Ramblings about Chennai Express

I must confess, over the years of watching Shah Rukh Khan, I have developed an involuntary reflex, a smile, irrespective of whether I like what he is doing or not. The same special attention I give him also makes me a harsh critic.

Crying according to Shah Rukh, is to press lips together till it forms a curve, make eyes tear filled and tremble a little. Romantic scene is to come closer closer and closer to the heroine, look straight into her face, strain eyebrows a little and a make puppy faced expression. Add to it an occasional double wink and a dimpled smile. Sometimes even the smile is more like a smirk. The rest of the time, he is unnecessarily angry with all the people around him.

Its impossible to forget the name of his heroine as he usually repeats it a lot of times. Its the case right from his first film. Whether he is begging Sapna in a court or asking Reshma to stop harassing him or screeching Meenama in a dessert. It also lets his female costars have a strong presence. Its cute in someways.

Inspite of all these particularly annoying mannerisms and habits, he always manages to charm his way, just about drag my involvement into whatever movie. Its beyond my understanding. I can’t explain it. Its some childhood thing. I am wired that way. Been like that ever since I watched Fauji as a little girl.

Coming back to the movie, its a mix up of various Tamil masala movies, usual formula without misogynistic elements (which I hate). Its cleaner and a little more sugarcoated. Poor Shah Rukh, he wanted to stay away from remakes but ended up starring in a remix. And ofcourse, the gift and the curse Shah Rukh Khan. Without him, I would have absolutely no reason to watch this. The curse – having been forced to listen to my very anti-Shah Rukh brother who kept explaining how the dumb the whole thing was. (The same brother who loved the dumber Hangover).

Many years earlier this brother used to love Shah Rukh Khan, try his hairstyle, wear baggy pants and Baazigar style coolers. He would buy every latest audio cassette of Shah Rukh Khan movie. My brothers everyday ritual after coming back from college would be to to listen to audio cassette of Dil Se side A and B at least twice. Now, my SIL has influenced him in to liking Salman Khan.

The thing is if Shah Rukh Khan, continues to act in such a way that in due course of time I would be convinced that Swades/CDI were flukes, join my brother in the cursing. (except perhaps loving Salman part I can never do). How I wish Salman Khan had acted in Chennai Express, and had broken 3I record.

I am also surprised by the confidence with which its detractors have slammed it with half baked analysis. The movie does not stereotype Tamilians. If this is stereotyping, then all Tamil movies stereotype Tamilians. The movie stays true to the Tamil filmi version of Tamil films. I wish someone who knew Tamil could have dubbed Deepika/Niketan’s voices. Rest is fine. Nothing more to it. Harmless movie.

It seems to me that Shah Rukh, in the past few years had been putting all his effort in the wrong place. MNIK is hardly a kind of film Karan Johar could have directed without hamming worser than the actor, impossible for Farhan to make a fast paced crime/film noir/heist actioner, with Aditya Chopra’s story Yash Chopra is hardly a legend … Its a cosmic rule that effort has to be appreciated with appropriate reaction. Perhaps, CE is a Karmic late reaction.

However, media houses are busy dissecting the reasons behind its success. Some even openly cursing the whole Indian mediocre mentality (for starters, Pakistan is no different, there too CE is blockbuster). I read a debate with Farookh Sheikh reminiscing about good old comedies of his time. I wonder why Salman was analyzed like after he became a phenomena. I would never know, because I have never cared to read about em. More reasons to wish that Salman had acted in Chennai Express.

  1. Baba 11 years ago

    looks like review of a confused srk fan who is happy for the BO success and the priases from his haters but not satisfied by the film oneself 😉

    • Author
      phoenix 11 years ago

      I am confused. Could neither like CE nor could ignore it.

  2. Bored 11 years ago

    LOL – CE has hit both SRK fans and haters very hard. Both are trying their best to avoid the fact that SRK had been taking all of them for a ride for all these years.

