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Random thoughts on Robot – Chitti Chitti Bang Bang

Some random thoughts on the latest offering of the Super Star:
1) It seems this is the first Rajni film in long time where the entry scene of Rajni did not feature
a) Someone being beaten up through a hybrid of aerial kung fu and Indian dishoom dishoom accompanied by a galaxy of dhingchak sound effects.
b) A cigarette being thrown in the air in such a way that it fell perfectly between the lips of the Sooper Star.
c) A kickass dialogue being delivered.
d) Goggles being deposited on the ears in a way not comprehended or visualized by mere mortals.
In a way, the entry scene without any drama signified to us that this is no normal Rajni film. Never has so much been spoken by a simple scene in a masala film before.

2) Aishwarya Rai plays the role of a medical student. While she is as plasticky as ever, the lines on her face makes you think that she would have been better off playing the role of a teacher.

3) The pace of the first half is quite sedate. However it does the job of setting up the character of Chitti. The lovely special effects are like cherry on a cake.

4) Just special effects are not enough. You need vision and Shankar’s past films have shown that he does not lack it. In Robot he has surpassed his past films. The “Rajni converting into devi avtaar through electro magnetism” scene is something only mavericks like him can think of.

5) All our Hindi film hot shot directors should watch this film. Just to understand that you can be as modern as you want without leaving out the traditional Indian masala ingredients. A Hindi version would have been based in the USA (cough, KJo, cough). The hero would have been eating pizza rather than Indian food. The entire burning building scene had a nice mix of good special effects and a touch of Indian masala. You may not agree with the poor girl’s decision (Heck, I do not) but at least something related to Indian values (regressive, yes, but still) was being shown. Where do you find this in your typical high budget Bollywod film? (Hirani’s films being an exception.)

6) The mosquito scene was so ourtrageous that one could not stopping laughing. Only one word to describe it – trippy.

7) Chitti questioning his creator about why he is not allowed to love is a variation of a theme seen in sci fi films like Blade Runner and the works of literary giants like Isaac Asimov. I just loved that someone for once did not take the Indian audience for granted and included such a complex plot point.

8) Technically speaking, the film was a huge surprise. In a positive way. Chitti’s superpowers were explained scientifically. One can ignore the mosquito scene as it was too hilarious to take seriously.

9) If the special effects were great in the first half, they were jaw dropping awesome in the second. While the budget is humongous at around Rs. 150 crores plus, by Hollywood standards it (approx. $30 mn.) is strictly low budget. If with such money, such good effects were produced, then surely the film can be shown abroad to attract more business from outside for our VFX chaps.

10) Saw Danny on the big screen after a long time. Curiously, most of his dialogues seemed to be in Hindi as in he spoke Hindi rather than his voice being dubbed later in Hindi. No idea how it came across in the Tamil version with the Star speaking in Tamil and Danny speaking in Hindi.

11) And yes, all this money would not have been well spent had it not been spent on the one and only Suuperr Star. Rajni is in almost all the scenes. He plays the scientist in a subtle way not going over the top. Even the “good” Chitti is understated with Rajni mouthing some hilarious lines with a straight face. It is when he is the “bad” Chitti that Rajni unleashes. He seems to have relished the oppurtunity to be bad again and virtually chews the scene with his acting. He is so good that you find yourself rooting for him even when he is bumping off policemen by the dozens. You can see why the masses love him. Here he is playing three differant personalities (scientist, good chitti and bad chitti) and he is able to play them differantly and more importantly, make us believe that these are three differant personalities. I bow down to thee, Rajnikant. Oops, Super Star Rajnikant.

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