“This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”
– The Joker in “The Dark Knight”
This best describes what happens when Rajni and Shankar come together. Rajni, the unstoppable force that he is, going strong at 60. Shankar, the immovable object, sticks to his style of filmmaking, and continuously reinvents himself at the same time. Endhiran brings them together after the blockbuster “Sivaji”.
What happens when combo of a ubiquitous media baron [Sun Pictures, Kalanidhi Maran], a Demi God Super Star, a maverick director [Shankar], the Mozart of Madras [AR Rahman], a global beauty [Aishwarya Rai] and a Legend in animatronics [Stan Winston Studios] come together? The result is bombastic.
Being in the making for about 2 years, Enthiran commanded the greatest of our expectations, and it doesn’t disappoint.
The plot is simple and straight. A genius scientist Vaseegaran creates a hyper-advanced robot, Chitti, for the Indian army. Enthiran is about the consequences that arise when the robot interacts with the society and the problems/solutions it introduces. OK, the plot is simple and age old, what’s all the noise about?
Firstly, with the screenplay, Shankar, the captain courageous, scores big. It’s no mean task to amalgamate the taste of the Indian audience and the technicality that goes into a project of this magnitude, both of which are relevant for this movie to be a success. Shankar comes up with an original product that has no similarities to other robot movies of Hollywood. Full marks to him for his detailing. Immense research has gone into the execution of Enthiran and it reflects on screen. Topics like coding of the neural schema [one of the key concepts in artificial intelligence], using the Zigbee protocol for data transfer to an examination hall for Sana [Aishwarya] to clear her medical exams, Obstetrics – to deliver a baby, the realization that dawns on Vaseegaran to give Chitti the power to feel things as a human; are small things that may not be noticed by us viewers, but show Shankar’s prowess in eye for detail.
Next comes Animatronics, a technique that is used extensively in Enthiran, executed to perfection by the guys at Stan Wiston Studios, USA. FYI : Stan Winston studios are the guys behind special effects for movies like Alien, Terminator, Predator, Jurassic Park, more recently, Iron man and Avatar. With such an impeccable track record, these guys yet again make us go gaga over the special effects in Enthiran. There are certain sequences that gave me goose bumps and definitely deserve a mention – the introductory scene of the robot where he showcases his talent in different martial arts and different types of dance, the firefighting scene, the train fight sequence, the scene where Chitti has to be approved by the All India Robotics Development centre, the emergence of the destructive robot; lastly, the final 30 minutes of Endhiran leaves you spellbound with the magic that is animatronics. I do not want to quote specifics of the climax lest it spoil your experience. Kudos to Stan Winston for giving Animatronics to the world!
AR Rahman is in fine form, as usual and as expected. Music is extravagant which reflects the mood of Endhiran. I am at awe with his ability to create two completely different versions of the same song. The album includes the fast version of “Irumbile oru Irudhayam”, but he weaves the slow version of this song in the BGM. Pure genius. Shankar’s exquisite picturisation, especially “Kadhal Anukkal” and “Kilimanjaro”, accentuates the songs and makes them a selling point. Aishwarya puts in a fine performance as the scientist’s lover-girl. Special mention to her dancing skills – she steals the show in “Irumbile oru Irudhayam” and “Kilimanjaro”. Danny Denzongpa does justice to his miniscule role. Santhanam and Karunas can pride themselves for having bagged a role as Rajni’s sidekick!
Coming to the Boss! Enthiran is Rajni mania unleashed!
Enthiran is primarily dominated by the robot Rajni [Chitti] who does things you have always wanted Rajni to do – chase trains to save a girl, save people from an apocalyptic fire, run horizontal, talk to animals [or more specifically, to insects], replicate himself to multiple robots, wield 100 guns, smash vehicles and the likes! Rarely does Rajni get to showcase on screen his villainous skills of yore. The transformation he brings into the sinister robot is to be seen to be believed. The maniacal laughter, the aggressive body language and the agility he infuses into the rogue Chitti in the second half satisfies every bit of the Rajni fan in you. He adds his signature style to every frame of the film. The climactic sequence puts Rajni against Rajni which more than satisfies the fan in you.
Negatives, if any, would be the lack of a dedicated comedy track, and excess stunt sequences. But I am not complaining since they are executed to perfection!
Enthiran is Rajni at one of his many bests. With this, Shankar defines a new standard of filmmaking. Indian cinema has found its place on the global map. Watch it to savour the experience that Enthiran is.