Chennai Express: A perfect Bollywood masala film!

Published: August 28, 2013

The beauty of South Indian landscapes, good music and zany acting of Deepika and Shahrukh make the movie excellent. PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE: CHENNAI EXPRESS

Director Rohit Shetty, who delivered hits like Golmaal 3, Singham and Bol Bachchan, brings together Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s captivating chemistry once again to the big screen in the form of Chennai Express after the 2007’s reincarnation-romance hit film Om Shanti Om

This light-hearted film is distinctive and has presented completely unusual avatars of Shahrukh and Deepika. To capture the heart of a moviegoer, Shetty successfully mixed all spices in a very balanced manner to present a complete family entertainment film with mindless comedy, drama, action and romance.

In the film, 40-year-old Rahul (Shahrukh Khan), a North Indian bachelor and halwai (sweetmeats vendor) who couldn’t get married due to his caring, over-protective and over-domineering grandfather, boards a train called Chennai Express to fulfil the last wish of his grandfather to have his ashes immersed in Rameshwaram.

PHOTO: CHENNAI EXPRESS movie Facebook page

On the journey, he meets a South Indian woman Meenamma (Deepika Padukone), who wants to flee from the clutches of her huge family and Tamil mobster father, who want her to get married to another mobster’s son, just to expand his territory.

Deepika Padukone as Meenamma. PHOTO: Chennai Express Facebook page

The rest is the relentless blending of light comedy, tender romantic moments, drama, heroic action and dance – all in South Indian style.

If truth be told, Chennai Express is made in true Rohit Shetty ishtyle. The director has done his job wonderfully. The film moves from one scene to another with seamless pace along with clap-trap and witty dialogue that just kept coming.

The scenes are striking and very amusing. The, aesthetic cinematography by Dudley in particular is breathtaking and can compel a nature lover to fall in love with beautiful southern landscapes. The colourful, melodious songs shot in scenic mountains, are rich compositions by duo Visha-Shekhar. ‘Titli’ and ‘Tera Rastaa Choroon na’ are two particularly well written romantic songs in the movie. ‘Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari’ is another catchy tune in its almost old-fashioned melody. The film ends with a song tribute to Rajnikanth, the king of South Indian cinema.

PHOTO: Chennai Express Facebook page

A screenshot from the song Lungi Dance. PHOTO: Chennai Express Fan Club Facebook page

Performance wise, both Shahrukh and Deepika did their job impressively; they are inspirational actors of Bollywood and here once again both performers excel in their characters. Throughout the film, Shahrukh’s performance is a zany and pleasing one. Totally immersed in Rahul’s character, he has delivered his best comic performance with beautiful timing – for instance, when he changes his facial expressions all of a sudden into ‘My name is Rahul and I am not a terrorist’.

Similarly, when Meenamma wonders if he is 50-years-old, an insulted Rahul reacts with a genuinely hilarious action. He stands out with his comical acting right till the end of the movie. Deepika Padukone comes up as a complete stunner and driving-force of the film. She provided the accurate momentum with her Tamil accent and colourful saris. Although her accent confuses audiences to some extent, Deepika allured everyone with her performance and compelling chemistry with the co-star.

Having said as much, the film is deprived of a persuasive script and has a superfluous comic sense. What I found most annoying was how the Tamil language has been extensively used in dialogues which non-Tamil speaking audiences couldn’t even understand as there were no subtitles. This was boring to watch and frustrating at the same time.

Yet, the movie does manage to offer the film buffs something to laugh about and that’s the core reason that helped the film to smash all previous records to cross $3.9 million marks. For serious moviegoers, though, it has too many loopholes, but it has something for everyone, which is why the mesmerising Chennai Express has emerged as a big hit of the year. It has proven that the Shahrukh + Rohit + Deepika combo is exceptionally enchanting that can create a new history in Bollywood masala films.

So go for a fun-ride on the Chennai Express if you want to just relax a little bit for next three hours!

