Superstar Rajinikanth and creatively commercial thinker director Shankar are back with another visual extravaganza 2.0 which is a sequel to the duo’s the then industry hit Robot. Bollywood hero Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson joined them to hike prospects while AR Rahman, Nirav Shah made it a rich technical team. Will 2.0 live up to the expectations?
An unknown fifth force attacks Chennai as mobile phones in the city disappear flying high in air. Then, the fifth force aka Pakshi Raja (Akshay Kumar) takes life of a mobile vendor, a network provider and then a state miniter. Scientist Vaseekaran (Rajinikanth) reinstates Chitti - The Robot to take on Pakshi Raja. How Vaseekaran and team of Chitti, Vennela (Amy Jackson) deal with the negative force. Who will win the battle between Pakshi Raja and Vaseekaran? What is the back story of Pakshi Raja? What's the message conveyed in the end? When will Chitti's reloaded versions 2.0 and 3.0 come to rescue?
Director Shankar is a visionary film maker known for making strong message oriented scripts. 2.0 also recites a social message of negative impact from technology, especially with mobile phones which became an integral part of human beings. While the prequel - Robot was a complete entertainer with right mix of emotions, 2.0 is high on VFX and action. However, the back story of Pakshi Raja had Shankar mark emotional connectivity. Shankar seems to have done lots of research on a rather wafer-thin storyline. The terminology he used and presented on screen exhibit the passion for filmmaking. A scientist within Shankar can be senses with the research jargon on robotics, electronics and visual effects. He also upholded the charm in Rajinikanth to show all the superman heroism towards end. Especially, the script and presentation is very clean. Dialogues in last portions will delight masses. Chinni, the 3.0 version will amuse kids. AR Rahman's profuse mark is seen everywhere as his BGM compliments the grand visuals. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is equivalent to Hollywood standards. Camera rigging for 3D film is a tough task and he deserves special mention for the master class work. Editing by Anthony is crisp, thanks to good runtime. Production values of Lyca are spotless.
Onto artists, Rajinianth is absolutely dominated by the Pakshi Raja aka Akshay Kumar in the first half though his face isn’t visible in beginning episodes of second half where the back story is narrated. However, Rajinikanth shows his amazing style and mark in last 40 minutes with fan frenzy mannerisms and massy dialogues. Rajini as Chinni that is 3.0 will mesmerize kids. Akshay Kumar, on the other hand has got the meaty role. He stood innocent and emotional in flashback episodes while his villainy acts in rest created an impact. Amy Jackson is a right choice as she looked more like a real lady robot. Rest of the artists played their roles efficiently.
Akshay Kumar Backstory
Wafer Thin Story
Repetitiveness In 1st Half
Lack Of Drama and Emotions
Exaggerated Animatronic Action
As we all know, director Shankar is a responsible Indian citizen who reminds our basic social duties through all his films. The underlying message in each of the scripts coated with commercial treatment made him one of the highly acclaimed names in Indian cinema. And Shankar followed the same principle for 2.0 wherein the ruthless usage of mobile phones by human beings, the havoc our tele communication signals are causing to mankind and environment breaking the ecological imbalance is neatly presented through Pakshi Raja (Akshay Kumar) character. As a script, 2.0 predominantly belonged to Akshay Kumar while Rajini is restricted to simple, known heroism in Dr Vaseeekaran, 2.0 and updated Lilliput 3.0 versions.
Film kick starts on a ponder mode as Akshay Kumar commits suicide hanging from a cell tower. Post the magnificently designed titles, Vaseekaran and the lady robot Vennela (Amy Jackson) generate some funny time pass moments. Shankar without wasting much of time immediately shifts onto the evil force Pakshi Raja flying away with mobile phones in city. On the other hand, systematic killings of a Mobile Shop Owner, Telecom Operator Head and Telecom Minister made the narrative very repetitive. Revitalizing Chitti to combat Pakshi Raja, we head for a decent interval block. Entire first half, we are thrown to lavish visual treat with major drawback laid in undisclosed central story point devoid of emotional connect and human drama though the scripting looked very clean.
Into second half, it is high time Shankar moves on a social drive opening Akshay Kumar’s flashback taking a dig on current telecom operators functioning on exceedingly intolerable frequencies catering the public demands. Undoubtedly, this flashback is best part of 2.0 treated with Shankar’s master brand. Now that, what’s good and what’s bad is unlocked, war becomes one to one between Chitti and Pakshi Raja. Here comes the big commercial twist, Shankar cleverly brings in Chitti’s 2.0 and 3.0 versions thus treating us to unbeatable Rajinikanth style heroism.
All in all, 2.0 is worth a watch for spectacular visuals, high end VFX from top class teams and their undue efforts to rise Indian film making technicalities far high to the levels of Hollywood. Creating and branding our own characters like Chitti, 2.0 and 3.0 matching with Transformers or Iron Man is a moment of pride for all our Indian cinema admirers. Yet, 2.0 missed the wholesome entertainment and completeness which Robot had. Apparently, Shankar might have got a winner hand but surely 2.0 don’t deserve a place in his top list. 2.0 can be a thorough enjoy ride for kids, it’s a so-so show for adult audience. Despite all the pitfalls, CJ goes for 3 stars appreciating Shankar for heaving Indian cinema to a new high.
To feel the full and asli kick of 2.0, watch it only in 3D version at a nearby theater with good projection and sound.