  3. saurabh 11 years ago

    I didn’t get what the writer want to say exactly, nyway u tried… May be i couldn’t understand.
    btw happy that ce is phenomenal, but i want one cdi+ one mhn/one oso, or swades+Veer jara.. He should explore more, nd entertain more.. I guess he s capable of that

  4. Tulmul 11 years ago


    Like ‘Lump in throat’

    One can neither swallow it nor throw it 😀

  5. sameer 11 years ago

    All that matters is entertainment…..entertainment and entertainment…And Rohit Shetty is the king of entertainment….

  6. stewie griffin 11 years ago

    what a condescending piece of crap this article is..tryin to make up as if srk is above masala movies etc..srk has made a career out of exploiting even cheesier romantic movies than these masala movies could get..chak de and swades aren’t the norm for srk..so stop expecting tht from him..his popularity is due to exploiting the romance genre mercilessly..exactly what ppl accuse salman of doing these days..all these srk is above masala movies crap is bullshit

    • Author
      phoenix 11 years ago

      Actually the whole piece is about SRK’s acting. Have not said anything bad about masala films at all.

      • stewie griffin 11 years ago

        u r very clever..sab indirectly bol rahe ho 😀

    • Baba 11 years ago

      “chak de and swades aren’t the norm for srk”

      agree.needless to mention there are a majority of his fans who anyday pick a ddlj/kkhh over these films.they love him in the “God of romance” mode

      • Author
        phoenix 11 years ago

        chak de /swades weren’t norm for SRK. I agree. Yes, majority of fans pick DDLJ/KKHH over these. Hell, majority of SRK fans wants him to work with KJo again. check this out…

        Shahrukh Khan’s future films in 2014-2015

        • sputnik 11 years ago

          Acc to Navjot Gulati Balki’s next with Amitabh and SRK is a High Concept thriller and it is confirmed and he is saying story is good. Personally don’t like balki’s direction.

          “High Concept thriller. Yes. It is good.”

          • Author
            phoenix 11 years ago

            Better than KJo film about India-Pak partition, supposed period film with SRK and a younger star (RK refused) ….

            The day SRK signs this KJo film which I hope never gets made, I will become the online imposter of wall-D.

  7. Author
    phoenix 11 years ago

    Saw the movie again. IN the absence of my brother, I was able to appreciate some jokes. Somewhat reminiscent of 90s SRK. However, the acting in the climax was somewhat cringe worthy. He should have underplayed a little.

  8. Bored 11 years ago

    Some very interesting future projects mentioned in that piece, specially the Balki, Kashyap, Basu and Gowariker projects.

  9. sameer 11 years ago

    Any superstar if he competes with another will win if the content is good and if given equal no of screens. SRK does not compete like that. He does not compete at all. He just goes out and sees to it that no other movie gets equal no of screens for the first two weeks;.. but on the other hands pays the media to publcise it as as a war of superstars, so as to get the maximum mileage out of it. Then he goes begging to promote his movie and kills the promotion of other movies like the OUTIMD team Calcutta cricket outing. This is not competition or a race at all. This is fraud which he wants to make the public believe is competition. And he might be paying the media for it too, maybe.It is not about competition at all but cheating that he majors in. And if you are caught cheating in a race or olympics then, there too the medal is snatched away from the disgraced winner. So in this case too SRK has actually disgraced himself. He has actually lost whatever little respect he had…if he had any I doubt….or maybe he had already lost it many years back so it does not matter to him at all. He calls himself the KING. King are magnanimous and not thieves who steal screens. Yes he is the king of fraud. Salman Khan would never have done it.

    And talking about the success of movies, the collections of movies should be made with respect to per screen average and return of investment. And according to that Son of Sardar would win hands down as with the no of screens it got ( SRK occupied most of the screens for JTHJ). And the cost of production plus marketing when compered to the income Jab tak Hain Jaan generated was less, when compared to Son Of Sardar. If you make a movie of 60 crores and put 20 crores to promote it and earn just 104 crores…and another movie made for 30 crores and promotes it for 10 crores and earns 80-85 crores which is the movie which made more profits? Son of Sardar of course. He knew this and thought this can happen again with Chennai Express vs OUATIMD, so he gate crashed in on the Idd date after Ekta-Akshay announced the date first and made Salman won’t be around for some time. He then did dirty deals and occupied the screens for 2 weeks, made false promises to Ekta and Jeetendra about independence day and after. He made the whole thing sound like a competition when there was nothing to compete. And now he is giving one free for two bought for touching that 3 Idiot figure. What a shame…Aamir did not do any of this to achieve that glory….he did that with lesser no of screens and with respectability…
    The media is stupid if they are not paid to do this glorification act …as there is no glory in all this but it is all gory…They should expose this and this will be more interesting for the public. They should title the expose as The Fraudster Khan.

