Endhiran – What I liked and didn’t!

Yesterday, I watched Endhiran at Santham Theatre (part of the Satyam theatre complex) chennai with family and i am sharing below some of my observations and remarks about the movie.

But before that, let me make a confession.  We rarely watch movies at the theatres (last was Yaaradi Nee Mohini a couple of years back in the same complex).  So it was a shock to find the entry tickets, parking fees and the ubiquitous popcorns priced so “obscenely” and worse, nobody seemed to mind it!!  I was telling my sons how Rs 2.90 was the price of balcony seat those days and they had huge problems coming into terms with that!! Let’s forget that for a moment and get into the topic per se.

I think i spoke a bit too early!! One more confession (the last I promise).  I was really put off by the hype and the euphoria generated by the media blitzkrieg for this movie that I was not too keen to watch it.  My sons (aged 7 & 14) more than made up for my lack of enthusiasm and kept issuing deadlines one after another and finally I succumbed to their pressure and got the tickets through a good friend.  Intentionally I avoided reading any reviews of the movie lest i get prejudiced about it and i am happy i went in that state of mind.  Even as of y’day evening, I was not excited but the kids were all charged up and that rubbed off on all of us.

I have a very healthy respect for Shankar, the Director of this movie, having watched his earlier movies on and off theatres.  He, in my opinion, is like Sidney Sheldon in the sense that he keeps the viewers engaged all the time by a tight script (a phrase that i borrow from a good friend), punch dialogues, a good blend of action and humour and most importantly an arresting storyline.  For a person who has made probably 10 odd movies over 15 years or so (all being hits), this is a remarkable and lethal combination.  He also ensures that the picturization is grand and the songs arresting.  He is also known to be a big budget movie maker but having given generous returns to the producers, one cannot complain.

Endhiran is a Shankar movie, through and through!  His grandeur is par excellence and on this occassion, he has shown even hollywood a trick or two!

What I liked in the movie?

a.  The first half where “chitti”, the friendly robot simply ate the cake and kept it too! I am not making this statement just on the basis of the awesome special tricks at the train or the display of phenomenal memory at the convention by Chitti.  The human element of the robot really stole the scene be it the lively interaction with the traffic constable or the innocent  tete a tete with the lab assistants.

b. The scenes in close succession where Chitti is seen as a villain where he is stopped a split second before stabbing his maker, a saviour in the fire scene which becomes an anti-climax too with the suicide of the saved girl and then the manner in which he helps successful delivery of a child under very difficult circumstances.  The audience is constantly torn on whether Chitti is a hero or a villain!  Great work.

c.  The first expression of anger by chitti when he blames Vasi, his maker for his faults and the reversal of roles at Aishwarya’s birthday party.

d.  The performance of Danny, the senior professor which is sinister yet dignified (in contrast to most villains who are coarse) even in his attempt to stop his frankenstein from replicating. I am seeing him for the first time without his characteristic drooping mustache and could not recognize him initially.

e.  Aishwarya’s grace. Even though her face shows strain due to aging in some shots, she has done remarkably well to keep in shape and show it off too!

f.  Rajini for playing a very subdued role as a human being but makes it up in the other two robotic roles.  He has demonstrated a wonderful physique and stamina in the song sequences, especially for his age.

The frustration on seeing his creation goofing up at the Army trials is palpable and his anger while breaking chitti into pieces was really great!

What I did not like!

1.  AR Rahman’s music and songs.  For a person who has given such memorable hits and melodies, it was a clear let down.  While some songs in the movie may even be chart busters, they will soon be forgotten.  The lyrics are unclear and the singers have rubbed salt on wounds by their awful pronunciation.

2.  The version 2.0 of the robot which dominated the second half.  It was more a maayajaal of graphics and special effects than anything else and it appeared that it was patched into the movie as an afterthought.  There was no natural fit in to the story line at all.  The stunt scenes were initially awe-inspiring but soon became a bore thanks to the repetition.  Same for the multiple formations of the robots to counter the attack of the armed forces.

3.  The bloody violence in the second half that was totally unnecessary.  Policemen getting mowed down in hundreds by Endiran and his cronies may appeal to the western audience but i found it to be in bad taste.

4.  Technology to dazzle the audience than to get them involved.  I am referring to the worming of the robots, demagnetization etc which are pure sci-fi stuff but appear to make no impression on the audience, especially when done so repeatedly.

5.  Wasted talent. Vasi, Sana, Chitti and Danny (I forgot his screen name) would have been enough to fill the movie.  Yet people like Santhanam, Revathy Sankaran and Karunos were brought in more as side-kicks than as adding value to the movie.  Perhaps there were many shoots of these people earlier but if one goes by what was shown on the screen, they were totally unnecessary.

In conclusion, Endiran is a movie that I would like to watch and enjoy once and probably cherish a few scenes like the ones i mentioned above.

Kalanidhi Maran and Sun Pictures have done a marvellous job of promotion thanks to the overdrive on the SunTV network and last mile coverage.  They kept up the interest and made it seem that “If you have not seen Endiran, your life is not worth living”.

Shankar, Rajini, Aishwarya and Rahman are capable of much better!!

Well, what did you like and you didn’t?

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5 Comments

  1. Anirudh said,

    November 7, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I am 14 years old and cannot agree that the songs were bad. I personally enjoyed them and have heard them once more via youtube, although i have to admit that the pronunciation of the singers could have been much better.

  2. badrirag said,

    November 7, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Anirudh, I did not say that the songs were bad but only opined that I did not like them, knowing what Rahman is capable of creating. Listen to his songs in Roja, Gentleman, Jeans etc and you will see the context of this comment.

  3. Subramanian said,

    November 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Am yet to form an opinion of the movie. I personally feel this will be realty in the near future. We may even be alive to see it happen, just as we graduated from 3 buck balcony ticket! Incidentally, in Bangalore, we used to see a host of movies at local theaters (sheet roof) at 1.50 floor seat and 2.25 steel chair seat. I liked the song “irumbile oru irudhayam….”

  4. k.s. sreekanthj said,

    November 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

    tHE mOVIE HAS PROVED THAT TECHNICALLY FINANCIALLY AND MARKETING POTENTIAL-WISE, WE CAN MATCH INTERNATIONAL TALENTS, WHICH FACTOR ALONE IS GOOD ENOUGH TO WATCH THIS MOVIE IN A THEATRE, WITH FAMILY MEMBERS.iN ORDER TO BE CINEMATIC,THERE IS ALWAYS THE SACRIFICE OF MANY SUBTLE ASPECTS!IF A MOVIE IS GOING TO BE THOROUGHLY PRACTICAL AND MORALISTIC, WOULD ANYONE’TODAY, DARE TO CALL IT “A SUCCESS”?

    • badrirag said,

      November 8, 2010 at 7:06 am

      Sreekanth,

      I did not doubt its success but just stated what i liked about it and didn’t. In fact, it is a mega hit by Indian standards (not yet by global terms)


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