Posts Tagged chennai express

Chennai Express Box Office Review and Updates—All Time Industry Hit!

inkenti-logoFirst things first, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Chennai Express is what in Tollywood is fondly referred to as the following: ALL-TIME INDUSTRY HIT!!! In his 21st year of Bollywood career, SRK has delivered a film that has re-written all box office records and established new benchmarks—all sectors, centers, and countries. The crown of Box Office King is for him to keep for the next five years, irrespective of how many remake-hits Salman and Akshay make and regardless of how much Aamir Khan and Hrithik try to select perfect scripts.

The Openings: SRK’s films are always fighting several demons. At this point in his career, and similarly in the past, but it has never been so strong, SRK’s biggest challenge was: how to re-invent after being successful for 20 years? This is a common syndrome for superstars. Salman Khan, in particular, found his answer in the quintessential South-Indian Hero. SRK, to his credit, tried to reinvent himself but was always let down by poor story like DON 1 and 2 [I hope there is no 3], Ra.One. SRK’s disassociation with the supremely talented Farah Khan who gave him Main Hoon Na and Om Shanthi Om (which if they released today are both 200 Crore plus movies!) also cost him a lot. The Top 10 lists of record breaking movies has been dominated by Salman Khan films post Dabangg. Thus, not only did SRK have to deliver a good film that satisfies his fans, but also one that pleases the general audience. And implicitly, he had to break the records of Ek Tha Tiger. And I am sure, much to surprise of UTV, SRK, Rohit Shetty, SRK’s fans and even Salman Khan—Chennai Express has simply cruised through at 200 Crores in the first seven days. And with this SRK can keep his crown.

The Product: Lets be honest here, all of us. Chennai Express is not a supreme product in terms of story…at least, nothing compared to 3 Idiots. But again, India is diverse country with different socio-economic groups each liking different kinds of movies—that is why we can have blockbusters like 3 Idiots and Dabangg and Yeh Jaawani–three really different movies, all occupy top positions. At the end of the day, Chennai Express did what every movie is anyway supposed to do: entertain. Period.

Why is it such a success: I have been reading since the past one week several critics and analysts write about this. They also seem to be giving the credit to Rohit Shetty, which he surely deserves, but not in entirety. I would argue that this is far from the truth. Although Rohit Shetty enjoys the status of having the maximum number of 100 crore club movies, how many of us will go and buy a DVD of these movies for home viewing? None! In fact, Chennai Express is Rohit Shetty’s best film to date and that is because he adapted his style to suit the image and charisma of SRK. It is not the other way round as others claim. This is not the first time SRK has played the bungling fool or common man turned hero because of love. But I do want to thank Rohit Shetty for one thing—for not signing up Kareena Kapoor, else this would have been Ra. One all over again! With this film, the one common theme between SRK and Salman is: we will see more South Indian movie adaptations and hopefully SRK will realize that he really needs to focus on the India market and masses. For this, I will thank Salman Khan for making it apparent to the Bollywood box office that: the masses matter.

The SRK Theory: I have an SRK theory. I told my neighbor, the day Chennai Express trailer released that it will be a hit. why? there are three elements needed for a full-fledged SRK Blockbuster: mother sentiment, blood oozing out from the mouth in a fight sequence, and a running scene in long shot. When I saw the blood-from-mouth scene in the trailer I knew it would be a hit. Chennai Express had a dadi-dada sentiment (so this is close to mother sentiment), but no long-shot of SRK running. If it had then it would have been an even bigger hit!!!

Anyways, the biggest reason why Chennai Express is doing so well is because of the following: the Indian Rupee and stock market are bleeding, there is political and policy paralysis in the nation, cross-border fighting, a naval submarine that just blew up and nobody knows why, states fighting to be united and to be split, and a silent TB epidemic that is raging parts of India…in the midst of all this…the silly humor that Chennai Express provides seems like gold. Go Enjoy!

I sincerely hope SRK’s future movies are focused in India (left to Karan Johar this would have been Copenhagen Express!), cater to the masses, and adheres to the SRK theory.

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The Lungi Dance Review—Seriously, Whadd the F**K Is This?

inkenti logoAt the outset, let me make one thing clear: I have been eagerly waiting for Chennai Express hoping that it delivers the much needed solid-masala-box-office-success that has been eluding Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). In the absolutely busy graduate school schedule that I have, it takes a highly atrocious, moronic and ludicrous national event to make me blog about it—no, I am not talking about the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, but about The Lungi Dance. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kWLyInyjOE

lungi-dance-the-thalaiva-tribute-feat-honey-singh-shahrukh-khan-deepika-padukonePerformed by SRK and Deepika, featuring Yo Yo Honey Singh this song claims to be a tribute to Rajnikanth. Far from being a tribute, the song and the dance sequence comes off as mocking south’s regional cinema and makes a caricature of Rajnikanth and the hero of regional south films, in general. Surely, the north indians will have a good laugh and south indians will just not be able to relate to this nonsense. To begin with, if this is really a tribute then why isn’t SRK wearing a lungi? Dressed in a dapper suit with pink shirt, the song set looks like the promo song for when SRK hosted KBC. The choice of lyrics and the accent further perpetuates existing stereotypes about south-indian heros. My complaint is not about the accent here; it is okay to make fun if that is the intention, but it cannot look like a mockery in the name of a tribute. That is just plain being silly.  In my view, there is absolutely nothing in this song that would make a Rajni fan feel nostalgic or proud [I am guessing that is what a tribute is meant to be], instead the viewer is instantly repelled by the idea of watching Chennai Express.

As he ages and as his stardom fades, SRK is prepared to go to any desperate length to make his films earn a few more bucks.  Keep in mind, Chennai Express is co-produced by Gauri Khan-Red Chillies i.e. SRK’s home production. I trust none of you even choose to remember the embarrassing tribute SRK gave Rajnikanth by making a fake-dummy Rajni do a cameo in a really silly film called Ra.One. May I also refresh your memory that in Ra.One either SRK or Kareena is a Tamilian and Kareena actually teaches him how to wear a lungi [check out Dil dara song]. Thankfully, Rajni Sir did not save the film and neither did his fans. Here is the link for the Rajni tribute in Ra.One; those with a weak heart should avoid this as I cannot take responsibility for harming your life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2RPAk2Tipw

Congratulations! you survived the video if you are reading this line. Fast forward to the present and now we have Deepika play a Tamilian and again a ghastly tribute to Rajnikanth. Seriously, when is this going to stop? Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with a tribute to Rajni Sir, but my problem is with the way the song has been conceived and delivered. It could have been so much more enjoyable. From what I see on youtube.com, this song looks like a stand alone item piece—meaning, a desperate attempt to earn a few more currency at the box-office.

I would be shocked out of my life if the actual song in the movie is shot differently and is well integrated into the story.  I highly recommend that SRK and Rohit Shetty watch Nithin’s Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde [Telugu film] where he gives a tribute to his matinee idol Pawan Kalyan’s Tholiprema [Telugu film]—now, thats what I call a tribute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R501pXJ45Ko

Let me add that the song by itself is quite catchy and I wish this was the item song with Priyamani albiet with different lyrics. With a couple of weeks more to go and with such an embarrassingly ghastly publicity gimmick called The Thailava Tribute, Chennai Express is all set to get derailed at the box-office. I would be happy if it is not, but the signs are ominous.  But again, we live in funny times, right? The economics of movies today ensures that even Ra.One and Jab Tak Hai Jaan are massive grossers at the box-office. And the sycophants around SRK will never even allow him to know how the movie really is. The show goes on; and now with plastic surgeries and what have you…our stars will never age! LOL!

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