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Technically superb, entertaining in parts

Technically superb, entertaining in parts
Highlights

20, beyond doubt has been a film awaited with bated breath by hordes of fans of director Shankar, the showman of southern cinema and Thalaivar Rajinikanth who has been having a lean run at the boxoffice in the past five years or so

2.0, beyond doubt has been a film awaited with bated breath by hordes of fans – of director Shankar, the showman of southern cinema and ‘Thalaivar’ Rajinikanth who has been having a lean run at the box-office in the past five years or so. With its release date postponed quite a few times, impacting the expectation levels of the die-hard action lovers in this part of the country, its arrival must have finally put an end to the agony of entertainment lovers, for sure. The formula is easy to unravel – a message-laden plot which is narrated onscreen with a mix of sci-fi, technological wizardry and a heady cocktail of star power lacing the proceedings – from the Superstar at one end, Akshay Kumar as an add-on and the combined heavyweight impact of A R Rahman, Resul Pookkutty, Amy Jackson and the likes.

Basing the story on the harmful effects of radiation of mobile towers on the environment and how the unbridled sales of cellphones has damaged the existence of birds and bees, Shankar revs up the proceedings with the marauding impact of the villain, Akshay Kumar (in a phoenix-kind of an appearance) who sweeps and snatches phone instruments at will. The mystery is unraveled by the hi-fi scientist, the redoubtable Superstar who is suave and composed in his appearance throughout.

Enters Chitti, the robot, the pivot around which the 2010 original revolved, making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for his fans. As the smart machine takes over, the villainous Pakshi Raja, as the avenging bird is called, proves more than a match. So, an improved version of Chitti – the 2.0 - is launched, with its trademark swag, invincible aura and typical mannerisms which only Rajinikanth can carry off with elan. Though the film moves well and the 3D effects meet its objective of stupefying the average viewer, it is only when the new, empowered Rajini gets in, the film quickens its run.

Planning a sequel perhaps, a mini version of 2.0 (a shrunken bot) also is made to fly around on a pigeon’s back, which should make the younger viewers, especially children enjoy it. As far as the Superstar goes, he is a combo of action and sobriety, the high energy levels bursting forth only in the last half-an-hour or so. However, by then, Shankar ensures a polished veneer to the product he has worked on for a few years and his attempt to raise the bar to meet international standards are by and large praiseworthy. It is now for the fans to evaluate the venture and give it their support.

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