Chennai Express Movie Review by Sputnik

ce4 Official Synopsis: Chennai Express is the story of a 40 year old bachelor Rahul, who lands up in a totally unexpected journey that makes him realize the importance of Love, Life, Relationships and Sacrifice! A stimulating train voyage that not only takes Rahul, accidentally to his destination but also makes him realize the power of True Love! A hilarious journey which teaches you about the serious relationships in life.

The movie starts off with the use of the flashback technique when there is no need for one. Rahul is supposedly this 40 year old Bachelor who is about to take off to Goa with his friends ala Dil Chahta Hai or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and talks about wanting to live life according to his choice ala Ranbir in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. After some irritating dialogues of “Goa is On” the real movie starts off with Rahul getting stuck with Meenamma on the Chennai Express to Komban.

Some scenes are good like the DDLJ train scene spoof where SRK helps the goons and scenes of SRK getting scared and cowering. SRK and Deepika singing scene is initially good but the joke drags so much that it is no longer funny. Deepika’s dream/chudail scene where she kicks SRK is hilarious. Deepika making fun of SRK for being a Halwai and saying he looks like a 50 year old is funny.

Some scenes are bad like SRK’s drunk scene which is totally annoying. There is a unnecessary scene of SRK in international waters accused of smuggling and there is another stupid midget scene reminding of Tushar’s Golmaal scenes. SRK’s narration/voice-over is irritating. There are lot of Tamil dialogues with no subtitles which are not that difficult to understand but may be annoying to some.

In true filmy style SRK suddenly starts giving speech about women’s independence. The final fight scene is straight out of Agneepath with even similar costumes worn by SRK and Nikitin Dheer as Hrithik and Sanjay Dutt respectively and Nikitin pushing SRK back. The last scene is also just like DDLJ’s final scene with Deepika’s father not letting go of her hand while a fight is taking place.

Screenplay is good in the first half but drags in the second half with Deepika falling for SRK and almost three back to back songs. As is usually the case with all Rohit Shetty movies most of the movie is shot on sets. Some scenes are well shot but there are couple of scenes with bad vfx. Titli is the best song of the movie and is well shot. Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari is good too but it could have been better used during the final credits instead of the silly Lungi Dance. 1234 has good energy but is a forced item number. Tera Rasta Chhodoon Na comes off almost immediately after another song and is totally unnecessary.

Shah Rukh Khan’s acting ranges from good in scenes where he is scared or being sarcastic (which reminds of his 90s acting from movies like Yes Boss) to overacting in quite a few of them. He is horrible in the drunk scene. He is not at all convincing in the final action scene specially after so convincingly playing a coward in the rest of the movie.

Speaking with almost a caricaturist accent Deepika totally nails the role. She is excellent in every scene whether she is taking digs at SRK or mouthing Tamil dialogues or emotional scenes or the dream/chudail scene. Nikitin Dheer looks menacing. Sathyaraj is good though he does not have that many dialogues. Mukesh Tiwari is good in a small role.

The movie aims to keep both the Rohit Shetty fans as well as the SRK fans happy. It has the usual comedy, spoof sequences and flying Jeep sequences of Rohit Shetty but it has also has a love story like DDLJ. It is basically DDLJ remade Rohit Shetty style. The movie is entertaining in parts but also drags in parts specially in the second half. Its an average movie at best. Among Rohit Shetty movies, Golmaal 1 and All the Best are still his best but this is better than rest of his movies.

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28 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Manish Kumar 7 years ago

    Tanqeed Movies heard similar reaction to CE from few akki fans who have seen it .. good detailed review

  2. Avatar
    yakuza 7 years ago

    “Golmaal 1 and All the Best are still his best but this is better than rest of his movies.”

    I am sure not better than Singham (though remake) and Zameen as well which is his most authentic work to date.

    • Avatar Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Have not seen Zameen. Did not like Singham.