Tanveer Khadim

Tanveer Khadim

An avid reader, freelance writer and a blogger, Tanveer is pursuing fashion designing. She has a passion for cooking, attended cookery courses and tweets as @TheFusionDiary (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hella

    Being a Pakistani reviewer you are being a bit too kind and polite to Chennai Express. It is a boring movie, bereft of any meaning or sense. If it is really doing so well it only reflects on the poor taste of audiences. Recommend

  • Pappu

    You seem like Rohit Shetty spokesperson. Recommend

  • Stranger

    Hey I like the way Pak viewers like Hindi movies. Being an Indian I am addicted to Pak movies especially those belonging to the 70s era. Good girl keep your reviews going ..Recommend

  • Indian

    I thought this movie was in poor taste …Recommend

  • Candice

    Loved the movie, and thank you for a review that reflects the way I felt.Recommend

  • binger

    he he he he he he he he he he

    you are so funnyRecommend

  • shim

    masala vs. lafafa.Recommend

  • Sana Ch

    Bakwaas movie………..Pls dont waste your time…………is it really a movie,Excuse MeRecommend

  • LalaGee

    Its 6 million… ur calculation…Recommend

  • anonymous

    It was bakwas and SRK did over acting and is over rated too .. Recommend

  • Azeem Aslam

    I saw the movie just for entertainment not involve in love with India. As per my opinion the climax of the movie was really good but the rest parts of the movie were like routine movies. I appreciate the struggle of movie-makers but not on the cost of patriotism. Pakistan Zinda BadRecommend

  • Movie Lover

    @author Yes you are right film is deprived of persuasive script. But it is a good time pass.
    Yours a good review!Recommend

  • Shauq

    There was noting to worth seeing besides of SRK,Deepika and Sceneries.Recommend

  • SRK Fan

    This movie “Chennai Express” is for Shah Rukh Khan Fans and we love it <3Recommend

  • Manzar

    @Tanveer You have rightly said that SRK, Rohit, Depika combination is excellent for bollywood masala films. These films have no script and Chennai Express is a good example of it.Recommend

  • Khan Sahab

    I agree that this film is a complete family entertainment, there is no need to pass vulgar scenes, you can enjoy it with your whole family without any embarrassment. Recommend

  • Akif

    I am a serious moviegoer but still I liked Chennai Express, after all it is SRK film with beautiful locations and nice songs.
    Your review reflected the right aspect of the film. Thanks for sharing.Recommend

  • Julia Kiran

    I enjoyed this movie a lot. Loved the actors and the music was wow!Recommend

  • Indian dude

    The review was too much in favor of Rohit Shetty…The movie is not up to the standard of good bollywood films…and as per the calculations…its 320 Crores INR rupee..or 500 crore Pakistani rupee or $ 45 million in net earning..Recommend

  • Ravi

    Moveie needs the Tamil speaking portion.
    There was sub-title to Tamil.Recommend

  • Ehinome Okojie

    before it was SRK, now it is SRD
    S – Shahrukh
    R Rohit
    k – Deepika
    Chennai Express puts other films to shame at the box office, underperformers calling themselves kings, imagine if this film was as accepted as singham, ghajini, rnbdjRecommend

  • Ehinome Okojie

    before it was SRK, now it is SRD
    S – Shahrukh
    R Rohit
    D – Deepika
    Chennai Express puts other films to shame at the box office, underperformers calling themselves kings, imagine if this film was as accepted as singham, ghajini, rnbdjRecommend

  • Riffat

    Haters gonna hate…….BUT movie has too many funny jokes, nice music and soft love story, there is no absurd language, no explicit scenes. SRK and Deepika acted so well and we all love it. Recommend

  • Critical

    As a tamilian, I cringed every time Dipika spoke in tamil….It was like having molten lead poured into my ears…….

    Its sad that though Tamil film industry produce very hard-hitting movies,the entire Hindi belt still identify us with pot bellied heroes,garish costumes,unrealistic action sequences…….

    Honestly,whats up with this Rajinikanth jokes??? Compared to unrealistic action sequences of Sunny Deol in 90s,Rajinikanth movies are much better……That Lungi dance looked more of teasing Rajini than paying a tribute…..

