The Rajinikanth-Akshay Kumar film is a visually breathtaking spectacle
Barring a few good content-driven films, 2018 has mostly ‘thugged’ us at the movies, especially multi-starrers featuring big names that have made us want to ‘race’ our way to the nearest exit point. To be honest, I had bare minimum expectations from the new Rajinikanth film, considering how I was much let down by ‘Kabaali’ and ‘Kaala’. But then comes director Shankar who plays Cupid between innovation and intention to give us the much-needed joy that our cinema has lately deprived us off.
‘2.0’ is a remarkable sequel to ‘Endhiran/Robot’ that ups the ante in terms of experience and entertainment.
Dr. Vasigaran (Rajini) continues contributing towards science and society with his robotic inventions. He very capably invents Nila (Amy Jackson), a humanoid robot who is efficient with domestic and personal chores. Meanwhile, the city is struck with a bizarre phenomenon. Cellphones start disappearing at a whim and citizens are at a loss to comprehend the situation. When top bureaucrats and businessmen are brutally murdered in the bargain, the authorities seek Dr. Vasi’s help, who offers to recreate Chitti. Without emphasizing further, may I remind you that Chitti was dismantled in the previous film and the idea of his recreation is opposed by Bohra’s son (Sudhanshu Pandey), who holds a grudge for his father’s death. Chitti is recreated and has to face his nemesis, Dr. Pakshirajan or Padman turned Birdman, (Akshay Kumar), an ornithologist with an evil cause.
As you can tell, the story is rather clichéd but director Shankar doesn’t entirely compromise it for the sake of treatment. He nicely blends in sending out a message while exploiting the best work of his team and the technology that he has in hand. Nirav Shah’s cinematography and the production design by T. Muthuraj are brilliantly backed by V Srinivas Mohan and Rif Dagher's VFX to offer a visual spectacle that is hard to take your eyes off. A.R Rahman’s music and original score doesn’t boast of much to rave about but Resul Pookutty’s sound design is excellent. How millions of cellphones vibrate at once is an audio treat. Anthony’s editing is slick and neat, which is a welcome respite. A huge shout out for the make-up done by Legacy Effects' animatronics. Akshay’s look in the film reflects the hard work and skill gone behind in creating it. The action by Kenny Bates, Nick Powell, Steve Griffin and Silva is commendable too but it does require parental supervision.
Speaking of the performances, it’s heartening to see Thalaiva enjoying himself to the maximum. Hard to believe that he turns 68, later this year. It’s only fitting to pit Akshay opposite him who makes a compelling villain, another joyous one to cherish after Ranveer Singh in ‘Padmaavat’, earlier this year. Amy has little to do but is surely not ornamental. Adil Hussain as the home minister, Kaizaad Kotwal as a telecom brand head and Sudhanshu have very limited screen presence.
‘2.0’ cuts through the dry spell our movies have been witnessing off late, and surely deserves to be watched, provided you keep your expectations outside the movie hall.