Rating: *** 1/2
Man makes a machine, but the machine wreaks havoc on mankind. The onus is on the creator to set things right. This is a done-to-death storyline in movies in the West. For Tamil audiences, Shankar has presented something similar in "Endhiran" in an interesting manner and Rajnikanth`s magic makes it worth a watch.
A technical milestone in the history of Indian cinema, "Endhiran" is one of a kind and will be talked about for months. It is one of those movies where the awe factor lives forever. The script has its highs and lows and it may appeal to everyone. But if we forget logic, it is a truly entertaining movie.
The story revolves around Vaseegaran (Rajnikanth), a robotics professor who creates an Android humanoid robot Chitty, which resembles him. The machine is programmed to be a master of all traits. Vaseegaran creates it with a sole aim of dedicating it to Indian Army to replace soldiers in the battle field.
Vaseegaran is assisted by Siva (Santhanam) and Ravi (Karunas). The robot wins the admiration of beautiful Sana (Aishwarya Rai), ladylove of Vaseegaran.
But trouble starts when Chitty is programmed to have emotions like any human being. As it happens, it instantly falls in love with Sana and leads to trouble for both Chitty and its creator.
Enters Bohra (Danny Dengzongpa), who was Vaseegaran`s mentor, with an evil motive. Cashing in on the opportunity, Bhora takes control of the machine after Vaseegaran dismantles it and throws it away in a fit of rage. Now the real war erupts between Vaseegaran and Chitty.
Chitty takes away Sana and creates its own army of robots. Their only motive is to end Vaseegaran. The robots are on killing spree and it is up to Vaseegaran to end the menace.
Rajnikanth oozes style throughout the narrative. He impresses both as Vaseegaran and Chitty. The typical Rajnikanth may be missing here. No punchlines or intro song, yet Rajni is impressive.
Unlike other heroines, who come and disappear in a wink of an eye, Aishwarya has a substantial role in the movie. Danny is a refreshing change from regular baddies that we see in Tamil cinema.
Known for his big-budget sci-fi films, Shankar has gone one step further in this. Nobody other than Stan Winston studios would have carried of the special effects. "Endhiran" was like watching "Iron Man", "Transformers" and "Superman".
The first half is a smooth and fun ride with cute Chitty taking centrestage. A couple of fights set the tone for the fans. A few lighter moments and two songs make it a light-hearted affair.
However, the second half drags a bit, making the narrative less interesting. There are portions which could have been edited well. A couple of songs follow each other in quick succession which dampens things a bit. But, the rest of the second half is racy, action-packed and intelligent.
Rahman`s music is a mix of east and west. Cinematography compliments the theme, thanks to Rathnavel. Peter Heinz`s stunts, especially the train sequence, is fast and interesting.
Overall "Endhiran" is an awesome experience thanks to technical brilliance, gripping screenplay and good performances.
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