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Endhiran movie review
This "Endhiran" Robot movie review has spoilers like the story, and a lot of details. So, if you have not seen the movie, do not read this as this will spoil the surprise element.
Indian superstar Rajini shines in the latest Tamil movie "Endhiran". Fans are treated with first class acting and is absolutely fantastic performance keeps the audience not miss even a single minute watching him on the screen. Rajini has done an awesome job especially in the Robot role. I wonder why he said he just improvised on the sets. You could see the brilliant performance that is convincing as a robot where you cannot show emotions like a human. Endhiran is the first science fiction movie made in India and is a good start for a series of films in this genre.
Story of "Endhiran" movie:
Do not read if you have not seen the movie (as it will spoil the fun)
Scientist Vaseegaran (played by Rajinikanth) spends 10 years building a robot called "Chitti" that looks like him and has the construction abilities and skills of 100 men. He has put his whole life on hold while building this robot and considers this a big achievement of his life. Chitti looks like him, walks like him, talks like him and looks human. He lets it drive his car and allows to spend a couple of days with his girl friend Aishwarya Rai (plays the role of "Sana"). After the kinks are worked out, Vaseegaran presents the Robot to the AIRD (Artificial Intelligence Research and Development) committee to get approval. If it is approved, the idea is to use the robot in the army for saving lives by sending robots to war instead of humans.
Danny Dengzonpa is the head of AIRD and has his own plans. He has been building robots in his lab with an intention of selling it to the terrorists. He does not approve Chitti saying it does not know the value of life as he proves it might even kill Vaseegaran if instructed to do so. Vaseegaran is disappointed. On the way back from AIRD, Robot saves some people from a burning building. As the news channels are showing the rescue live on TV, the Robot also saves a teen age girl with no clothes in the bath tub inside the burning building. The Robot does not realize the girl needs to be wearing something when it drops her off in front of the media. The girl commits suicide due to shame right there by running into a truck.
To fix this, Scientist Rajni programs human emotions to the Robot. Robot gets anger, love and other human emotions. Armed with these, Chitti successfully delivers a baby for a struggling pregnant woman in a hospital. When Aishwarya hugs and kisses "Chitti", it gets the feeling of love towards Aishwarya and wants to be with her.
Robot is deeply in love with Aishwarya Rai and wants to marry her. It dances with her and wants to kiss her and marry her. Scientist Rajini gets jealous and tries to explain to Chitti that a robot cannot marry a woman. Chitti also fails the army test as it showcases its poetry skills on love instead of knowledge on weapons and armory and gets rejected by the army as an useful tool. Highly disappointed, the scientist Rajini destroys the Robot. He dismantles it into pieces and dumps it in the trash. Robot Chitti survives and gets reprogrammed by Danny Dengzonpa. Danny inserts a red chip into Chitti to make it do destructive things that 100 men can do. Robot Chitti comes back to life as the bad guy, kidnaps Aishwarya Rai from the marriage hall. Robot makes its own agents that look like him for security. Danny does not approve it and gets killed by the Robot.
Robot keeps Aishwarya in a secure building guarded by 100 of its look-alike agents. Scientist Rajini tries to save Aishwarya from the building by disguising himself as a robot. He enters the building, tries different things to destroy all the robots. He first tries to shut down all the power to the building. When the robots lost their battery power, they start to fall down. However, the get on the roads and try to power themselves from cars and other vehicles. Then scientist tries to shoot them down with the help of armed forces. Robots fight back successfully. Scientist tries to install a worm software into the main program. Chitti deworms itself and is still functional. Finally scientist captures "chitti" using some magnetic device. After a long special effects computer graphics overdose, the scientist somehow pulls off the red chip from Chitti. Chitti turns good like before and is produced in court. Court does not approve such a robot and orders to ban it.
End of "Endhiran" - the movie!
The first half of the movie is a lot of fun as there are a lot of new things for the audience. Rajini looks great and his performance in the Robot role is a delight to watch. The interval scene where the Robot delivers a baby successfully after the medical doctors say it is impossible to save both the lives (of mom and child) is executed well.
Second half is kind of a drag! It is tooo much computer graphics and special effects. The car chase scene where the Robot kidnaps Aishwarya and the police chase him is a overkill. Music during this car chase scene is especially disappointing. Even geniuses can make silly mistakes - i guess! ARR has done an excellent job in songs and parts of background score. However, it is just too loud in the last 30 minutes with all the robots forming different shapes and shooting the police. Audience do not love the robot when it turns bad and they are with the scientist. Why still treat the bad robot as the hero and give heroic music for the robot? It is like the director and the music supports the Robot and the audience are on a different page.
Movie end: Court decides a robot with this kind of capability is not needed for today's lifestyle and asks the scientist to dismantle it and ban research on it. Scientist Rajini feels sad and orders the robot Rajini to dismantle itself. Robot says it is glad it is not a human - because just like its bad red chip humans carry bad things like jealousy, anger, lust which are even harder to get rid of than the red chip. Robot dismantles itself and the parts are kept in a science museum. Title rolls! Not a great ending in my opinion.
Rajini himself is a major surprise in this movie. It is as if he has re-invented himself. Great acting. Not the regular easy roles like punch dialogues with some signature mannerisms to get applause. He will get a lot of accolades and awards for his realistic acting in this movie. The difference he has shown in performance as the scientist and as the good robot and the bad robot will make the audience watch it at least one more time. He is in almost every frame of the movie starting from the first scene to last. As if the 2 rajinis are not enough, in the last 30 minutes, the robot makes 100 more rajinis that look like it and each frame now has 100 Rajinis. I don't think any actor will have the screen presense or skills to pull it off without making the audience sigh or get out of the theater.
Aishwarya looks great. Fantastic choreography. There is so much good to say about the movie. Dazzling visual effects, realistic look of rajini's dance and fight scenes, Aishwarya's presense, music, excellent camera work, good narration, etc.
My Endhiran movie Review:
In the first half "Chitti" is shown as a sweet, lovable character and the real hero of the movie. Audience are made to fall in love with this character. In fact, Scientist is shown like a side role and even makes some mistakes like getting jealous and dismantling the robot because it falls in love with his girlfriend. Audience develops a sympathy for the Robot and wants it to come back and be successful.
Just as we start to love "Chitti" - it turns into a monstrous villain and now, it needs to be destroyed. It robs jewelry, kidnaps Aishwarya, kills many policemen, causes destruction, etc. Now, the scientist becomes the hero as he has to rescue Aishwarya and robot becomes the villain as it wants to kill the scientist.
Is it just me or did director shankar did not care about how to keep the audience emotions in a smooth trajectory?
This is a great movie and I am going to watch it a few more times. But, I could not help noting down my disappointments. This could have been the best movie ever....best movie ever made by Shankar, best movie Rajini ever acted in, etc. Unfortunately, second half kills it.
So much focus on special effects and dependence on Rajini. How about keeping a good storyline till the end if the intention is to give a wholesome entertainer? Good should prevail in the end. It always feels good for the movie goer to see hero winning and villain getting destroyed. In "Sivaji" - Rajini was the hero till the end and there was one villain who gets destroyed in the end even though there are setbacks for the hero in between. But in "Endhiran", the good turns bad, the bad turns good and the good gets trashed in the end. I guess this is where the audience will feel not so connected in the second half.