2.0 Review

Finally, 2.0 hit the screens on the latest release date that was revealed a couple of months back. After tons of hype on being the costliest Indian film ever made, and an audio launch that happened more than a year back, the film almost lost its foothold among the audience's mindshare due to its unforeseen delay in the release date. It was only natural for the audience to lose interest after continuous delays and news about the film getting mired with production issues.


Still, with all these negative vibes, director Shankar and Rajini combo and "costliest Indian film" tag have managed to reside at the back of every film buff's mind. The advanced booking for the movie stands as a testimony to the last statement.


2.0 could be considered a spin-off, rather than a sequel to the director's 2010 movie, "Enthiran". We have Dr Vaseekaran (Rajinikanth), and Chitti (Rajinikanth as the robot), and the cute addition to it would be Nila (Amy Jackson as a 'domestic' robot - her most apt role till date). Then we have a few surprise elements, which I do not want to reveal as they would spoil it for people who are yet to watch the movie.


The movie had a basic premise as in all Shankar movies, which could be classified as the 'Gentleman' template. If we ponder more closely, it has a bad guy who does terrible things. The good guy tries to stop him. Then, during the turn of events, its revealed that the bad guy is not so bad as we thought and he had his fair share of reasons for the sort of bad things he does. Still, the good guy has a job at hand, and that is to curtail the bad guy and save the world.


Well, should we even be caring for this template that has been beaten to the pulp by Hollywood using superheroes? Director Shankar, of course, kick-started his career in 1993 with this template (Gentleman) and still, he holds on to it or instead he wanted to play it safe while focusing all his efforts on visual effects and special effects mastery. No wonder he has credited himself for the 'visual and special effects conception' during the initial credits.


The posters, Akshay Kumar's makeover and the tagline "The world is not only for humans" almost revealed the entire plot and I went in with least expectations, especially after watching the movie's unimpressive trailer. The film mostly fell on expected lines, especially, the first half, which did have some 'wow' moments. The writing was quite stale and had hardly anything special. As was expected for a science fiction movie, the liberties in screenplay outweighed the awesomeness showcased using the special effects.


The climax portions of Enthiran that was a special effects mockery was expanded with some gimmicky screenplay and 'superstar' moments in 2.0 and that augured well to uplift the mood of the film. Of course, this is not a film for the hardcore Rajini fans, who want their idol to be more human and immortal at the same time, with punch dialogues and his trademark swag. However, these things were tucked in slyly into the narrative which should be appreciated.


For the first time, a movie has shown the middle finger to the online pirates by turning their efforts futile with a brilliantly etched out visual extravaganza whose awesomeness can only be experienced on the big screen with good sound effects. That, I believe is the real triumph for the movie. I just wished, with a more sensible screenplay and a pacy narrative, the film could have scaled the height it deserved.


AR Rahman's background score ruled the roost by setting the mood and pumped the adrenaline at the right moments. Resul Pookutty's sound design stood apart and played its part in the awesomeness showcased now and then. The real triumph was in the department of special effects and animatronics. Not one person could be credited when it comes to this department - salutes to the director who has envisioned such complicated stunts and action sequences and kudos to the people who made his vision fly.


The movie nevertheless is a clean entertainer that is guaranteed to appeal to the family audiences, especially the kids. My only crit would be the run-of-the-mill, formulaic screenplay and plot points that had a stale appeal. However, what better job does a movie buff have over the weekend than to watch the costliest ever film to be made in India?

The Rajinikanth starrer is more of director Shankar's showcasing of his visual mastery than a film that leans on a strong plot. Watch it only for the visual effects and the hype! (2.8) - Baranidharan Sivasankaran


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