Chennai Express review roundup: Ignore SRK clichés for a fun ride!

It seems, if you ignore the few clichés (the repetition of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge scenes and the lines that we have heard SRK narrating in his popular films), the lack of punch in the script and even the high predictability factor, then you are onboard for a fun ride with Chennai Express!

FP Staff August 10, 2013 13:43:40 IST
Chennai Express review roundup: Ignore SRK clichés for a fun ride!

The  Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer Chennai Express did not impress critics much.

The Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari and Lungi Dance have ignited fun. But reviews say the comedy seems to be a forced insertion at various points.

Critics say Shah Rukh Khan, in his act throughout the film, is zany, charming and at times flinching. But most of them praised Deepika Padukone for her consistently funny accent, which makes up for many laughs.

It seems, if you ignore the few clichés (the repetition of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge scenes and the lines that we have heard SRK narrating in his popular films), the lack of punch in the script and even the high predictability factor, then you are onboard for a fun ride with Chennai Express!

Here's a roundup of some of the reviews of Chennai Express:

Chennai Express review roundup Ignore SRK clichs for a fun ride

Film Poster

Deepanjana Pal writes in Firstpost: It’s unfair to call Rohit Shetty’s latest offering a film. Rather, Chennai Express is a gift that keeps giving. The promised box office collections suggest it’s going to give Shetty and all those who have partnered with him a lot of money.

There are gags, explosions, helicopters, pretty settings, fights and even a midget, which means the film is a crowd pleaser. The story is about as watery as the sambar in a bad Udipi restaurant — with clichés floating about like miserable bits of drumstick — which means critics have enough to complain about while writing their reviews.

Anupama Chopra writes in Hindustan TimesChennai Express plays neither to Rohit’s strengths nor to Shah Rukh’s. It’s a strangely sloppy mishmash of cheesy humour, half-hearted romance, half-baked emotion and head-banging action. The film is filled with gigantic men whose size functions as a punch line. Yes, some of it is funny. The locations are beautiful. And I enjoyed watching Deepika Padukone as Meena, the don’s daughter with the thick accent, who meets Rahul on Chennai Express and turns his life upside down. Padukone’s spirited performance — she even makes that accent attractive — helps to lift the film.

But, mostly, Chennai Express is a slog. Rohit’s movies have never been about plot or character or performances. His films have only one function: to entertain you by whatever means necessary. But sadly a film specifically designed not to bore does exactly that.

Meena Iyer writes in Times of India: Chennai Express (CE) is a magnificently mounted film. Never having been strong in the story department, CE too has a guillible plot line.

For what is primarily a Hindi film, there's too much spoken Tamil. There are cleverly written lines that ask you not to underestimate the south because it even plays a crucial role in the coalition government, but for the rest of India, a lot of the dialogue is lost in translation. Subtitles would be in order.

After Cocktail and Yeh Jaawani Hai Deeewani, Deepika is once again in superlative form. Shah Rukh's attempts at comedy go from convincing to convoluted. But, for the most part, he lights up the screen with his effervescence.

Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama writes: CHENNAI EXPRESS is *not* path-breaking at all. Nor does it cater to those who scoff at potboilers. Rohit has always claimed that he's still that common man watching movies at a singleplex, so his movies, consequently, cater to those with an appetite for masalathons. CHENNAI EXPRESS lives up to the Himalayan expectations that you have from the project. It's an entertainer that proves that the SRK - Rohit Shetty combo is truly magical. In fact, it's one of the best combos to hit the masala film space.

Final word? Just leave everything and board this Express called CHENNAI EXPRESS. Pronto. This one's a feast for those who love, adore, relish and worship zany masala entertainers!

Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV writes: It's a somewhat long ride that occasionally teeters on the edge of tedium, but it certainly isn't all wrong. Parts of Chennai Express, propelled by a spirit of inspired lunacy that holds the no-holds-barred action comedy in good stead, is markedly better than the sum total of the film.

If only it had enough steam to sustain its momentum all the way to the very end, it would probably have been far more fun to watch.

But do hop aboard. This Express is designed for quite a crazy carousel. If you hang in there and do not allow the many distractions and diversions along the way throw you off track, you might actually find yourself getting into the swing of things, especially in the first half.

The whole-hearted zeal that SRK and Deepika bring to the table and the steady flow of funny one-liners serve Shetty's purpose well, turning Chennai Express into an elopement-against-all-odds rigmarole that hits the right buttons at most turns.

Aseem Chhabra writes in rediff.com: Chennai Express is a full throttle masala entertainment ruled by 47-year-old Khan’s star power. He works so hard in film - in playing a comic character, in breaking out into dances, being the romantic Khan that Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar have defined in their films, and ultimately the violent, action hero.

The film’s plotline is full of holes, often implausible: a Tamil-speaking sardar turns out to be a lone north Indian in a village in Tamil Nadu and also the local police chief (or was he just a constable?); Khan and Padukone, on the run from the henchmen of her father, keep getting support from other villagers – clothes, a fabulous house to stay in and jeeps to escape; the jeeps start on their own – no keys required; and during one of his escapes, Khan lands in a boat run by oil smugglers operating between India and Sri Lanka.

There is so much silliness in Chennai Express, but the film does not take itself seriously.

Rajeev Masand writes in IBNlive:

Some films are hard to make sense of. Others are just nonsense. Chennai Express, directed by Rohit Shetty, ticks both boxes. More than a quarter of the film is in Tamil, and hence incomprehensible if you're unfamiliar with the language. The rest is a stew of puerile humor, lazy stereotypes, and way-over-the-top acting from a star who appears to be trying too hard.

What you get are insipid songs, a long sermon on women empowerment, more cars being flipped like pancakes and so many references to 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' that you wish you were sitting in Maratha Mandir watching that film instead.

I'm going with a generous two out of five for 'Chennai Express'. How to put this politely? It's a big, fat bore. A bloated vanity project for an actor capable of so much more.

And, here's a review written in Deepika Padukone's character Meena's Tamil-accented Hindi. This one by Mihir Fadnavis is a must-read.

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