This is an unpretentious, harmless spoof of south Indian cinema at its most bizarre. The film is not up for any debate. Rohit Shetty has always claimed that he made this kind of cinema. He is obviously enjoying a go-up mode and is in fine form. Not surprisingly, the story is not what you have to talk about here. Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) at the diktat of Dadi (Kamini Kaushal) is required to immerse the ashes of grandpa, who like Sachin, got out at 99. Set to go to Rameshwaram, his friends decide that Goa is the place as the beach waters would any way reach Rameshwaram. Rahul takes the Chennai Express and here begins the journey to disaster.
Rahul helps Meenamma (Deepika Padukone) board the moving train ala ‘DDLJ’ and soon has a whole team of hooligans to whom the same benefit is extended. As things transpire, Meena is on the run refusing to marry Dad’s chosen bridegroom and the goons are her dad’s henchmen who are behind her. Dad (Satyaraj) is the local goon and his writ runs large. For starters even the train stops as a matter of practice in his village when he wants it and the entire village is on the railway tracks to bring home the daughter on the run. At the spur of the moment Meenama tells dad that Rahul is the guy who loves her and thus the suitor Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer) will have to give way.
Obviously all are not satisfied. The entire film is about how the two eventually fall in love and everyone from their respective stances accepts the two some. Their escapades and their adventures is what the script is fully about. With language being a barrier, the fun element lingers there for a while. The guy and gal on the run with hordes of villains chasing them is fun as long as it lasts. The timing is superb, the humour harmless. Cinematography (Dudley) is amazing. Very early in the film, the way Rohit interpolates the happenings in the train with the scenic outside sets the tempo.
The script is racy. It is only when later the filmmaker falls a temptation to his own spoof that the credibility and the narration take a beating. The romance could have been seamless. The laugh riot is engaging and invokes instant reactions of great laughter often from the crowd and this means Rohit is all set to strengthen his place in 100 crore’s club. If only he had steered clear of the soppy romance part, the picture would have been called a classic spoof. Rohit Shetty is a blast and is in great form with his one liners and stand up humour.
If you thought Deepika looked gorgeous in her hot pants watch out for this one. She is amazing in her saris and has taken her acting skills up a few notches. She has actually begun to act. Shah Rukh Khan has a role just made for him. With no restraint, he just has to ham and what more can he ask for!! His fans would sure love this journey with him where things go wrong because they have to. The journey is all fine and speed filled till the near end when Rohit decides to move from speed gauge to romance. Even otherwise, take your ticket and travel light on this trip.
Cast : Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Sathyaraj
Music : Vishal-Shekar
Direction : Rohit Shetty
Genre : Comedy/romance
Rating : ***
Plus : Racy and light-hearted
Minus : Soppy climax