Viewers at Ajial Cinema, Fahaheel howled, whistled and cheered when Rajnikanth (South Indian movie star) appeared on screen in his latest film - the most expensive Indian one so far, 'Endhiran' (The Robot), directed by a very techno-savvy Shanker. Cheers gave way to 'wows' and sometimes to yawns as the nearly 2 hour 45 minute special effects-laden movie progressed.
The film, which opened worldwide last Friday, is expected to rake in the moolah after news of the 1.6 billion rupees film production created a sensation. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays the female lead, with Oscar winners A R Rahman and Rasool Pookkutty providing music and sound mixing respectively.
Perhaps, the root cause of the problem lies with its flimsy plot. Inspired by the Will Smith starrer 'iRobot,' it was crushed under high-voltage technical wizardry. Perhaps Shanker had to make compromises, mindful of a business in which heavy investment was made. But sadly, the storyline - an android human with an overcharged emotional quotient level turning against 'his' creator - is overfilled with 'item' numbers (song sequences), humorous scenes and action packed so much so that the viewer ends up fee
ling over-loaded just like the machine gun toting villain turned-hero.
Endhiran's tryst with slick special effects is admirable and dinar worthy. Song locales are, as the clich� goes, breathtaking. Aishwarya is adorable, but the former Miss World seems to have forgotten to put flesh into her acting skills. Not only can we not identify with what is happening on screen, but the lady's 'toy friend' is like software program that everybody acknowledges as being great, but has no takers.
Rajni, portraying a socially dysfunctional character wears the most 'stylized' costumes, has a pronounced screen presence both as the scientist who created the robot and the emotionally-charged android. However, the reel-life chemistry between the macho man and the beauty is a nail in the wheel.
But in no way is the movie a nail in the coffin. It is a definite watch for anyone who is interested kitschy flicks that Indian movies are commonly known for. Rajnikanth fans as well as millions of viewers from around the world will not disappoint the star.
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