Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson
It has been 8 years since we saw Chitti first. Rajinikanth as a robot blew everyone’s mind away. Robot (Enthiran originally) was something we had not seen being made in Indian cinema. When something begins on such a high, the sequel to it needs to be bigger. An idea that germinated in 2015, when the story and the principal cast got together, has taken thre years to complete. The long wait, the 543 Crores that are spent on making this film, the grand actors coming together, will it all be worth your ticket money? Let’s find out…
The film begins with an omen of doom, you know something is about to go terribly wrong. Almost instantly, everything starts falling part and the state government is clueless. They declare an emergency, seeking help from the military but the armed forces also cannot understand how and why everything is getting destroyed. From ministers to laymen, no one is safe and the only person they can seek help from is Thalaiva himself… aka scientist Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth).
Vaseegaran by default thinks of Chitti (again Rajinikanth) who has been put to rest but the government wouldn’t hear of it. They want to avoid chaos as much as possible! However, soon they realise Chitti is the only answer.
It is towards the interval that we finally put a face, or rather beak on the man behind the menace - Pakshi Rajan (Akshay Kumar).
Here’s a piece of trivia for all cinema lovers, when an A-lister actor agrees to do a negative role, one can take it for granted that the villain’s backstory will make you shed a tear or two, completely justifying his villainy and so on. Pakshi Rajan is no exception to that rule. He is a man who has the deepest empathy towards birds (as we all should) and he cannot bear it when humans in the name of technology are showing complete disregard for the welfare of the birds. With sparrows disappearing, birds dying everywhere, the hatchlings are starving and in despair. Yet, he doesn’t start off wanting to destroy every cell phone on the surface of the earth. He does try to seek help but he is humiliated, disgraced and mocked into the corner making retaliation his only path. His vendetta is to let everyone realise that the world is not only for humans (he is obviously thinking about birds, not the humanoids who are taking maximum screen space in this film)
However the vengeance of Pakshi Rajan needs to be curtailed and Chitti along with Nila (Amy Jackson) – a lady humanoid, gets the ball rolling. We don’t really need to get into the details of how the good will win over the evil, because quite frankly Shankar didn’t pay much attention to it either. The fact of the matter is that there is a war, and a spectacular one at that. The VFX in the film is fantastic, to a level where Indian cinema has not reached. Each and every scene is breath taking, and completely worth your 3D ticket rates. Be it Pakshi Rajan’s carpet of cell phones, or Chitti flying a bird, the detailing is mind blowing and a visual treat. Nothing about the film is substandard, other than perhaps its oversimplified script and songs. Though, AR Rahman delivers when it comes to the background score, the songs are nothing to hum to and frankly could completely be removed from the film. The love angle between Nila and Chitti is also bizarre. But the cinematography by Nirav Shah and the sounds by Resul Pookutty really add to the grandeur of the film telling you that 2.0 is a complete technical feast with very less for others to do and in others I am including Rajinikanth who is in virtually every scene be it as Vaseegaran or Chitti or Chitti 2.0 or Chitti 3.0 - phew! Amy Jackson does her best too, but her portion is insignificant in the face of the movie at large. Of course, Akshay Kumar made it a point to get his quota of scenes with finesse. So he emotes, he fights and he flies with élan. But the star of the film is Shankar all the way. His technique is sound and fool proof, he delivers what is expected of him while his vision of the greater picture remains undeterred. Pity the film has had a very stringent and select distribution, which might make the film struggle to make a ‘Bahubali’ profit.