Caution: If you are a Rajnikanth fanatic, please do not read this review by a fellow fan who is also a harsh critic when her matinee idol fails to live up to expectations.
I'll cut to the chase. Enthiran stinks to the high heavens. Not surprisingly, director Shankar (proud creator of bombs like Boys, Jeans, Anniyan, and Shivaji) chooses to cater to the tastes of the Superstar's rabid fans by attemptiong to showcase Rajnikanth in as many avatars as possible. So much to the delight of his fans, Rajni gets to play the genius scientist who creates a cutesy Robot named Chitti, who morphs into the bad -ass robot when his love for his creator's girlfriend is thwarted.
Rajni does a decent job as always but one wishes that the make - up guys hadn't shot up his face with botox in an unnecessary bid to make him look younger as paralyzed facial muscles make acting that much harder. Everytime he gave his signature laugh, I flinched and longed with all my heart for the Rajnikanth of earlier days who could steal the thunder from Kamal Hassan with a role that called for just four days shooting (16 vayathinile).
My biggest problem however was with the script as the premise is so dumbed down it makes you wanna howl. You are supposed to check your brains at the door while going for a Rajni movie but this is supposed to be stylistic sci - fi flick so I doubt it was intended to come across as something scripted by a 5 - year old on a sugar rush. Chitti is refused approval by the A.R.D (or whatever) for not having emotions and thereby posing a risk to humans. Apparently there wasn't enough room on his hard drive for some basic programming on safety protocol (the movie is clearly inspired from Bicentennial Man, I - Robot, and Terminater so why not borrow some of the more intelligent elements from those flicks?) instead the scientist guy is told to give Chitti 'feelings' so that he can become more human! And the scientist endeavors to do so by making Chitti peruse umpteen books on the subject and the process is further aided by a helpful bolt of ligtning! Now really!!
And there is one sickening scene in Enthiran which made me really mad. Chitti is sent to rescue people trapped in a burning buildig and he does it with typical ease and panache. Then he hears a girl screaming for help from the bathroom and he makes the unforgiveable error of rushing her to safety even though she is nude. Unable to bear the shame the distraught nude chick runs into a truck that happens to be conveniently speeding along and ends her life. Chitti is berated soundly for his oversight in not covering up her modesty before helping her. Are you frickin kidding me? First of all, why was the girl gallivanting merrily in the tub pausing only to wail for help instead of running for some clothes if she cared all that much? Surely she would have heard the screams or smelled the smoke... Forget the girl, why the hell whould the regressive caveman who made this movie endorse the objectionable view that death is preferable to public nudity even if the individual can't be blamed for that unhappy occurence? It reminded me of the regressive movies that suggest it is the honourable thing for rape victims to kill themselves or glorify honour killings. This one scene made an already insufferable movie that much worse for me.
Ash Rai Bachchan delivers yet another inept, sexpot performance as the hero's artificial love interest who can't stay out of trouble thanks to her empty head. She was the major irritant in a thoroughly irritating film. Santhanam and Karunas were forgettable as was Danny Denzongpa. The much wanted special effects extravaganza the movie promised to deliver was disappointing. All it does is remind us that the most expensive Indian film ever made is still not a patch on films made as early as 1977 in Hollywood (Talking about George Lucas and Star Wars of course) . And is it just me or has A. R. Rahman lost his Midas touch? Perhaps its not him, anything remotely associated with the movie becomes nauseating after a point.
Enough said. For the minority who share my opinion, I recommend an afternoon spent watching DVDs from Rajni's golden days. Watch Thillu Mullu where he will make you laugh so hard your soft drink will come out your nose, Annamalai,Mannan, where he'll make you laugh, cry, and cheer wildly for him, Moonru mudichu, Moonru mugam for his turn as the finest bad - ass this country will ever see.
But if anyone waves a ticket for this disaster movie under your nose, run for cover.