‘2.0’ Teaser Review: Chitti, Chitti, Bang Bang. End.
There’s a lot going on in Rajinikanth’s <i>2.0</i> teaser. Most of it against good sense.
There’s a lot going on in Rajinikanth’s 2.0 teaser. Most of it against good sense.(Photo: Vikram Venkateswaran)

‘2.0’ Teaser Review: Chitti, Chitti, Bang Bang. End.

With an estimated budget of Rs 543 crore, production time of three years and a team of over 3,000 technicians worldwide, director Shankar’s 2.0 starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson is by far the biggest Indian film.

Anticipation peaked when the teaser released on YouTube at 9:00am, September 13th.

The teaser has clocked close to 10 million views (Telugu, Tamil and Hindi combined) in less than five hours.

Photocopy Sci Fi 1: Big Hero 6

The villain in 2.0 seems to be an other-worldly (alien?) power who is able to kinetically control metal, specifically mobile phones, and mould thousands of them into any shape he desires. This premise is uncomfortably similar to Disney’s Big Hero 6, where the villain controls and shapes thousands of tiny nanobots.

Photocopy Sci Fi 2: The Day The Earth Stood Still

The formations that the mobile phone turn into in the sky, and around the people, and specifically around Rajinikanth’s character Vaseegaran, is almost an exact copy of sequences fromThe Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) starring Keanu Reeves.

Photocopy Sci Fi 3: Transformers

Terminator 3, all of the Transformers movies and a little bit of GI Joe; all of these films seem to have found some space within the 90 second teaser. In some frames, especially during the eagle attack, the big money and the army of computer graphics artists seems to come through, especially when the ‘eagle’ bares its talons, or screams to the camera. But in literally every other frame featuring a standoff between Chitti and the villain, the visuals are no better than the final cheesiness of Enthiran, that was released eight years ago.

Here’s what Enthiran’s climax looked like. Shankar has gone with the same idea of robotic clones forming cages and snakes in 2.0.

Despite lack of an original idea and the same old visuals, what works for 2.0 is Chitti, the robot.

The One Thing Makes the Teaser Tick: Chitti the Robot

It was after Chitti went rogue in Robot, Shankar’s first full fledged science fiction film, that the movie actually got interesting. Rajinikanth played a scientist, devoid of the usual style and attitude fans associate with him on screen. But Chitti, infected by the villain’s programming was a delectable villain, one that allowed Rajinikanth to dredge up his personas from the late 70s, where he typically played the villain, and enjoyed doing so.

At the fag end of the teaser is Chitti, showing off his orange eyes, and laughing like an amused maniac. Now THAT is something to look forward to.

As long as there’s more of the out of control Chitti in 2.0, and as little of Vaseegaran as possible, 2.0 could well turn out to be an entertainer.

I could talk about how Shankar lost the plot after Anniyan, and how he’s unable to turn the humongous budget he’s given into decent visuals. But that can wait for the film, or at least another underwhelming trailer release.

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