I am not one of those ardent Rajini fans, but watching rajini movie in theatre is a Tamil culture more than anything else. Its like celebrating pongal, you don’t have to be a farmer thanking the sun god, you do it despite the fact that you have never stepped in a farm your entire life, coz its your culture. It’s the same feeling I had watching Robot/ Endhiran in the theatre. First kollywood movie for us as a family and I put a lot of trust in Shankar, ARR and offcourse Rajini to keep my 4 year old entertained. Introduced the songs to her earlier to familiarise her with the movie..here is my experience ..
What you already know - Most people I know have either watched the movie or have heard of the story, but here is my quick narration.
Dr.Vasee a scientist makes this humanoid robot - chitti to be used in the army. Chitti cooks jelly, cleans, helps Ash (medical student) in the gynaecology exam, catches mosquotioes that bite Ash, kicks some mini villain butts in the out of the world stunts which are convincing enough for rajini whether he is robot or not. Robot role has added some logic to the stunts. He drives a car, read books by scanning them for seconds, flies, rescues people from fire and even delivers a baby in the ancient method- typical medical miracle (adding an Indian touch). When chitti is taught to understand emotions, the complications starts. He falls in love with Ash, Dr.Vasee’s fiancé and loses his concentration at the army scrutiny. Dr.Vasee destroys him, but Chitti comes back as a new version, version 2.0 with the ‘red chip’ with destruction command thanks to Dr.Bhora (villain ofocurse). New chitti takes the screen completely for the next 45 minutes taking us through the climax of the movie, which is unseen so far in the Indian cinema.
Shankar has made meticulous effort to customise robotics to kollywood, infact I did not feel guilty about not concentrating much on my robotics class in sem 7..hehe
So why Rajini, why 230 odd crores ?
Shankar, we all know as an excellent script writer, but this script definitely needs big shoulders to carry on a science fiction story to the kollywood audience (bollywood). To complete the movie in a convincing way and closer to his dream, Shankar needed world class graphics, without which it could have ended up like a masala movie and not a sci-fi movie. To manage the expenses, he needed a BIG producer. As a risk mitigation exercise the producer needs more than a dream script, things that has lesser chances of failing..like ARR music and Rajini. This makes the project more expensive. None other than Sun Tv productions could have handled something this huge – the most expensive movie in India. I am completely convinced that none other than Rajini could have done this role(s).
What you did/may not know :
1) The project was announced with Kamal and Priety Zinta in 2001, it was dropped without a producer. In 2007, it was started with Sharukh Khan but later dropped quoting SRK’s comments that 'the concept and script were half-baked'. In early 2008 there were talks about either roping in Ajith or Amir Khan for the project, but this never got finalised. In mid 2008 Ayngaran was going to be the producer, but global financial crisis stopped this AGAIN. Shankar in the mean time went on to make Boys, Anniyan and Sivaji. This is when Rajini put in the trust with Shankar’s script and agreed to play the lead.
2) Ash was signed up as the female lead after considering Asin, Deepika Padukone, Trisha, Shriya etc. Ash was paid 6 crores for this movie, making her the highest paid actress in India.
3) Sujatha was signed in as the dialogue writer when the movie was initiated, but after he passed away this went to Madhan Karky(Son of Vairamuthu)
1) It has brought back to us the wonderful actor Rajini. This is not a Rajini movie, but a Shankar’s movie. Rajini has played dual role and has simply performed as an actor. Infact I haven’t seen Rajini put in as much effort in acting in the recent times, as the movies in the past decade or so were dependant on his style than acting.
2) Rajini has excelled in the role of a villain very well, remind me of the 70s/80s.
Towards the end, I wasn’t sure which Rajini I was supporting. Chitti version 2.0 is a svery stylish robot and one of the best villains in recent times
3) We have seen Shankar’s creativity before in songs ( painting roads and trucks in randakka - Anniyan, glass houses in Sahaana – Sivaji) but he has taken this to an new step in Endhiran esp the climax – the different robotical formations are awesome with supporting background score by ARR
4) Ash did not have as much to do, but looks pretty..infact than some of her pale thin looks in recent movies. Looks chubbier / healthy J
5) Needless to say the music and songs are fantastic, so are the lyrics create, authentic and awesome. Have learnt a lot of tamil words from the songs..ex: kamutra kanini – computer in love, sethenil wasabi – wasabi with honey !
6) The songs are very beautiful and colourful to the eyes..like any shankar’s movie, esp. Kilimanjaro - Machupichu,Oh Baby!
7) Eye for detail - Hubi correctly pointed out..when the girl rescued from the fire dies in the accident, the media rushes to the spot to take pictures and there is one extending the mike to the dead person !!! wonder why?
8) If you have too much time, watch the 'Arima Arima' song and find the difference between the male and female robots. Mr and Mrs KV has identified the fine difference in the costume to differentiate :)
9) Btw- did sakthi like it? indeed, watched 75 % in the theatre and fell asleep. Insisted on getting the dvd afterwards to watch the end. She has watched it thrice in the last 2 days.
The only hinge is Ash - Rajini as a couple, which to me was morally incorrect. When Rajini claims Amitabh as his best friend, why was he insistent on Ash playing the lead lady. When I could accept Rajini with Shriya, who is younger than his own daughter, the romance between Ash and Rajini (thankfully not much) made me very uncomfortable.
Anyway bottomline excellent script ( what was Sharukh thinking when he rejected this!), wonderful actor, awesome music and amazing graphics. The story is a fiction, but when we have no issues in watching Transformers and I robot, we should not have a concern in watching a tamil speaking robot.
P.s - Thanks Buddy for organising the tickets :)