Thoroughly enjoyable, mindless masala – that about sums up the movie ‘Chennai Express’

Don’t go if you are not a fan of movies like ‘Welcome’ (I am a huge fan). Also remember to leave your reasoning powers and intellect back at home and you are in for a joy ride.

Shahrukh is getting old and for once he plays a 40 something wannabe cool dude from Mumbai. He uses the same few expressions that are there in his repertoire- they would melt my heart as a teenager but now just comes across as painful (Sorry Shahrukh, I guess I have moved on!). Deepika – I am surprised and pleasantly so at the actor she is developing into. She has an amazing comic timing and carries most of the movie on her shoulders.

Rohit Shetty couldn’t have found a better ambassador than Deepika for the south Indian jhumki or the langa daavani (lehenga) or the vibrant sarees or Bharata natyam or for that matter the humble lungi even! She rocks every look including a white saree with a kaasina sara (traditional coin necklace).

I went to the theater with mixed feelings – wondering if it was going to be a south India slamming session / Mehmood accented Hindi filling our ears and expecting us to find it funny!

We southies aren’t that hung up, that we cant take a joke or two about ourselves – there is absolutely no disservice done to south culture as reported in various reviews.

But it was really funny and endearing and the imagery beautiful – much beyond what I had expected.

The antakshari through which Shahrukh and Deepika speak to each other where Meenamma(Deepika) gets only the tune right, her put on accent and the goonda cousins of hers make for a hilarious medley.

Except for the old and beaten ‘Tamil teri-ma’ joke, no clichés, no north /south bashing but a celebration of south Indian culture and traditions.

The last part of the movie is very slightly disappointing but didn’t prevent me from enjoying the movie (remember I had left my brain back home :P). Rohit Shetty tries to deliver a message – ‘Do not underestimate the power of a common man’ which doesn’t come through effectively and also takes away from the frivolous nature of the movie. I wish he had just continued with the mindless laugh fest.

Also a fight between the puny Shahrukh and the hulky, hot Nikitin Dheer is unrealistic and very unbelievable. That King Khan uses a bucket to finish off  Thangabali (Nikitin Dheer) sort of assuaged my raising concerns about the ending. (On second thoughts why would anyone not want to marry  Mr.Thangabali is beyond me! – he is such a hunk!!)

The scene where Deepika does a  spoof of Chandramukhi is hilarious and that she had fun while doing the scene comes through.

Couldn’t have asked for a better start to a Monday – that it was an off for me, just added to the fun. I am going to wear my Jhumkis and saree a bit more proudly the next time around and postpone the Monday morning blues to the next week!