Forecast: Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson
Director: S Shankar
Rating: 2 Stars (of 5)
He is back. This time, Chitti is reloaded and primed to confront a force that is out to eliminate mobile phones and mobile transmission towers from Tamil Nadu. The battle between good and evil, between nature and technology, plays out over two and a half hours in a zone where all segments are blurry in a way that allows for more interpretations. But because storytelling is, well, robot, the frenetic action sequences rarely affect the heights of flying mobiles. The film speaks in the long run of the spooky reality of sparrows disappearing from our metropolises – a theme that is erased by newspapers and social media platforms – but the nature of the debate is buried deeply during a flashy, impressive demonstration of animatronics, special effects and prostheses.
Eight years is a long time in the life of a movie star. But for Rajnikanth, some hiatus can only be a snap.2.0, director and co-screenwriter Shankar's follow-up to 2010 Enthiran (Robot in Hindi) has materialized after the Tamil cinema supernova has used the long break to appear in four movies (Kochadaiiyaan, Lingaa, Kabali and Kaala). It has been in the work longer than Dr Vaseegaran took to emphasize the Chitti tanker. The film and the star show clear signs of wear and tear. For Rajnikanth fans, however, this should not be more than a less annoying.
A mysterious force – its origin is established in the movie's opening sequence, where a man is hanging from a cell tower – is out to eliminate mobile telephony from the earth's surface. The towers get rotten and crushed. The handsets fly off their hands and turn into a devastating wave. A city is in the grip of complete chaos. The army is called, but the soldiers pull a plot. The good researcher is roped in to stop the imminent accident. He recommends bringing Chitti back from the dead. That's what he says is the only effective alternative in the fight against the new threat. His plan is counteracted by elements in the administration, but as things begin to go out of control, Vaseegaran ensures a free hand.
"Maut se zinda lautne ka mazaa kuch aur hi hai (nothing can match the joy of coming back alive from death), says Chitti in the movie's Hindi version (dialogue writer: Abbas Tyrewala) just before declaring: "I'm the one, the super." Who dares to ask him? Definitely not human Nila (Amy Jackson), another of Vaseegarans creations. On the front side, the main actor picks into the universe of the two pivotal characters – the invincible robot and his brilliant creator – with all his power. But look deeper and there is a visible dip in his enthusiasm for and believe in the project. Fans sold on Rajnikanth's unrelenting starry songfroid may therefore have reason to feel a bit shortchanged.
With Akshay Kumar, in its very first southern affair, both star power and emotional energy radiate in the second half of the film in the shape of an aging ornithologist who is lively on the rapidly declining bird numbers and then as a fugitive fugitive hunter, 2.0 would have been considered An improved, stronger version of the predecessor had the plot become a little more convincing. Bunkum is bunkum, no matter how big the money is behind it.
Of course, director Shankar has a penchant for setting up the amazing and unreal people in the movie. He brings this property to full play in tackling the damage that cell radiation causes to the environment. But the frustration of the activist fighting to save the birds but failing in his mission is not brought out to the extent that would justify the murderous crusade that Pakshirajan (Akshay Kumar) launches on mobile phone sellers and users. The cartoon surface of his war manifests in the way he kills a wholesaler, a transmission tower owner and a telecom minister: a blow to smithers, the other hugged to mass, and another literally poisoned with a diamond-plated mobile phone.
Amy Jackson as the super efficient robot on the creek and her entire master is appropriately mechanical, but just does not want to be flooded out of this sci-fi action movie, designed primarily for Rajnikanth's greater life than audience screen persona.
The support actors in a Rajnikanth vehicle serve a limited purpose. It's no different 2.0 Although the film in the film includes Adil Hussain in the role of Home Secretary, a man is responsible for formulating a response to the cellphone's attack. But his agency is quickly taken away from him as Vaseegaran, Chitti and Nila take over as a powerful opponent threatens to surpass the city.
So is the most expensive Indian movie ever assembled worth all the money that has been sunk into it? It looks and sounds good for the most part. It whizzes of thanks to the breathless action and the dazzling VFX. 2.0, but would have been a much bigger movie if the script dared go beyond the familiar tricks of the genre. It is a touch of a romantic intervention between Chitti and Nila, both of whom are able to feel and express love. But this track remains an insignificant partition in a movie where even the bad is an A-list Bollywood star and must be made part of a respectable part of the action, especially when he only makes the recording after the break.
The right-to-fail is troubled 2.0 Employees are tired, but the battle in the heart of the film – it throws a distorted model of development against the need for ecological conservation in an unblocked imagination – have moments that are thought provoking and entertaining at one time. But even for Rajnikanth, to pull this erratic, messy epic out of the fire is no cakewalk. He comes quite close. See 2.0 for its scale and ambition, if not for superstar who can not do anything wrong.