Chennai Express is a no-brainer, a box-office success, a critic’s nightmare and the audience’s (well the ‘average’ ones at that) get-away…….that more or less sums up SRK’s latest offering.
I have not seen the film. Neither do I wish to spend a minimum of 200 bucks on a film like this. Sooner or later someone will be only too eager to hand me a perfect print in a pen drive. One fine day when my brain refuses to do something even remotely brainy, I will gladly watch this no-brainer on my laptop without having to pay a single penny (oops sorry advocates of anti-piracy, but this Express is certainly not running at a loss). I have a list of films that I have seen for the sheer fact that I did not feel like using my grey cells. Govinda’s hits from the 90s top the list, followed by Salman’s latest offerings wholesomely packaged with an unmistakable Southern flavor.
So what’s all the ballyhoo about?
India is a Nation divided. Let’s take the case of Bollywood. We often get to hear the ‘average’ cinema-goer does not like ‘serious cinema’. How do you define the average cinema goer? The alu-walas and the beedi-walas? What about the swanky car owners and white collar employees –young and old- with the exact same taste in films as those who belong to the lower rungs of the society? And pray how do you define the not so average cinema-goer? The one with an unshaven face, a baggy jeans, uncombed hair, preferably a dark T with a Kubrick quote and a horn-rimmed glass?
Most people want ‘paisa vasool’ and to quote a certain risqué lady ‘Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainemnt’. No-brainers, larger than life films have always been there. They will always be there. And you my dear cinema-goer (average/not so average) will always have a choice: either you spend your money on them or you don’t. Stop cribbing for God’s sake.
No one’s stopping you from having your dose of ‘serious cinema’. Even I am a sucker for serious cinema as such but I really don’t see why I should begrudge a Dabangg or a Chennai Express. Give your brain some rest people! For the record when Vishal Bharadwaj made Omakara and used hardcore expletives from the Hindi heartland, he was criticized for promoting profanity (alliteration not deliberate). Ditto with other films that take a ‘slice out of real life’; serious cinema alright.
Bottomline? We need to take ourselves a little less seriously!!