Cast: Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson
If I have to be honest, let me start with saying that Enthiran never found a fan in me. I loved Rajini and Shankar’s Sivaji and I would even joke how I’d watch Baba over Enthiran if given a chance (Yes, I love Baba). So, when a sequel was announced to this sci-fi flick which ended up being the most expensive film ever made in our soil, and not to mention the Tamil debut of Akshay Kumar, the stakes have never been higher. Naturally, it instantly intrigued me.
Thankfully, what didn’t work for me majorly in Enthiran, are the bits reworked for 2.0. For example, there isn’t an interfering love track for Dr Vaseegaran (Rajini) and hence, no duet numbers in exotic locations or expensive sets. This helps to keep our attention glued to the core story of the film which is about an ornithologist’s revenge at cell phone users as the harmful radiation from their phones are killing birds. But does the film deliver the necessary punch?
Past the star cast, grand sets and a larger than life story, it’s the technical excellence that makes the Rajini starrer 2.0 stand apart from films that try to achieve what this Shankar directorial has and thereby creating a benchmark. Right from the psychedelic ‘Superstar’ card, 2.0 is nothing short of a visual extravaganza and every scene in the film has something we wouldn’t see on a daily basis. The minute touches that Shankar is known for are scattered all over the film and apart from a few scenes that demand a breakdown in simpler terms, there’s literally no spoon-feeding of information. The stunning VFX work not only delivers what Shankar visualised but also gets you in awe of what all a man can actually think of. Speaking of his brilliance, in a series of scenes, we’re teased of a huge VFX bird by just its shadow. Talk about getting your point across and still managing to cut cost.
The story of 2.0 is what happens when Enthiran meets a classic Shankar style vigilante film. Though the cause for the happenings would’ve sounded heart-melting on paper, when translated to the screen, it just doesn’t really hit you. The scenes that are supposed to make you empathise with Pakshirajan (Akshay Kumar) come to us as mere flashback shots. Similar to Shankar’s I, we’re left with smaller antagonists who really don’t create a ripple and are left as pawns for the main villain to prove the world of his capabilities – which is to kill them in ways only Shankar could possibly imagine. These minor villains too are badly etched characters. In one instance, the Minister of Communication, who speaks pages about the technical aspects of how a cellphone tower works, in a later scene, reads ‘Unknown number’ as ‘Unnikrishnan’ in the name of humour. But that’s any day better than the cringe-inducing comedy of Karunas and Santhanam from Enthiran and a few one-liners from Nila (Amy Jackson) who uses Vadivelu, mega-serial and even Nayagan references will put a smile across your face. Shankar also has a few tricks up his sleeve that he lets loose once in a while that ends up as massive theatre moments.
Back to the technical prowess the film sports, the art direction, costumes and most importantly the fact that 2.0 is India’s first film to be shot in 3D makes the film a technical achievement nevertheless. The immersive visuals and sounds make it a film that should be watched to experience – so much that you wouldn’t actually mind the uninspiring story.
My rating: 3/5