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Posted at: Nov 29, 2018, 6:22 PM; last updated: Nov 29, 2018, 6:24 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - 2.0

Rajini reloaded, overloaded too

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Film: 2.0

  • Cast: Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson
  • Director: S Shankar
Rajini reloaded, overloaded too
A still from 2.0

Nonika Singh

Using technology to drive home a message on overuse of the same might seem like an oxymoron. For isn’t the biggest USP of sci-fi 2.0 its spectacular special effects. So what exactly is the movie all charged up with humanoids trying to tell us? Really, is it on point, as it begins with mobile phones flying out of people’s hands, making walls to suffocate and kill? Indeed, it does not take rocket scientists to decode why telecom operators are up in arms against this Rajinikanth Akshay Kumar starrer. 

Granted, scientific advancements are a double-edged sword. And 2.0 that comes riding on VFX effects certainly makes a point or two on adverse impact of mobile phones. Rather valid ones at that. The all too ubiquitous cell-phone after all has turned our lives on its head and the repercussions of mobile towers have been a bone of contention too. Still, what the heck is this force flaying and flying and turning into an albatross around people’s necks, trying to build a death knell with mobile phones for all those who profiteer from its rampant commercial use.

But then we all know the villain of the piece has to be Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, who arrives only at interval point. Post intermission he gets to do and say a lot. As the old ornithologist we get lessons from him on how birds are so important in our ecosystem and we know he has his heart very much in the right place. As the old man he is not that convincing though, even though words that he utters stem from a deep abiding conviction. 

In the demolition mode, he is impressive and catches more than our eyeballs. Frankly speaking he is not antagonist ‘antagonist’ in strictest of terms. But he does unleash destruction and devastation all of which has to be countered by you guessed it; Rajinikanth. Right, and wrong too.

For, it is not the human Rajini as professor Vasigaran who can hold his limitless power but his alter ego. In case you had forgotten the prequel Robot and Chiti, well he comes to life again and this time he has company too by way of Neela, yet another humanoid played by Amy Jackson. 

Indeed, the film with actors like Adil Hussain doesn’t come swathed in typical southern flavours, at least not in Hindi version and does bridge the North-South gap. The problem arises when packed with scientific jargon, amidst lessons on actual science there is mumbo jumbo too. Trying to rationalise the incomprehensible and implausible, logic takes a walk and we are left clueless on many counts. 

Sure, aura exists but that negative aura of a dead man and dead birds can become a cohesive force and can be neutralised with positive force of radiation…you need to swallow the absurdity of it all with a sack-full of salt.

Special effects are fine up to a point and effective too. But when the film turns into a gimmickry even the mindboggling visuals can’t restore your flagging attention. 

If you are not a Rajini fan, you watch his films at your peril. And when it comes loaded with not one but two of them, God save not just Akshay but also all those who have not subscribed to Rajini fan club. 2.0 is essentially Rajini reloaded and raised to the power of infinity. By the time the film ends, there are so many miniature versions of him, minibots that you almost see a franchise of different sorts coming up. Get ready for Rajinibots in the market! Sorry, can’t say the same about the film. Unless, you want to see how VFX is redefining storytelling and how Indian, rather regional cinema is catching up with Hollywood in this department, which is what explains the extra half star. 

nonikasingh@tribunemail.com

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