Warning: Lots of spoilers.
Average Hair Count on each theatergoer’s head at the beginning of Enthiran – 1000,000
Dr Vasigaran or Vasi (Rajini in another age-reversal get up) is a robot scientist who has spent ten years of his life building an android-humanoid (i.e. life like) robot. He is assisted by two imbecile lab assistants who are completely unmindful of the fact that they are privileged to be part of a team developing cutting edge stuff in robotics. Instead they act like two disgruntled code-writers in software companies doing time-pass at work and looking out for jobs.
Vasi’s lab is located in what looks suspiciously like California but emerges into Mount Road in Chennai. When the movie opens, the robot is kicking the two lab assistants (hmmm, hence the job dissatisfaction?). Apparently this is the humour element in the movie, since the two lab guys get beaten up in the movie quite frequently by the robot.
Hair count as one begins tearing hair in frustration – 999,000
Vasi’s robot ‘Chiti’ is created in the image of Vasi and is ready to be tested in a real life environment. Enter Sana (Aishwarya Rai looking quite shapely after ages), Vasi’s super pretty and super dumb doctor girlfriend. Sana takes Chiti home and in two minutes manages to get into trouble with the neighbourhood goons. Sana the HUMAN BEING stands helplessly while Chiti the ROBOT uses his initiative to create havoc. Encouraged, Sana gets into a standoff with some more goons and pleads to Chiti ‘Do something’. Er..don’t robots normally need precise instructions like ‘Take the bad guy’s weapon and kick his ass’? Besides, however did she get through her days before Chiti appeared, considering her penchant for getting into trouble?
From the strong Ramya Krishnan character in Padiappa and the Jothika character in Chandramukhi, women in Rajni movies have morphed into these wimpy eyelash-flashers who whimper helplessly most of the time. If Shriya in Sivaji was bad, watching Ash Rai being saved by a Robot in a proooollongged rape scene makes you want to cry.
Hair count – 700,000
Anyway, after Chiti is exposed to the world of women who exist only in the movies, Vasi reveals Chiti’s purpose. Chiti is to be given to the Indian army so that robots can fight in the place of real soldiers. So basically we find out that a robot, designed to kill human beings has been roaming the streets at will.
Hair count – 600,000
Enter Evil Scientist Bohra (Danny Denzagpo looking suave). Bohra's robots all look menacing just in case we have not already figured out he is the bad guy. Bohra has taken a hefty cash advance from an international Terrorist Placement Agency which has asked for several human looking robots. Bohra's robots are unfortunately not ready for this lucrative market. So he conspires to get hold of Chiti and sabotages Chiti’s attempts to be recruited by the army.
A frustrated Vasi, instead of going back to altering Chiti’s software, decides to teach Chiti ‘feelings’ in less than a month in order to be eligible for the army. The expected happens and Chiti falls in love with Sana (Aha, I always knew Ash Rai's plastic smile could only be a turn-on for robots *smug smile*). Vasi destroys Chiti out of rage and jealousy.
Hair Count – 400,000
Bohra recovers Chiti from the garbage dump – oh yeah, Vasi’s method of destroying Chiti is not deactivating him but hacking him into pieces – and loads Chiti with the ‘Bad taste’ red chip. This makes Chiti go after Sana despite her really bad wig. Chiti converts all the robots in Bohra’s lab into his lookalike, kills Bohra, kidnaps Sana and sets up a house with the intention of living happily ever after.
Hair Count – 200,000
After a couple of stupid attempts by Vasi to disarm Chiti and a stupider robot dream sequence where Sana tries to seduce Chiti (what can one say…), the climax begins.
Hair Count – 100,000. Gosh looks like we can all use Sana’s bad wig.
The climax turns out to be the paisa vasool part of the entire movie. It is a stunning spectacle of mankind’s mastery of graphics (we may suck at robotics but we surely rock when it comes to graphics!). The army of Chiti robots form various shapes and ward off attempts by the Indian army to capture them. At the end of twenty minutes, when Chiti is finally subdued one sits totally stunned by the spectacle.
The red chip is removed from Chiti and Ash’s wig has also become better and is no longer attractive to Chiti. Peace reigns. Chiti dismantles himself while giving a long sermon
Thud thud. Gosh the head hurts without hair to cushion its banging against the wall.
The movie could have been a lot less insulting to the viewer's intelligence if Shankar had handled the whole man vs machine conflict better. Rajni the scientist seems to conveniently keep forgetting that his robot is a machine and needs to be treated accordingly - not slapped around or scolded like some recalcitrant kid. Seriously, a Phd from Carnegie Mellon, a post doc from Stanford and you expect us to swallow this?
Rajini's superstar image is partly to be blamed. After all Chiti may be a robot, but he is still Rajini. And hence he becomes a superman instead of a supermachine. Perhaps if writer Sujata had been alive, the movie may have been dumbed down to suit the average viewer without losing its credibility entirely.
I would sincerely suggest the following to Shankar to ensure that the movie has a longer run at the box office.
Try some serious editing – say about two hours of the movie. Now stitch together the following scenes
- Vasi and Chiti in the car and Chiti with the policeman (that bit was funny)
- Couple of song sequences, especially the one in Peru
- The entire twenty minutes of the climax
I guarantee I would watch the movie again if these were the only things in it.