2.0: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen
The sequel to the massive 2010 hit Robot, sees the Thalaiva, Rajinikanth, face off against a new villain, Pakshirajan. This VFX-loaded spectacle also stresses that all living things must co-exist.
By Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi
I remember watching Robot (Enthiran in Tamil) in Hyderabad at a local theatre with my cousins when I was younger. I didn’t understand the movie then, as I was just five years of age. A year or two ago, I watched the movie again, and I remember liking it a little better. I was overawed by the scene where a thousand replicas of Chitti, the robot, get together to form a Godzilla-like creature and also, annoyed at Sana (Aishwarya Rai and Robot creator Dr Vaseegaran’s girlfriend in the movie) being overly dependent on the men in her life. (Yes, thank you, feminist since age seven!). 2.0 is the much-awaited sequel to Robot, released after eight long years! Was it all worth the hype? Meh.
2.0 comes with a good message
In 2.0, Pakshirajan, an elderly ornithologist (bird scientist), commits suicide and returns as a fierce supernatural force seeking vengeance against cell-phone users. This is because he believes that radiation from the phones and the cell towers is responsible for killing thousands of birds. The troubled souls of the birds are shown joining Pakshirajan in seeking revenge. He then goes about killing people in the state. So, Dr Vaseegaran is asked to help remedy the situation. Standing in Pakshirajan’s way is 2.0 — a new and improved version of Chitti, the scientist's creation, a robot.
Although the movie comes loaded with a good message — to live and let live (the birds), the plot was as basic as sliced bread and predictable throughout (I KNEW they would give the bad guy a tragic backstory!). The plot devices used are ones we’ve already seen in a million movies so far. The movie picks up pace in the second half, and it’s kind of a mess before that.
Although it talked about important points about how birds affect the ecosystem (radiation means birds getting killed, which means no one to eat the insects which, in turn, eat our crop, leading to no more crops and hence, farmer suicides), it seems silly to base a Rs 500-crore movie about something without actual scientific evidence. They even say so in the movie disclaimer itself! I do believe radiation can negatively affect birds, but I still feel they should have backed it with scientific evidence. Then again, this is a movie about super-robots and monsters made of mobile phones, so I’ll give that a pass.
Spectacular VFX and animation
I haven’t seen many of superstar Rajinikanth's movies, but I could understand he has aged since I watched Robot and felt there was a dip in his flair. But, that did not seem like a huge issue to his fans in the theatre. (Seriously, the theatre went nuts whenever he did literally anything!). Bollywood star Akshay Kumar (as usual) did a spectacular job portraying Pakshirajan. He made me feel sympathy for the old ornithologist, as well as rage toward the beast he later becomes. I found Nila (Amy Jackson as Dr Vaseegaran’s secretary)’s character inadequately sketched. Amy Jackson is British and does not have any real connection to India. Why pick her, when there are millions of Indian actresses who would do her role justice? Or perhaps they were being inclusive. Whatever.
One thing I REALLY liked about this movie was the VFX and animation. There was a really high production value and the level of animation is similar to what I’ve come to expect from Marvel or DC. The visuals added an extraordinary touch to this thriller/sci-fi/vigilante film. Especially with the 3D effect, everything felt 10x-ed. The animation where the room was full of phones was one of my favourites. I recommend going for the VFX alone, if not for anything else.
Entertaining film throughout
Overall, I would give this movie 2.5 stars out of 5. The stunning animations and the pure awesomeness of Akshay Kumar made up a good chunk of those points, by the way! If you love action and sci-fi, this movie is great. If you aren’t a big fan of those things, then feel free to watch it on TV or on Netflix or something like that when it releases (though the animation may not look great on your mobile or home LED TV). Evil has a new face, the mobile phone, but until director Shankar comes up with a stronger argument against it, I am gonna use it. Period. Instagram, here I come!
My 5 Takeaways From 2.0:
- Every creature on our planet has a crucial role to play in the well-being of the world.
- Technology is great, but only as long as it does not harm any living being.
- Every form of life is just as important as ours, and we must care for them. Humans don't own the earth.
- Think before using your cell phone. Not everything needs to go online or messaged.
- No progress is worth it if a sparrow weighing barely thirty grams cannot co-exist with us.
The author is a writer/blogger who blogs at www.vanshikadevuni.blogspot.com
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