The Objective View:
Right from the moment the title starts rolling you get the sense of something grand in store. When the movie does run its full course you realize that grand is too less a word for the spectacle.
Enthiran takes Indian Cinema to heady levels in terms of visual effects, CG and animatronics. Stan Winston studios which did VFX and animatronics for Jurassic park, Avatar etc. have been roped in for Enthiran and their expertise indeed makes the difference. The way Shankar has used the VFX giant is also commendable. Right from the simulation of Rajni’s mannerisms into a robot to the breathtaking ‘Arima Arima’ song, the realness that animatronics brings to the movie is palpable. Shankar shows that he is a master when it comes to choosing the best and making sure they get roped in.
Coming to the script (I talked about the VFX and Anmatronics first because they get top priority without a shadow of a doubt), Shankar has managed to adapt Sujatha’s ‘En Iniya Iyanthira’ beautifully to the silver screen. Though the film was touted to be a ‘ten year Shankar dream’, the director himself will be the first to admit that he was inspired by the late writer’s brilliant mini-series which was published some two decades back. Shankar has astutely reworked the script in such a manner that it suits Rajni and at the same time doesn’t bog down Shankar’s vision of ‘Enthiran’. The script can be summarized in one line- What happens when a Humanoid Robot develops human emotions?
Treading this one-lined script is indeed a tight rope walk but Shankar has managed to pull it off quite stupendously. The first and foremost fact about the scripting that hits you on the face is it’s striving for logical plausibility. Shankar has made sure that the story is logically almost infallible. He has used the leeway that is generally given to sci-fi movies to a bare minimum level. Even the most farfetched of sequences in the movie have a loose thread of logic woven around them. Stunt sequences are a treat to watch (Peter Hein’s best ever work till date) and here again, Shankar has been shrewd enough to make full use of the fact that ‘Super star as a ROBOT has unrestricted license to perform death defying stunts’. Sabu Cyril’s designs and themes are mind boggling and add grandeur to the already present splendor. Dialogues play a minimum but effective role and Sujatha’s touch is clearly evident in many of them. Sample this:
Fellow Scientist: Kadavul Irukkara Illaya?
Chitti the ROBOT: Kadavul na enna?
Fellow Scientist: Kadavul dhaan enga ella manidhargalayum padaithavar.
Chitti the ROBOT: Enna padaithavar Vaseegaran (the Scientist Rajni). Amaam, Kadavul Irukaar…
If A.R.Rahman's album managed to give feelers to the movie, on-screen viewing justifies the aptness of the musical score to the movie. Kilimanjaro stands out for its brilliant music and scenic visuals and Arima Arima is simply too overwhelming to express in words. Other songs work to the expected levels.
There is not much to talk about in terms of characterization. This is not because it is inappropriate or inadequate but more so because the script demands very few characters. Aishwarya Rai Bacchan looks stunning and her lip sync is brilliant (other so called Kollywood heroines can do with a lesson or two from her). She is the usual Shankar movie heroine – glamorous but not substantial. Santhanam and Karunas are mere add-ons and evoke a few laughs in some scenes with Chitti. Danny Denzongpa doesn’t do much and dies a premature villain death.
Coming to the focal point of the movie- Superstar Rajnikanth- Well, what can you say! He literally carries the entire movie on his shoulders. Be it the underplay of Vaseegaran, the expressionless brilliance of Chitti or the unmatchable arrogance and gait of CHITTI (the bad one), Rajnikanth proves that he is an actor par excellence. The change in mannerisms when Chitti gets transformed to CHITTI is brought out in such a seamless way and showcases the bundle of talent that is mostly dormant inside our Superstar. Chitti is adorable, enjoyable and brings the roof down with his interactions with the general public. CHITTI is menacing, haughty and brilliantly evil. He simply steals the limelight from literally everyone, including Shankar, in the brief 40 minutes he appears on screen. Many people might talk mostly about CHITTI and to an extent about Chitti. But amidst those two portrayals, the brilliant underplay and helplessness of Dr. Vaseegaran goes unnoticed. The very fact that it goes unnoticed is a tribute to the ease with which Rajni has got into the skin of that character. Superstar lifts the movie, carries it forward single handedly and sets the screen on fire with his panache and persona. It was indeed a fortunate turn of events that Shankar roped in Rajni for his ambitious dream after contemplating with Kamal and ShahRukh Khan (Goodness knows where that might have lead!). With Enthiran, Rajnikanth reiterates the fact that he is the most bankable star in
and a force to reckon with internationally. India
Go watch Enthiran, only in theaters, not because I am an aggressive activist against piracy, but because it will be utter futility to watch the pirated version, even if you have a home theatre. Some things in life are made to be experienced in a certain way and a certain way only. Enthiran is one of them…Go for it. Again, again and again!!
The Fanatic View: