2.0 - One man's love for machines vs One man's love for sparrows. DOT.
The city is tormented by an unknown creature that stole every cellphone in the vicinity. When the concerned authorities are trying to figure out the phenomenon, few one per-centers get brutally murdered forcing Dr. Vaseegaran (Superstar Rajinikanth) & the government to reach out for Chitti the Robot for help. How Dr. Vaseegaran & Chitti team up to solve the mystery forms this visual extravaganza.
The story takes off by introducing the familiar characters along with the new humanoid Nila (Amy Jackson). Shankar doesn't waste much time and gets on with the proceedings. The whole flying cellphone sequence is handled well and the mystery behind this kept effectively hidden. Though, this particular aspect is over stretched, the way Shankar & team presents it visually holds our attention. The link to Endhiran (prequel) is cleverly connected without having to deviate much. Cliched characters and scenes are there but don't hamper the narration. The murders that occur promises old school Shankar. The dramatic elevation till Chitti's entry is notable. The reveal of the person behind disappearing cellphones is terrifically done in the interval shot.
Second half starts with Pakshiraja (Akshay Kumar) narrating his backstory. This whole segment gives the much needed emotional connect to the proceedings. The flashback is true Shankar's trademark, which reminds us off all his main blockbusters. Unlike those films, where the victim turns a super vigilante, a face for the common people, Pakshiraja turns against the common people. The concept taken is the battle between positive and negative energy which is more literal, or to say visual. The pace drops during the flashback as it needs time to establish the emotional depth and the social cause without too much into preaching.
What you get post the flashback is real visual spectacle. Shankar ties up one action sequence after another. The whole Dr. Vaseegaran (Pakshiraja) vs Chitti battle holds our attention thoroughly. Once evil Chitti is resurrected, it is all Superstar Rajinikanth magic on screen clubbed with never seen before visual effects. The whole 20-25 minutes prolonged climax is in a way tribute to the prequel's climax fight, upgraded to the extreme. It is this segment that justifies the title 2.0. Shankar clubs socially relevant message in a sci-fi entertainer in his own style.
Superstar Rajinikanth is fine as Dr. Vaseegaran without an iota of heroism. Superstar is good as Chitti who is in his elements. Superstar as evil Chitti brings the house down giving paisa vasool entertainment as expected. All in all a committed performance indeed.
Akshay Kumar is very good as Pakshiraja, both as the old Ornithologist as well as his evil self. Honestly, going by the story, it's his character who is the HERO in this story. He brings in a controlled performance in both the characters and it's commendable.
Amy Jackson as Nila brings in couple of chuckles as she gets couple of good one liners. Other than that, she's sidelined for most part of the film.
Sudhanshu Pandey as Bora's son from the prequel is average in a cliched weakly written role with hardly any scope.
Adil Hussain as Prime Minister is passable. This role is no challenge for him.
Mayilsamy as Minister's PA is routine & so is Anant Mahadevan.
Background Score & Sound Recording -
A special mention has to go to Resul Pookutty & team from 4D SRL for delivering perfectly, a one of a kind sound mixing. The real paisa vasool comes from this new technology. Even the minute sound is captured, just elevating the scene. Even in the loud action sequences, attention to detail to each of the element [Talking about the big climax fight] was simply hair-raising. I got my money's worth thanks to the sound recording.
Shankar's vision definitely needs an applause. This time he went back to his stronghold, an emotional backstory to make this a meaningful outing. While, Shankar the visual genius gets full marks, Shankar the story-teller stumbles post interval. Mainly because the writing gets him into a tight spot where he has his usual "hero" with a cause mounted as a super villain instead of super vigilante and has been pitted against the "hero" as well as "anti-hero" of the Endhiran universe. This hampered the emotional connect in the visually grand action set pieces in the second half.
But then, a film with this budget and it's visual world, can only be conceived by Shankar. No other Indian director would dare to think about this let alone pulling it off.
- A true blue 3D film. The effects are "neat". The budget spent on VFX really shows.
- The sound recording is exceptional. Gives an entirely different vibe to the experience.
- Superstar Rajinikanth as Chitti 2.0 & well, let's keep this a surprise.
- The funny one-liners which also gave a Nithyananda's epic speech reference.
- The Pakshiraja - Chitti - Vaseegaran face off in the second half.
- To an extent, Akshay Kumar's backstory as Pakshiraja.
- No unnecessary song breaks.
- Cliched screenplay.
- Lack of emotional connect.
- As audience, we are made aware who is the hero and we are also forced to support the robot to destroy the actual "hero".
- Just like first part, the way film ends is very underwhelming.
- Uneven dubbing for Akshay Kumar in one scene where the lip-sync has taken a beating. The film of this stature, it's unforgivable.
- The "Scientific Explanation" of Pakshiraja might not be appealing to all. Also, this segment slows the narration.
Final Rating - 3/5 [For the one of a kind visuals & background score.]
Final Words - It is one man's love for chitta kuruvis (sparrows) buried under an army of robots. Dot