A few months ago I reviewed the astonishingly fun Indian film Enthiran and loved it to pieces, even though it’s a sprawling three hour effort which definitely has the odd bit of filler and a couple of songs that go on for far too long. Released in 2010 I’m not sure how I managed to avoid hearing about until recently it as it’s a musical, a comedy, and an action film which is so over the top that if it was even a tiny bit sillier it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable, but director S. Shankar pulled off the mix of extreme daftness and action perfectly.
This sequel is set seven years after the first film where Dr Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth, once again) is working on a new robot, a female who apparently can’t be prone to going wrong in the same way that his first creation, Chitti, did when he was reprogrammed and tried his best to rule the world. Chitti’s head is still stuck in a museum and bar the odd wistful comment Dr Vaseegaran doesn’t seem to care, but then people start turning up dead, and it’s discovered that mobile phones are to blame. Yep, this is once again a case of “You did read that right” as the big villain is technology in the film, with it having a very pointed warning about the “Dangers of technology and climate change” in the film.
It’s not just one psychopathic mobile phone either (though surely it’s only a matter of time until that film is made), as all of the mobile phones in India soon bugger off and join together to form impressively animated monsters, normally it’s an evil crow type creature but they’re adept at transforming themselves in to various different shapes. After some super sleuthing Dr Vaseegaran discovers why this is happening and begs the Government to let him put Chitti together once again as he’s the only robot who can save the day. They refuse to initially but after several very important people are murdered they give in and so our wise cracking hero is back on the scene.
Unfortunately the sequel isn’t quite as good as the first film. For one thing they’ve dropped a fair bit of the comedy, if it had just one less joke in it I wouldn’t have been able to review it for the site but it just about still falls in to the comedy action movie genre. The fish out of water element that made the first film so funny is completely missing here, it’s understandable that director S. Shankar didn’t want to go over old ground but given that Chitti’s been in the museum for so long it could have had the odd joke about how he feels about the present day, and he doesn’t seem to even notice that Dr Vaseegaran’s old girlfriend who he was madly in love with in the first film is no longer around. Also missing are Dr Vaseegaran’s comedy sidekicks / lab assistants, and there’s only a couple of songs, and even then one is truncated so we only hear half of it. These elements were what made Enthiran so unique, and without them it’s an inventive and likeable flick, but nowhere near as enjoyable.
When it comes to the action scenes they aren’t quite as impressive as the first film either, the CGI is much better overall and there’s some really strong moments with the phones warping in to various objects (a transformation in to a road being particularly effective) but there’s nothing that will blow you away in the manner that Enthiran managed to time and again. The main themes and messages of the film could have been portrayed in a slightly more subtle manner too, it’s great that it addresses such issues but it hammers it’s points so hard that they’re a little squashed and tiresome by the end. Don’t get me wrong, 2.0 is still a film I enjoyed and I’ll definitely see a third in the series if it’s made, but anyone expecting something truly unique after the amazing first movie will come away disappointed.
Our review of Enthiran.