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Chennai Express : Nonsensical story scores at box office; will it survive beyond first week?
Chennai Express is the 21st Hindi film to enter the Rs 100 cr+ club. And there ends the objective for this documentary on Tamil Nadu Tourism. When the occasion is festive (Eid), the multiplexes are ready to be filled up with eager ever-willing, spending fans. To add to it there is a blitzkrieg of non-stop media and marketing activities where money is spent like water. With mammoth release of 3500 prints, with countless shows daily in multiplexes alone and single screens counting, with ticket prices raised, the stage has been set to have the producers smiling all the way to bank. And so who cares about the story anymore?

This is not an Ekta Kapoor movie but the lucky letter K is abundant here in the train journey from Kalyan-Karjat-Kambam (Theni) to Rameshwaram. The story is supposedly of a 40+ virgin hero, who is unsure whether he is Michael Jackson, Jim Carrey or Rahul of yore. Throughout the entire movie Shahrukh Khan makes faces to pass it off for acting. The hero doesn't understand Tamil, so he was visibly lost. It was unclear how  the director presumed the viewer would follow the Tamil dialogues which covered 60 percent of the on screen communication. At one point, the audience will start wondering wouldn't it be better for us to watch a genuine Tamil film Thalaiva?

The heroine does the translation but otherwise there is no mandatory sub-titling. Never mind as most of the viewers are doing what the hero is doing - nodding yes and no. The heroine speaks Hindi in a funny accent and Tamil even more so but she sings songs in perfect Hindi.

As the toy train journeys through cardboard scenery, miracles keep happening. So audience get to see a thirty-five thousand worth cellphone thrown out of the train lands intact on stones and still functioning – voice, internet, text et al. Following the cue the ticket collector too walks out of the water in one-piece, after being thrown in the river.

By this time I wanted a refund and I was livid with anger. I had not gone to watch a Tamil film and I wasn't prepared to see a middle-aged brat trying to raise a few laughs and cradle-snatching, not to say a kid fighting oversized giants (forget David and Goliath).

 After the Tamil Nadu darshan, I wondered I should've taken a vacation down south rather visiting the theatre. There are small mercies in the form of dew-fresh Deepika Padukone, unnecessary Punjabi cop Mukesh Tiwari and groom Niketan Dheer. For the rest of the story, I am still deciphering it.

If Ramaiya Vastavaiya wouls have released on Eid day, it too would have done a business of 100 crore. Chennai Express has entered the club too, but where has it taken SRK? SRK has nothing new to offer. He has no more new milestones to cross or any records to set. The movie cannot add anything to him except fan his ego. It's time for SRK to reflect and re-invent himself.

100 crores in 3.5 days is touted as a record breaking feat. However, given SRK’s standard and fan following the benchmark of this Rohit Shetty film should be much higher. It would make sense only if Chennai Express ends up dong 300 to 500 crore business. Can SRK-Rohit Shetty combo prove as effective to box office as Manmohan Desai-Amitabh Bachchan, David Dhawan-Govinda or Ajay Devgan-Rohit Shetty? Let us watch for the might of the star power.

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