Yes, who got hit? What gets hit is surely not the real in me… and certainly not the fantasy within me. The movie actually made the fantasy genes in me prance with a lot of joy and the real in me was relieved to find a break worth the time spent watching this movie.

I know… I know that there are a lot of people and critics and bloggers who have hanged the movie upside down and have bemoaned the time they invested in watching this tripe that had mere caricatures of real actors. Well, these people hardly have any understanding of the real fiction that dominates life. It is true that none of us can survive the physical onslaughts that King Khan seemed to have faced and triumphed over, accomplished moves that the best of commandos can only wish they have mastered, and got a gift from Lady Luck that is so seldom forthcoming. The movie is actually not at all about physical, strategic, or tactical prowess… it is all about symbolic metaphors that love is. It is all about the gradual rise of passionate love and the way adversities help to navigate it to the right person. The movie is not some amorphous lump of action jargon… it is a sequential display of the evolution of an emotion called love!

Who says that the movie simply ‘attempts to marry the puppy-dog sentimentality of a typical Shah Rukh Khan romance with the broad humor and the crash-bang-boom thrills of a Rohit Shetty action comedy’? Gigantic men who slurp sloppiness isn’t the only form of humour in the movie… the laughs come when one part of India tries to look at its Southern cousins with a twinkle in the eyes and a smile that is just good-natured and poised to break down cultural walls. ShahRukh fits the role though I must admit he looks a trifle old at times… but then that too is so trademark of movies made in Chennai that one accepts that as a valid link to make it all look real. Deepika is flawless, has adopted funny stances without seeming wayward and outlandish… ShahRukh has, on the other hand, gone all out to embrace an outlandish and improbable stance without trying to make this make-belief sound too real! So we find a rare combo of the real and the fictitious converging with ease in the movie.

Chennai Express is the story of Rahul who is taking the ashes of his grandfather to Rameshwaram because his grandmother, who is his sole surviving family member, insists he does so. During this eventful journey he meets the runaway Meena Amma who is ‘fleeing to escape an unwanted wedding formalized by her don father meets Rahul in the train and then begins a saga of running, fighting, running and again fighting and then finally, in ShahRukh’s own words, everything gets all right.’ The truth is that if you think everything does get alright after it has meandered forcefully through mind-boggling action sequences, you’re wrong. Everything gets alright only after the audience experiences the tenderness of real love slowly awakening within the hearts of the two protagonists who had no real intention of falling in love with each other. This is one movie that opened my eyes to the validity of improbability that rules our lives… here is a movie that shows this with a lot of finesse.

I loved watching ‘Chennai Express’… though I watched it on the idiot box weeks after it was released in the cinema halls. I now wish I had actually gone and bought a ticket to see it on the big screen first.

I know I am really passionate about this movie and would love to recreate subliminally as well as in real time, the journey of the protagonists through a series of events that have the power to tickle and wake up the poet within anyone of us.




Arvind Passey
15 November 2013