  3. Avatar
    mate 7 years ago

    Sputnik ji, Jitna mujy movie pasand aati, utna hi apka writing style bhaati. 😛
    Very well written, though I tend to disagree on some points, like SRK drunk scene was the best one imo, final fight scene was OK, but much better than those OTT action sequences where Ajay or Salman handled hundreds of villains one handedly. Regarding performances, I don’t think Deepika performs better than SrK, It’s just like she remains consistant throughout while SRK characters have different shades, and though he has done a great job, but then character role has always a larger impact from a critical point of view, even if it’s an average attempt. And yes, All the Best had better comic moments than CE, but CE is certainly better than all the other ROhit movies except ATB.

  4. Baba
    Baba 7 years ago

    LOL. it looks like i wrote my review in detail 😀 . spuntik – each and every word agree with the review.

  5. Baba
    Baba 7 years ago

    Utklas review of CE:

    Utkal Ranjan Mohanty
    6 hours ago near Bangalore, Karnataka ·
    Just back from Chennai Express. I must confess I haven’t seen any of the Rohit Shetty films , on big or small screen, since Zameen. The trailer of this one hadn’t particularly impressed me and it had been an effort sitting through Shahrukh’s last, Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The only reason I went for this one is because my wife is a die-hard Shahrukh fan, and there was no other film that I could take her to this weekend. Ship of Theseus was gone. Even BA Pass wasn’t running. Let me also confess I had to buy the ticket in black, paying double the price for a couple of balcony tickets in a single-screen theater.

    But when the film started, after the trailers of Krissh 3 and Satyagrah, both looking quite good, I was instantly hooked. From the very first frame. There was something of a genuine raconteur’s charm in the way Sharukh voices his grandapa’s story that wins you over right away. The fact that Rahul has no compunction about cheating his granny in taking his grandpa’s ash only till Klayan and not Rameshwaram helps. And the much applauded scene where Rahul helps Meena and her four cousin-cum-kidnappers unto the compartment sets the tone of this really stylish comedy. Contrary to what I had heard of Rohit Shetty’s films requiring you to leave your brain at home, the comedy in the film was very well though-out and elegantly executed. I have been always an admirer of physical comedy as well as ‘objects’ comedy – comedy that makes inventive use of objects around characters – the kind that you see in films like ‘ Kiungfu Hustle’ or in the films of Jackie Chan. Not many Indian directors try it or are any good in it. The genres require adroit choreography of sorts and Shetty is rather good at it. From simple gags like Shahrukh’s rucksack hitting the faces of the goons repeatedly tothway the different weapons of the four encircle Shahrukh’s neck in a single coordinated swipe are examples of this within the first few minutes itself. The encryption of message through a feigned antakshari is a lark. And use of words like ‘ shauchalay’ within it and the goons prodding Meena to sing when they assumed was her turn makes you chuckle out loud.

    The gags flow smooth and easy right until the interval. I had to admire Shetty’s artistic integrity while noting that there was only one song, the vey tastefully staged One Two Three Four, Get On the Dance Floor to interrupt the proceedings. The gag with double-date arising out of mistaken missive, or the Srilankan smugglers on high seas , or the episode with appa’s favourite car meeting its watery end are all inventive and funny, not to count the many verbal gags involving mix up between Tamil and Hindi.
    Though I wish the second half had stayed in the same spoofy territory, what we get is not too bad. There is something really quaint about the romance blossoming in this fairy tale village with such droll and sweet uncles and aunties. There is no gainsaying No one does romance as well as Shahrukh. And I like it better when it is not over-sweetened like it is in films of Aditya Chopra or Karan Johar. The three hundred steps of carrying the weight of love is touching for sure , but it plays s so much better because it is prefaced by Shahrukhs, “ Where is the temple? Where is the temple?” The scene where Deepika goes back from the escape car only to return with the urn containing the ashes givea lie to the canard that Shetty’s films are brainless.
    I would have admired Shetty a lot more if he could come out with something more inventive than the climax fight. But given the way the film had been set up with a don and his four henchmen and a giant ofa rival in love, I could not complain too much about the turn of events. At least it was staged well – like the stove being flung and setting something on fire and Shahrukh being left holding the handle of a bucket after smashing it over someone’s head. And Shahrukh;’s speech here about father’s being heartlessly blind to what their daughters want is so much better than his “ Jis jagaah se mein dekh raha hooon..’ speech to Amitabh in Mohabbatein, both in substance and style. The Tamil bits and lines like ‘ Mein ek Halwa-wala hoon lekin ek kdwa bbat kahunga’ help in cutting the mawkishness and the ‘ gyan’ element.

