If you’re yet to experience Bollywood on the big screen, Chennai Express is a pretty entertaining place to start. Essentially a romantic comedy, screen legend Shahrukh Khan keeps up a cracking pace.
As Rahul, Khan is despatched from Mumbai with his late grandfather’s ashes to scatter them in the waters of South India. He climbs aboard the train of the title, but things soon turn awry when he meets the strikingly beautiful Meena (Deepika Padukone).
Khan’s performance is deliciously unhinged, and when he finally busts into some trademark dance moves, you can see the master craftsman at work.
For those more familiar with Indian cinema there are plenty of cross-references to other films. Because much of the film takes place in South India there are plenty of nods to the superstar of Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth, including a tribute song as the end credits roll.
The casting of Khan with Padukone builds on their earlier success in the 2007 mega-hit Om Shanti Om. The chemistry between the two is sensational, with Padukone’s acting a standout.
I would have liked a few more musical ‘items’ (songs), especially in the early stages and a final fight scene is more brutal than it needs to be. But on the whole, this is a fine example of what Bollywood can deliver. It’s colourful, fast, and oh-so-cheesy. And there’s an interval. Chennai Express is just the ticket. Climb aboard.
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