    • sauravjha 11 years ago

      Extremely well said Sameer. You have proven by your post and now whole world will know that SRK is the richest and most fattu superstar of all time ! You have proven that SRK’s win against Salman + Akshay in 2006 was due to fraud and by hijacking number of screens right? Hmm. SRK’s win against Akshay when VZ beat Aitraaz was a fraud too and SRK made whole of India and media to believe so, whereas truth was Aitraaz grossed 150 crores in 2003 itself in 20 screens whereas VZ grossed 30 crores in 1000 screens! Hmm finally somebody spoke truth. Yes Salman will never do that how can he? That guy was sitting at home without work for months when Abhinav Kashyap gave him Dabangg, how can he?? Of course he is the biggest superstar of all time as he proved during 2000’s by giving much acclaimed Marigold and Saawan the Love season etc etc. And yes Aaamir!!! Of course he beat SRK with Akele Hum akele tum didn’t he? When whole India and media said that Ram Jaane beat Akele Hum akele tum, ah they were so foolish they should have known that SRK was already the richest star in 1997 itself that he bought whole media and made public foolish. Awesome points SAMEER_CHAN007 maan gaye and has to give it you the kind of research you have put in is hard to find in nowadays! Now coming to present! Of course OUATIMD would have grossed 250 crores if was given proper screens on 15th August! Ahhh such a bad luck had it released properly it would have been the biggest hit of Indian cinema if not for SRK’s fraud on 15th august. Feel terrible for ourselves that a superstar has bought entire media and he is fooling us and also feel sorry for stars like Aamir and Salman who despite being senior aren’t that rich enough and have “heart of gold” still media don’t believe them. Such a cruel life !!

    • Baba 11 years ago

      well even some srk fans agreed that sos did affect jhtj and managed some sort of success over it in a head on clash even with lesser screens and 12 cr less BO gross. But this is not the same as the outimd vs ce clash. even if outimd didnt get the screens, it shud hv done reasonably well in the screens that it got. the fact that its a washout says it all.there was never a competition here.

    • Reddemon 11 years ago

      Bas kar Bhai rulayega kya ab. Chal Shahrukh ki taang todd dete h

  10. Bored 11 years ago

    I seriously think stars like Akshay or Ajay are seriously out of their mind when they try to compete with any of the Khans.
    Why cant they keep their releases away and give themselves breathing space? The Khans are themselves not trying to compete on these holiday weekends, so why Devgns or Kumars? Even Ranbir’s ass may get whipped when the Salman/Prabhudeva movie releases next Christmas along with Bombay Velvet.

    The big guns will release their movies in the holiday weekends. Stay out of their way.

  11. Raj5 11 years ago

    Excellent reply sauravja. Btw if srk can really manipulate and control the media like sameer says then he is probably the most powerful man in India. More props to him if its true that a lower middle class Guy from Delhi has the power to control the entire indian media.

  12. Raj5 11 years ago

    Completely agree. I hope salman and ranbir clash for this exact reason. Also it’ll increase the hype exponentially because of the Katrina factor

  13. Author
    phoenix 11 years ago

    The decline stories that have been going for the past few months are perhaps the best thing that happened to SRK. Karan has started using some of the superlatives he would normally use on SRK on Aamir. Called him the ISI of intelligence for seeing potential in YJHD. He has been trying to give the SRK the role of an elder who should lead kindly way to his gang of boys. Its possible that the film with him never gets made. There was a news of Adi writing a script for SRK. I did partly like RNBDJ. But enough is enough.

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