    More than anything else I like the structure and the tone of the film. It plays out like a marvelous fairy-tale adventure set in an enchanted place. The picturesque South India, populated by droll South Indian characters who look not the least bit fake help in creating this flavour. The Kathakali and Theyaam dancers add the extra tang. At times it feels like an Indian Jones adventure at others like a Jackie Chan caper. AS I have said earlier, There is a lot of thought that has gone into the writing. Take the nodding of the head ( mundi hilana) sequence in Kamban and its counterpoint of shaking of the head in the other village, with its clever explanation by Deepika. I also like the use of incomprensiblr Tamil lines..it helps some gas to be structured like in a silent film, where the sequence works regardless of the verbal content.

    Must mention the songs in the film which deserve special praise. I have expressed my low opinion of seasoned directors like Mani Ratnam when they reveal total disregard for Bollywood grammar in using songs and treat them like showy MTV music videos without any soul or any attempt at dovetailing the lyrics to the intent of the scene. When I saw the name of Amitabh Bhattacharya as lyricist in the opening credits, my expectation rose, and he did not disappoint me. Even in the so called item song like One-Two-Three-Four every line is meaningfully constructed. (Ho aankh bhi, jaane kaahe /Phadke meri phadke meri baayi/Kundali me ho jaise ulti dasha ulti dasha aayi). I am exasperated at crtics who cannot recognize and applaud Shetty for showing how an item song can be clean and fun without sexual innuendos and double-meaning lyrics. Then take the song ‘ Mein Kashmir Tu Kanyakumari’ , visually it is so uplifting with all those colorful characters lined up on the hill road, and the lungi movements are so much fun. But what got to me is the celebration of the ‘ unity in diversity’ of India in such an offhand manner. ( ‘Tel bechne jaye toh phir yeh duniya saari’ indeed !) (‘Uttar ne dakshin ko aflatoon aankh maari’ is very clever in pointing to the wink-wink-nudge-nudge relationship going between the North and the South at te moment, especially in films). If there are three songs in 25 minutes, so what, they are not inserted without context. I thought they are exactly where they should have been. Oh yers, I must not forget the exquisite romantic song sung by Mohit Chuhan: Meherbaani nahi tumhara pyar maanga hai / Tumhe manzoor hai tabhi to yaar manga hai / Ghairon ke dar se, tere sheher se / Hai kasam rishta todoon na. Wah!
    The characters have been etched with much more clarity and consistency than you see in Bollywood masala capers. Both Rahul and Meenamma have been written lovingly. Nowhere has their characters been compromised in terms of dress or behaviour to make them more heroic or glamorous. No DKNY Tees for Sharukh, no designer outfits for Deepika even in fantasy song sequences. Thank god Shetty knows that White and Gold Kerala sarees can take your breath away too.

    Well I have been saving my last for the two performers who breathe life into the film and their characters and make you buy their story wholesale without a murmur. There is not a single note that these two play wrong. I had stopped falling in love with Bollywood actresses on screen until I saw Deepika in Cocktail. Fell in love with her again in Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. And now I am reay to love her for seven more films if not seven lives. Her Hindi with mixed up genders is as funny accent as you would have ever seen in a Hindi film, and no one was needed to carry it through a whole film. And whenshe says’ Kahan se kharidi aisi bakwas dictionary’ to Sharukhs’s ‘ Mere dictionary mein impossible jaise shabd nahin hai’ she makes it sound as sharp as any of Gladstone’s riposte to Disraeli. And when she does her chudail act before delivering that solid kick to Shahrukh she is a treat to watch. And what about Sharukh? Well I think the King has got his crown back. For someone who had no patience with his romantic Rahul act in Chopra and Johar films, I say, Welcome home. Good to see you in roles like Don 2 and this. I mean we all know he was great in Swades and Chak De. But what the heck, he could be extremely funny and entertaining actor too. Good to have the Shahrukh of Yes Boss and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa back – in a more mature and more confident avatar. Salman may have more chutzpa and Aamir better script sense, but it is Shahrukh who has the innate intelligence as an actor that only a few like Dilip Kumar or Amitabh Bachchan possess. Here he is in perfect control and lets himself go in equal measure. Can’t remember when I saw a male and female lead in a Hindi film complementing each other so well in a comedy caper.

