The first reflex upon coming out of Chennai Express is probably to question whether Shah Rukh Khan is really past his prime _ to the extent that he must settle for slapstick comedy. Then again, people need to remember that this energetic and literally colourful movie was not meant to be taken seriously.
Chennai Express Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. Directed by Rohit Shetty. Limited release at Major Ekamai, Rama 3, Pattaya and Paragon.
The moments on the namesake Chennai Express are hardly idyllic reminiscences of train-filled romantic reels from the 90s as it starts out with our hero Rahul (Khan) unknowingly helping four thug-like blokes and gorgeous lass Meena (Deepika Padukone) onto a moving train. Turns out she's a southern don's daughter on the run from an arranged marriage and is getting "kidnapped" back to her village by her father's goons.
But 40-year-old Rahul's got his own checklist to complete _ mostly heading to Goa with his bachelor friends to finally live out his dreams now his over-possessive grandfather is dead _ although the main reason he had boarded the train was to fool his grandmother that he really was heading halfway across the country to complete the dead man's final wish: to have his ashes spread at Rameshwaram. Of course, his unfortunate run into Meena and the gangsters can only mean he is now also tangled into this messy business of getting dragged to her village as well, and what ensues is the leading pair's misadventures of trying to get away, again and again.
The King may be comedic, but not without an obnoxious glow that makes you wish he weren't such a capricious cheek. How his relationship develops with Meena is simply scrunched up into the last quarter of the movie and the chemistry is nowhere near as memorable or stirring as we've first seen the pair in Om Shanti Om.
However, the cinematography is amazing and displays the spectacular south in such a mesmerising way that it even distracts you from how annoying Khan is. With lots of best-of-Shah-Rukh-Khan-movies jokes thrown all along the 141 minutes, Chennai Express does have its moments, along with watching our favourite 47-year-old actor doing stunts as if he were still 20. It's not set to be an unforgettable legend like other King Khan projects, but it's a good mindless romp that the kids will surely also enjoy.
About the author
- Writer: Parisa Pichitmarn
Position: Life Writer