Cast: Rajinikanth, Amy Jackson, Akshay Kumar
1) Five minutes into Shankar’s long-delayed magnum opus (has he ever made a film that wasn’t a ‘magnum opus’?) and we dive straight into action. There are no introductions (except for ‘Nila’), no elaborate ‘superstar/Chitti intro songs’, and thankfully no Karunas or Santhanam. 2.0 assumes everyone has watched Enthiran and that’s fair, because it’s almost impossible not to have watched a Shankar film, and that’s doubly true when it also stars Rajinikanth.
2) It makes sense why this film had to be made in 3D. Flying phones are actually quite creepy on screen and we feel the itch when they crawl/flutter like insects.
3) Amy Jackson, playing Nila the Robot, is genius-level casting. Her acting skills (which was wooden at best in regular films) is quite perfect when given the framework of a metallic body. She is the film’s comic relief and she is immensely likeable.
4) There’s also a nice subliminal reading you can give to her character which Vasee describes as one with a ‘purpose…like a laptop’. It’s cheeky how it self references heroines and their roles in male star films.
5) This is very much the typical Shankar film. Its gene pool is the same as that of Gentleman, Indian, Anniyan and even I. Is there another director who has showed torture in so many innovative ways?
6) But there’s a delicious twist this film puts on the Shankar anti-hero template. The villain here is not an alter ego (hmmm but it kinda is also) and he’s the one who gets the tried-tested-and-tired flashback.
7) The effects are top notch. The budgets seem justified and the visuals don’t feel as derivative as they did in the trailer/teaser. Some shots really are beyond imagination. It’s also a very clever sequel. It’s interesting how it puts a spin on elements from the first part and presents it in a fun way.
8) Akshay Kumar gets a hero’s introduction. It’s confusing who one should be rooting for. In fact, one can draw several parallels with a film like Vikram Vedha but let’s do that some other time.
9) Calling this film over the top is an understatement. If Enthiran felt like it was on steroids, 2.0 is on steroids, dipped in LSD, peppered with cocaine and smoked in flames of marijuana and then multiplied by a million.
10) Despite all the effort and the grandeur, it’s still quite unbelievable how easily a well planned Rajinikanth ‘punch scene’ can do one better. When the Superstar is given his moment, (no matter what size), the effect is beyond VFX, beyond budgets, and beyond nature. Is the ‘fifth force’ just another term for Rajini’s star power?
The world is not just for humans. Blockbusters are not just for Hollywood.