    To sum up, if I must have masala I don’t mind it served as this kind of a concoction, with largely this kind of a flavour.

    • Avatar
      Reddemon 7 years ago

      Very well reviewed Utkal. Agree with many points except the Kashmir me tu kanyakumari song. It was not needed imo.

    • Avatar
      hithere 7 years ago

      He is a genuine movie buff. But to put things in perspective he also liked cocktail, YJHD and similar stuff..

  6. Baba
    Baba 7 years ago

    surprisingly even utkal liked the film 😀 . good to see both sputnik and utkal finding similarities of srks acting to his yess boss acting. i was the first person to point that out ;D

    • Avatar Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Thanks Baba. I had same opinion on so many things that you already commented about the movie. You were right about the Yes Boss kind of acting. He was playing a ordinary guy who is scared of his boss throughout Yes Boss and here also he was playing a ordinary guy scared of the goons. And you were spot on about the Agneepath fight scene.

      Was surprised that Utkal liked the movie.

  7. Avatar
    hithere 7 years ago

    Agree with your review.
    There are some good laughs but movie is contrived for most part. But most of Shetty’s movies are like that.

    https://movies.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/movies/chennai-express-with-the-bollywood-star-shah-rukh-khan.html?_r=0

    • Avatar Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Thanks.

      She makes a good point – “Though the movie prudently gives his age as 40, the character hardly differs from a standard-issue 20-year-old hero.”

      Looked like the 40 year old thing was just an excuse for SRK to act in that role.

      Seems like she did not know the train scene was a spoof of the DDLJ scene 🙂

  8. Avatar
    Jaya Lahori 7 years ago

    Was waiting for this one and as always very well written review. Am happy for SRK´s sake that the movie isn´t bashed generally and quite unexpected ones have liked the movie like Baba, Utkal.. Good.

  9. Avatar
    sanket porwal 7 years ago

    Good review. I agree a lot here.

    Btw, its Mukesh Tiwari and not Yashpal Sharma.

    • Avatar Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Thanks.

      My bad. Thanks for correcting me.

  10. Avatar
    FS 7 years ago

    Watched Chennai Express and liked it. Chennai Express rides on the tracks set by Deepika Padukone and Rohit Shetty but yes the opening credit should be given to Srk though he is unbearable in the movie post interval. He has made a point that he will over act in each and every scene even if he has no dialogues to deliver. Deepika is whole and sole of the film given a brilliant performance with accent that doesn’t change its tone till the very end. First 20 minutes of the film is hilarious and listening to Antakshiri in Deepika’s tone and accent is really funny. Second half drags like hell with bullshit climax with few witty lines unlike the first half which had good amount of humour.

    Overall an average to above average fare. After watching the film i can safely say it will trend better than other masala movies surpassing 150Cr – new record for both Rohit and Srk.

  11. Avatar
    Anjanpur685Miles 7 years ago

    For me Singham and Golmaal3 are his best.

    So looks like majority have liked CE. It may as well break 3I record in that case.

  12. Avatar
    aryan 7 years ago

    Good Review Sputnik.

    Watched Chennai Express with one of my friend last night 2nd show I had to visit 4 theaters for tickets because of house full boards finally got tickets in black liked the movie its a good entertaining movie excellent performances by SRK and Deepika very good direction,Cinematography,Background score all are top class my rating 3/5.

  13. saurabh
    saurabh 7 years ago

    Its great everyone liked the movie, yet to watch..
    but idk how i watch movies, i liked srk in jthj, rnbdj,nd even both movies too(jthj 2nd ws lengthy, got bored smwere, with rnbdj got bored too for small small time, but loved its dialogues nd concept adi was trying to tell..) ND i like romance of adi Chopra better,coz i think he make movies with perfect ideology…
    would u like to reply sputnik, like do i have no sense of movies or do i think differently, wat u say.. Ur guess on both movies.. Though i m a huge srk fan..

