Let us first get this out of the way – 2.0 is a Rajinikanth movie through and through. It is not like we expected anything less from the sequel of Enthiran but 2.0 delivers Thailavar in spades. There is at first, a genius-scientist Dr Vaseegaran who works in his swanky, futuristic office filled with robots and talks to high-level government officials about wishy-washy science. The scientific reasoning in the film is laughable but it is endearing to see Vaseegaran. Then there is Chitti, of course! The beloved robot capable of feeling human emotions, he is probably the weakest Rajini in the film even though people were excited to see him back on the screen. Remember the villain from Enthiran? He is back and how! The destructive “2.0” version of Chitti walks away with the movie. It is such a break from watching the morally upright and incorruptible Vaseegaran and Chitti. Rajinikanth has had fun playing this version and that is evident from the way he walks, talks and laughs. Watching the crowd erupted in thunderous applause and frantic screaming every time 2.0 laughed maniacally reminded me why we all love Rajnikanth so dearly. To paraphrase the legendary Neelambari from Padayappa, the man may age but he does not lose his style even for a second. There is even a microbot Rajinikanth in the film but I don’t want to give everything away.
Dubbed India’s most expensive film, the anticipation was all about the VFX, and the effort is really commendable. The makers have taken full advantage of 3D and there are certain scenes like the room full of illuminated cell-phones that stand out. Even though there is not much to write home about in terms of plot, Kudos to Shankar and his team for keeping us hooked throughout with all the VFX in the movie.
Akshay Kumar effortlessly plays the role of an overly passionate bird-enthusiast who is hell-bent on killing everyone who uses a cell-phone. As the villain, the reason behind his turn to the dark side from a peaceful old man may be ridiculous, but he is compelling. Amy Jackson makes for a great robot as well. She is pleasant to watch as Nila, the humanoid who has got the hots for Chitti. Nila throws vadivelu dialogues at Vaseegaran and has a dramatic hair-flying moment every time she is next to Chitti and it doesn’t hamper the film in any way. In fact, what stood out for me the most in this film was how it seemed like there were no unnecessary parts that dragged the movie too far. The flow of the movie is not disturbed by expansive dance sequences in between the scenes. Sana is just a voice on the phone that Vasee talks to. Shankar is known for his elaborate song sequences and love scenes but he has shown enormous restraint in that regard.
All said and done, this movie will mark a big moment for Kollywood. It is an ambitious project that delivered great VFX, action and lots of Rajinikanth. Watch the film for Thalaivar if nothing else.