ENDHIRAN: THE ROBOT
I consider myself to be privileged to be amongst the first hundred odd persons to have witnessed the first public screening of Kalanithi Maran’s maiden Rs 165 crore tri-lingual production. Touted as India’s most expensive movie till date and shot in Tamil and simultaneously dubbed in Hindi and Telugu, THE ROBOT is bound to cause heads to turn as does the character of the robot in the movie.
THE ROBOT is easily the most spectacularly lavish production to come out from the Indian sub-continent; and considering that Rajnikant who essays the role of the creator and the created in this movie is well-known in Japan, this movie could perhaps make waves in Japan as well. Aishwarya Rai, who plays the female interest in the movie looks stunningly beautiful and her gorgeous dresses reveal (without any anatomical display) as to why she deserves the title of the most wonderfully crafted heroine to have come on the silver screen after Hema Malini. In fact apart from their beauty, they have two more features in common; both carry a fairly wooden expressioned face and can never appear sensuous. The last time that Aishwarya appeared so beautiful on the screen was in Subhash Ghai’s TAAL and Bhansali’s DEVDAS and before that in Shankar’s earlier tri-lingual flop directorial attempt in JEANS.
Shankar whose earlier successes in the Tamil film world have helped him to be considered as the man with the Midas touch tries to repeat his formula of a package of spectacular sets, foot thumping music and outlandish themes, larger than life characters and crowd pulling super stars in THE ROBOT. THE ROBOT has not one Rajni, but myriads of Rajnis playing the part of several robots and in that we have the roles of the good robot and the bad robot and the creator too, thus giving Shankar the opportunity to have Rajni in virtually every frame of the movie. The theme of incorporating feelings in robots and the consequences thereof (including the robot falling in love with the creator’s love interest) certainly could have lent itself to immense possibilities to create a wonderful sci-fi scenario. Unfortunately and much to the chagrin of the intelligent viewer, Shankar skirts with these issues in passing and focuses primarily on delivering Rajni to the audiences; and Rajni, in turn does deliver honestly to his numerous fans.
A R Rahman creates music worthy of the sci-fi environment and although it may take one to hear the songs a couple of times before one begins to like them, the songs sound to be in absolute sync with the theme. Despite the fact that all song situations seem to have been created only to accommodate all the song and dance sequences, one cannot ignore the glamour of those presentations. One of the songs is filmed in Peru’s Machu Pichu and if one wants to take a peek at what the world heritage site looks like without travelling all the way, and with the llamas in the background and Aiswarya bedecked in the Samba dancer dresses, just see this song clip (although why Kilimanjaro and Mohenjadaro feature in this song lyrics will remain a mystery to me)! Equally appealing to the visual senses is the desert song sequence featuring Rajni and Aishwarya in a romantic interlude without coming really close to each other and Rajni had mentioned in the audio launch that everytime he had to do a romantic scene with Aishwarya, he would visualise Amitabh Bachchan telling him in his baritone voice: Khabardar!
THE ROBOT does create a WOW feeling in the audience; I doubt very much whether it will muster more than just a few WAHs!