    • Avatar
      FS 7 years ago

      Are u and suprabh brothers? Twins may be with totally different ideologies 😛

  14. Avatar
    cr7 7 years ago

    Watched CE . entertaining film but not satisfying .The story is very very predictable.it is not a typical masala movie .I think it is more of a romcom .It dragged in second half mostly because of too many songs.Though it was compensated by the temple scene and climax . Overall it has funny moments ,some really clever jokes but still we have seen shetty making funnier movies.they overdid the talking through singing part.It was quite annoying later.Even the common mandialgoue which was supposed to be the main punchline had little or no impact. Srk did a good job .Deepika was breathtaking .she looked gorgeous ,acted brilliantly. overall its a good time pass movie.

  15. Avatar
    sameer 7 years ago

    So finally on IDD itself Sharukh Khan has broken every record set by Salman Khan and now on the way to break the record of Aamir Khan’s highest grosser “3 Idiots” . I am not Sharukh’s fan at all and dislike his attitude to a certain degree. But hook or by crook, fair or foul…more foul than fair(Grabbing all the screens when competing with OUATIMD, asking/requesting/arm twisting BALAJI / Jeetendra to postpone the release dates that Ekta first announced, waiting for Salman to make sure that he will not have his normal IDD release ) …and he did this with Ajay Devgan last Diwali who was going to court…So hook or by crook, fair or foul…he seems to be standing at the edge of history….that too at this stage in his career…So great show….But if it was achieved fairly and honestly….like Salmans, Akshays and Ranbirs success….But that is if…..but for now ….a toast to Sharukh….

    • Avatar
      Dhamaka 7 years ago

      leave these ifs and buts. important thing is Akshay and balaji chickened out. everyone knew that this time eid is falling perfectly and huge weekend was expected and it can easily bear the burden of two releases. this is a huge mistake by outimd and their loss is CE’s gain so no point to blame any one even if you do it in under tone

  16. Avatar
    mate 7 years ago

    “more foul than fair(Grabbing all the screens when competing with OUATIMD, asking/requesting/arm twisting BALAJI / Jeetendra to postpone the release dates that Ekta first announced, waiting for Salman to make sure that he will not have his normal IDD release”

    Tell me a single movie of Salman or Akshay that was released with another biggie and collected decent numbers at boxoffice. And according to you, SRK has no right to release his film solo, but other stars do have, right, and It’s only Salman, Ranbir and Akshay who played fair by getting solo releases for all their previous movies. So That’s the thing why all Salman and Akshay fan’s were afraid of, and now when CE got a chance to release solo, breaking each and every record, they come with such bullshit like he played foul. Ask your favourite stars to do a romantic movie and release it with a masala entertainer, and then give a 100 cr. Forget about romance, ask your favourite stars to do a masala film with more than quarter of the movie in a regional language and give a 100 cr weekend, or even a 100 cr lifetime. The fact is that today SRK beat these short-term superstars in their own game. And as far as asking/requesting/armtwising is concerned, does Balaji producers live on Mars, don’t they have all the marketing experts who know all the marketing gimmicks, could do what is for the best interest of their movie, Isn’t CE the same movie for which you guyz predicted Himmatwala 2 (knowing fully well it’s Rohit-SRK combo before release, that now becomes a master-stroke), so the distributor’s first choice should definitely be OUATIMD, afterall it’s a successful sequel of an action thriller, starring ‘mega-star’ Akshay. So why they give priority to Himmatwala2 starring an ‘out-dated’ superstar, no one can force them to release a movie especially when it was a potential disaster. The only reason why Balaji postponed their movie is that they don’t have faith on Akki’s stardom (here I can say they don’t have faith on their product), but When a movie having such a ‘brand’ value releases, producers only try to cash it, even when they are aware of how bad the product is. I request all the Akki fans, intead of wasting time here by giving useless comments, go and book a ticket of OUATIMD as they badly need it, go get a life.

    • Avatar
      sauravjha 7 years ago

      Very well said mate! Agree with each and every line of yours.

      • Avatar
        mate 7 years ago

        Thanks bro, Thanks for recognising and supporting the truth.

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