First Look: Chennai Express

Trains are the transport of rom-coms this summer (it seems) but Chennai Express is not just about the romance, it’s an action romantic comedy, like no one but Rohit Shetty can do. He’s credited with famously funny films like Bol Bachchan and Singham, where the hilarity is much more than your daily guffaw but a stitch split fest, chock full of fantastical fodder [once reality has been completely obliterated]. The trailer premiered only days ago and I must say, I don’t care as much about the romance, as the village thugs that seem to be a Shetty staple.

This is also father-to-be, Shah Rukh Khan‘s first release this year, therefore, it’s no doubt worth the courtesy glance. I haven’t seen Khan do a full blown comedy in quite some time and this being his inaugural Shetty project, I’m positive we’re in for some outlandish shenanigans.

Chennai Express is titled after an actual train that routes from Dadar to Chennai Egmore, India and takes place while protagonist Rahul is traveling between Mumbai and Rameshwaram. There isn’t much synopsis wise on the film besides, Rahul is trying to get from one place to another, meets the daughter of a village don and hijinks ensue.

Deepika Padukone plays the spunky quick talking woman Rahul falls for on his trip and it’ll be interesting to see, what this re-pairing will bring. They worked fine seven years ago in Om Shanti Om but she was a fresh timid face and he, the huge international star. Now, she’s had several hits and made several films with repeat co-stars, so I wonder about the change in chemistry and dynamic, if any. I personally, haven’t seen Padukone in a role I’ve liked since, but I don’t entirely count her the culprit in my distaste. Therefore, I look forward to giving it another shot this year, either with this film or her coming of age story Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, opposite Ranbir Kapoor.

The preview reflects a bright and buoyant film, just perfect for the season (summer) and locale (South India) it portrays. And, of course there’s ridiculous stunts, cheeky romance and comic book tenacity. The music is popping and electric, completely on target for the action and flamboyance of it’s antics, while the story has plenty of cheese and ham to feed it’s village full of extras.

Also, from the look of things, the film is boldly giving a few nods to Khan’s more infamous films, which makes my interest in this film raise all the more, for there’s nothing like a little reminiscing every now and again. However, my only question is… How can this man look the same as the first time I saw him? It’s uncanny, his ability to transport us back twenty years, given the right role and tone.

I can definitely see this movie as a go-to for fluff and fangirling but don’t be surprised if Shetty throws in a minor gem or two, along way, especially through dialogue. Cause he’s prone to capitalize on the commercial, but sneak in a poignant word in mirthy disguise.

Chennai Express boards August 8th.

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