni in negative shade years back, in movies like Avargal and Apoorva Raagangal, Chitti with a red-chip in this movie is a gentle reminder that Superstar a.k.a Thalaiva is indomitable even as a villain. Like all Rajni movies, Enthiran too ends with a message – human beings across the world are infested with many red chips with negative emotions like anger, jealousy, lust etc. Robots are only machines and can be dismantled with ease, but how to handle human beings ?

Enthiran has true strengths apart from Rajni, the Superstar. The story is interesting, a concept each one of us can relate to. We are living in an era where scientific spirit tends to overdominate, man is trying to create life; artificially tweak and interfere excessively with many natural phenomena. The movie clearly points out the stark reality behind all these human excesses – complete devastation.

Special effects in the climax are stunning, thanks to posse of technicians from the West who helped Tamil film industry scale such heights. AR Rahman’s music is catchy only in two songs in my opinion – Kilimanjaro and Irumbiley. Even here, the brilliance is largely because of beautiful locales like Machu Pichu, Peru and excellent choreography. Aishwarya Rai is a beautiful lass, comes out pretty in all costumes and grooves well to all tunes.

There is a hero about whom I have not yet uttered a word, more appropriately, the true hero. It is the movie’s director – Shankar who dared to dream so big and ensured that his dream thrives in minds of millions, world over. His zeal to experiment and provide a genuinely refreshing movie to the audience, deserves unlimited accolades. I am sure, Isaac Asimov, the renowed sci-fi writer will be content with this small Indian gift from the kitty of Sun Pictures.


Bedazzled said...

nice review..i saw it in the first week of release and must say that it was an exhilarating feeling!!

Sudha said...

hi Divya
loved your blog..planning to read through every post very soon....thank you for stopping by my blog and sharing such wonderful thgts...i m so glad you found me and brought back an assurance that I am not alone in thinking the way i do :)...scorp power and thgts are very similar right!! I would to see more ideas from you