‘2.0’ Is No Great Shakes But Special Effects Are Dazzling

If you grew up as an agnostic unable to surrender to the definitive “out of this world” prowess of Rajinikanth, then this would be a tough ride! Rajini is for believers, his films for those who unquestioningly partake in their superhero’s on-screen antics. It’s a strange symbiotic relationship between the star and his fans, where both fuel the frenzy and subsequently bask in it.

Chitti from S Shankar’s 2010 Enthiran makes a comeback, here to take on the villainous “birdman” as the faithful soldier of his creator DR Vaseegaran! Amy Jackson plays another humanoid robot and is called NILA.

Explaining her workings to a group of wide-eyed students, he explains - “Nice intelligent lovely assistant”. But truth be told, if she had been cast as a mannequin it would have made little difference to the proceedings.

Under the layers of makeup and bird feathers is Akshay Kumar, an ornithologist pushed to the brink by human indifference and misuse of technology. He is a powerful negative energy that must be countered by an equally powerful positive energy, Vaseegaran lectures!

The story is no great shakes.

Sudhanshu Pandey reveals why his character detests Vaseegaran so much, but that sub-plot soon evaporates and nothing concrete comes of it. Adil Hussain, capable of so much more, is reduced to a cameo appearance.

For most of the first half, Akshay Kumar is absent. It’s only his menacing force we witness as hell breaks loose on cellphones and towers. To be honest, fatigue does set in because the way the story unfolds is repetitive and predictable.

Post-interval, Pakshirajan (as Akshay is helpfully named) gives us his detailed backstory and a heavy dose of a jan hitt mein jaari social message about saving the planet but this gets too stretched and laboured for its own good.

How could a gentle, loving man turn into a furious winged one?

Even as you vociferously try and wrap your head around this one, 2.0 just isn’t the kind of film where one goes in looking for a credible story or character evolution. The aim is to dazzle us with the CGI and 3-D special effects and that is goddamned hard to look away from. Especially the last 30 minutes of the film, when Rajni swag is in full swing and we see Thalaivar in four different avatars.

Where the writing fails, the cool razzmatazz of the graphics keeps us hooked. And for a true Thalaivar believer, when one humanoid robot tells another humanoid robot “come baby give me a beautiful kiss” – you know you don’t witness this level of craziness everyday.

3 Quints out of 5! They know how to distract us with style!

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