Hari's Reviews

Hari's reviews on books, movies, television and more

Endhiran (2010)

Created: Mon Jan 31 20:06:35 2011 | Last modified: Mon Jan 31 20:10:54 2011

Rating: *****-----

Year: 2010
Language: Tamil
Starring: Rajnikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Direction: Shankar
Music: A.R.Rahman

Endhiran was probably one of the most anticipated movies of 2010, featuring SuperStar Rajnikanth in the double role of a scientist Vaseegaran and his humanoid robot creation. This movie is of the genre "genius scientist creates evil, uncontrollable robot", so there's not too much by way of plot to explain here. The usual elements of an evil adversary who plans to use the good scientist's invention for his own ends is played out here. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays Rajnikanth's love interest in this movie as Sana, a medical student.

The whole plot can be summed up in a few lines: Vaseegaran the genius scientist creates an advanced humanoid robot to benefit the Indian military, but his robot has one obvious shortcoming: lack of ability to discern or understand human emotions. His mentor professor Dr. Bohra (played by Danny Denzongpa) is jealous of Vaseegaran's success and plots to bring about his downfall. He taunts Vaseegaran by challenging him to implant his robot with the ability to simulate human emotions and feelings. Vaseegaran takes it up and succeeds beyond his own imagination. What happens afterwards and how Chitti (the robot) manages to become a ravaging evil monster is what the rest of the story is about.

The first half is all about the "good" side of the robot and how a robot with advanced human-like mechanics can be utilized for the benefit of humanity. The second half deals with how technology can overtake man's good intentions and lead to unexpected and disastrous results. This concept is quite old but the execution is where "Endhiran" falls really short. The whole movie is bogged down with needless song sequences featuring Rajnikanth (as both Vaseegaran and Chitti, the robot) and Aishwarya Rai in a variety of exotic locales that don't match the theme and mood of the story. Furthermore, the abilities of the humanoid robot goes way beyond even the science-fiction realm and into that of pure fantasy. The logical flaws and loopholes are so big that an entire fleet of buses can be driven through them.

The second half is where things become really ridiculous very fast. The ability of the "evil" Chitti is beyond even the realms of the boldest science fiction. How an ordinary programmable robot suddenly becomes not only emotionally intelligent but also so intellectually superior to even start creating its own clones is the limit. That's just the start, though, because the robot attains human capabilities and ambitions. There are just too many instances of this to note down in a single review, but here's one scene that particularly stands out: how Chitti detects the human imposter in its army of robot clones and how it reacts to the discovery. This is just stretching the viewer's credulity in the most bizarre manner.

The whole movie rushes along to the climax, but the climax is too long, stretched beyond bearing and noisy as hell. The special effects used are of the "seen that before" variety and nothing out of the ordinary. The concept of "Terminator" and similar Hollywood movies is blatantly copied in the final scenes where the robot army goes on a rampage in the city. The scenes of armed policemen/soldiers arriving in droves and futilely shooting away at the evil monster robots while they unleash their destructive force are an example of this. Nothing of real significance as the scientist finally uses his brain power to destroy the evil army created by Chitti. 100% predictable of this genre.

All in all, I rate it 5/10. It's an out and out Rajnikanth show. Nothing special, especially considering the hype. If you can get to see this movie for free as I did (I was invited by a friend to watch it in a theatre) and you are bored, they go ahead. Otherwise you can assure yourself that you haven't missed anything.