Sci-Fi is a much-loved genre, though seldom experimented by Indian filmmakers. Director Shankar, with a penchant for making technologically advanced movies, takes his ode to the Robotic world in 2010 blockbuster, Enthiran, to the next level. This is not Sci-Fi. This is Tech-Fantasy. 2.0, starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson, is a visual extravagance with a larger-than-life canvas and spellbinding VFX. It also gives us a strong rival for Krish, the only other desi superhero, in the form of Chitti 2.0. But, can the VFX and the heavy-lifting action sequences alone lift the movie? I certainly do not think so!
The movie begins with a mysterious phenomenon where cellphones disappear into thin air. Whether it is an extra-terrestrial interference, a miracle, some sort of witchcraft or plain robbery – nobody seems to have a clue. Enter Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth), with his bot-assistant Nila (Amy Jackson), who use holographic maps, high-end gadgets and gizmos to track the supernatural force, created by a bird-lover Ornithologist (go google what it means), Pakshi Rajan (Akshay Kumar).The rest of the movie, as evident from its trailer, is about Vaseegaran using his brainchild, Chitti 2.0 to fight the evil forces to save the mankind!
While the motive behind the antagonist in this case is not evil – he tries to save birds from the harmful cellular radiations. But, it does not come out as convincing as it should have. It is a fact that such big-budget magnum opuses do not warrant a review, since they are solely meant for entertainment and not to look for logics. But, in Enthiran, the logic is weaved in such a way that the audience connects with it – it is a first attempt at making a Robot, which goes rogue. This is where 2.0 feels disconnected. The story takes quite a while to reach the explanation, but by then, the audience is no longer invested in the story. Also, at the basic level, this is a typical supernatural movie story. Replace ghost with a technology-driven ‘Aura’ (as they like to call it) and replace witchcraft with ‘Photon Synthesizer Neutralizer’. I am not tech savvy, but I must admit some of the gadgets looked like cheap toys and reminded me of the primitive ‘Time-Machine’ from Singeetam Srinivas’s 1993 superhit, Aditya 369. Not to mention the climax can remind one of Transformers and Antman.
Giving credit where it is due, the makers leave no stone unturned in making this a visual treat. The opulence aside, the brilliant cinematography by Nirav Shah perfectly adds to the grandeur. The wide-angle shots, the action scenes in the climax and even an unimportant scene of the approaching ‘Mobile-menace’ shown in a dog’s eyes – the camerawork is brilliant! While the effects looked sloppy in the trailer, the VFX was top-notch in the movie and was on par with some of the biggest Hollywood superhero films. I also enjoyed Rajini as Chitti 2.0 and Kutti, during the climax. He was fun and added quirk to the fight sequences. Akshay Kumar as Pakshi Rajan is decent and looks menacing as the ‘Mobile Man’ villain. Amy Jackson, with the perfect excuse of being a Robot, manages to sail through the movie with a single expression. Honestly, she did have a rather meaty role, making me wonder wasn’t she highlighted during the promotions or on the posters.
Touted to be the most expensive film ever made in India, the efforts given to the technical details in 2.0 are clearly visible. While it truly is a film to be proud of, for its technical brilliance, I wish it had some substance as well. Because no matter how good it was visually, I left the theatre not completely satiated. Dot.
My Rating – 2.5/5