    The North Indians think that Bollywood is the best film industry just because they produce more revenue but they refuse to acknowledge the fact that better movies are produced in Tamil,Malayalam,Marati and Bengali industry and they dont get much revenue due to the lesser audience base……

    If Oscars were given in the same criteria of how Bollywood movies are given awards….Then Michael Bay would have got multiple Oscars.Vin Diesel as Best Actor in Fast and Furious,Megan Fox as best actress in Transformers


  • Raj – USA

    This movie was released simultaneously in nearly 20 major multiplex cinema chains, not small independent cinema theaters, in USA. I guess, it should be around 20 because 3 – 4 cinema theaters in many major cities released it and there was 4 – 5 screening of this movie on each day at each theater. I saw the movie on Saturday and saw 95% of the seats occupied. This is a huge commercial success in USA. It is a good comedy and time-pass. I liked it. Now a days I see more and more local Americans and Koreans also watching hindi movies regularly. I also see some Iranian and Bangladeshi regulars. Recommend

  • gp65

    @Author: You should clarify that the $3.9 million mark that you are referring tois collections in Pakistan alone. Also you say “What I found most annoying was how the Tamil language has been extensively used in dialogues which non-Tamil speaking audiences couldn’t even understand as there were no subtitles. This was boring to watch and frustrating at the same time.”

    I saw an interview where they discused why they left the subtitles out. First question was what language should subtitle be? Shold they be in Hindi because it was after ll a Hindi movie or English. But later they decided to skip it to show how the hero (who did not understand the language also) felt.

    @shim: “masala vs. lafafa.”

    Chenai Express has grossed 200 crore plus in Indian market and 100 crore plus in intrnational market. . So do you think there was a need for lafafa? Watch it if you enjoy masala movies, skip it if you don’t. Why make such personal allegations?

    @For those who had a problem with the movie – the promos were very clear about what one should expect. ROhit Shetty also has a track record. If you go to a desi restaurant and complain that they did not serve burgers, who is at fault you or the restaurant?Recommend

  • Naveen

    Great music, some good comedy scene. Not much of a story, but the fact that I could bring along my extended (Chacha- Taaya included) Paindoo family more than compensated for the story. Recommend

  • laagee

    all pak conspiracy…the film earned b/w 60-70 million $…..not 3.9Recommend

  • Mudassir

    In my view the film has become block buster as it has been a first experience to include the south Indian population on board. The movie is a formula film with some comedy, tragedy and action. The success of this movie lies in its likeness towards capturing the south Indian market which gave a great boost to it. Even at the end of movie the tribute has been presented to God Father of Tamil movies, the one and only Rajni Kant.Recommend

  • Pradhan

    This movie has three things in it’s favor

    Rohit Shetty’s past comedy movies.
    Shahrukh Khan
    Lets be honest it is a total bakwas movie with full of bad jokes and cliches however, It is the only movie which you can watch with your family on a weekend outing without thinking twice.

    The last point is the big reason for its success. Recommend

  • RHS

    A very entertaining film till the very end where the violence was way overdone.Recommend

  • Adil Uddin

    Watched it with my brothers and mom at Square One (in Mississauga) last week, the theatre wasn’t full though and I was surprised to see that. The comedy was superb and I guess SRK needs to move on from his romantic roles now. Even in this movie he played role of a 40 year old guy and he’s indeed in his 40s. Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    @LalaGee: i crore is 10million . The movie has crossed the Rs 300 Cr mark ie Rs 3000 million divide that by 67 the present $ /INR rate and you get $44.78 million .I never did trust your logic or your figuresRecommend

  • Ali

    Om Shanti Om was VERY good and i would give it 9/10. Chennai Express was very average, way too much masala in it without any real story. Yes there were funny parts but you can laugh as much watching cartoons as well. I do like SRK movies (don’t watch too much Bollywood otherwise) but this is most over hyped movie i have watched in ages.Recommend

  • Anoop

    As much as I hate the whatever genre – could be named dumb genre – this film belongs to, this movie is part of the movie making process in India.

    For every Chennai Express, there is a Bhag Milkha Bhag. The ration might change drastically.

    While I think most Rohit Shetty movies are very, extremely, humongous-ly bad (Singham is a Ctrl+C + Ctrl+V of Singham in Tamil. In a sense its not his movie. Changing actors and translating dialogues doesn’t make it his), there are a few people in India and around the world who actually like it, for some unknown, possibly scary, disappointing reason.

    In a bouquet of flowers, there must be room for all kinds.

    I am going to watch Madras Cafe. Reviews are good and seems very promising. Recommend

  • Anoop

    And, what Deepika Speaks is not Tamil Accent. Rajni is not just the king of South Indian Cinema, but of India. Recommend

  • Np

    Not at all. There have been other movies like Ek Duuje Ke Liye which had a Tamil boy with a Punjabi neighbor who do not understand each other’s language.

    There were movies that tried to attract people from South particularly Tamil Nadu by using Tamil superstars like Kamal Hasan and Rajnikant as heroes. Sadma (which was a wonderful movie but flop at the box office) had a top southern hero, top southern heroine, story based in south and a top southern music director (illaya Raja).

    RaOne had not just a Hindi version but Tamil and Telugu version also.Recommend

  • Rehan

    SRK was DID IT Recommend

  • http://gmail nawaz

    Nice movie,funny movie, chennai expess2 aslo be reale. Super movie, i never saw seach anice movio never in my life. but some people say that the movie is not good, saw the movie, u like the movie when i would say yes then they would ulike any thing. the names are rhea, shifa, neha and sreeganga are those.Recommend

  • Jimmy

    One of the worst SRK movies doing good business. The theme, script, commic etc. were extremely poor. There is some thing wrong in the taste of people. SRK looked old (much above 40) and his acting was below average.Recommend

  • Critical

    Your assumption is not fully right…Before 1990s,Bollywood cinema was considered pinnacle of Indian cinema…All regional cinema stars considered it an achievement to enter
    Bollywood..Thats why many South stars,Marathi,Bengali stars went to Bollywood just like Australian,Canadian,British stars trying to enter Hollywood..

    Thats the reason Kamalahasan,Chiranjeevi,Nagarjuna and Rajinikanth tried their luck in Bollywood..Rajini couldnt succeed,much like Chiranjeevi as they were more of mass heroes…but Kamal hit the jackpot,and after acting few Hindi movies,he stopped accepting roles in Tamil movies as he wanted to move there permanently like Sridevi did…he even changed his name from Kamalahaasan(Lotus Eyes) to Kamal Hassan to sound more like a Northie muslim name…

    There is a rumor tht the Mumbai underworld sent him back as the Hindi actors feared he might overshine them….Recommend

  • Ss

    average movie, don’t get why’s there’s so much hype about this movieRecommend

  • Critical Thinking

    C’mon Guys it is the third week and Chennai Express is still rock steady at the box office. SRK’s CE beating all the previous records ’cause it has something that majority wants to enjoy, a great entertainer with good visuals. Recommend

  • Fact

    @All Haters.
    How you people can call it a “bakwas film” when millions of people all over the world have watched it and liked it. It may be a bakwas to you but not to many people. Labelling it Bakwas is your individual understanding that cannot reflect others liking.

    Neither criticism and nor haters can do anything about the super sucess of CE and SrK who once again proved why he is the only King of Bollywood. Recommend

  • biji b anand

    I really loved SHAH RUKH’S performance even I am a south indian from Kerala .Chennai Express is a mind blowing experienceRecommend

  • kappa

    Only masala…no film and SRK sucks.Recommend

  • US

    It was a total boredom. Couldn’t watch even till intermission .. :( :(Recommend

  • jessica

    hey this movie was really cool espaically when Deepika Padukone hits ShaRukh Khan with her forehead I think so

    but really nice movieRecommend

  • Daljit kaur

    See the move of chienni expressRecommend