I don’t know whether Shankar’s 2.0 is a disappointing film or not. Because I belong to that category that wasn’t impressed by the trailer and yet believed that we may get something better when the movie hits the big screen. Sadly that’s not the case here. The trailer in many ways is an exact representation of the movie. And with visionary filmmaker Shankar moving more towards being a template filmmaker, 2.0’s chances of living up to your optimistic expectations are less.
So after the Chitti chapter, Vaseegaran is proceeding with his other robotics experiments. In the meantime, a phenomenon happens in the city where the mobile phones of people are getting sucked into the air by a force. The government and authorities eventually identify the need of Vaseegaran’s Chitti to restore normalcy in the system and the film is basically about how that process happens.
If you have been someone who was following 2.0 closely, you must have heard fan theories about the story and what was disappointing to me was that it was very close to those predictions. Shankar’s visionary aspect does pop up sporadically. The many formations he creates to demonize the character played by Akshay Kumar and some of the quirks he puts in the features of the robot versions have the glimpses of his visionary aspect. But as a director, he is struggling here to place it in a subtle way. It is not your typical Rajinikanth showoff movie and you need to have conviction in what you present. Maybe Shankar himself felt this dullness in the narrative and made the last one hour of the movie very loud. But the content here was so flat and preachy even that pepping up can’t save the movie from looking like a half-baked one.
Rajinikanth is okay in his role and he doesn’t have the superstar charm here because of the story structure. While the Vaseegaran and Chitti versions were pretty ordinary it was the other interpretations of Chitti, which only came in the last hour had the Rajini vibe to its credit and I feel by that time the movie was out of hands from getting a recovery. Akshay Kumar had more scope to perform even though he was always covered in a prosthetic layer. In my opinion, he managed to give a sense of humaneness to Pakshirajan. Amy Jackson is rightly cast as a robot as expressions won’t be needed. Adil Hussain, Kalabhavan Shajon etc are there as other characters.
Written by Jeyamohan and Shankar, 2.0 is a concept that needed a better development. The character of Pakshirajan is trying to make us aware of the fact that our urge for comfort has unknowingly resulted in the extinction of a lot of birds and that has an impact on our lifestyle as well. Like all Shankar movies the social awareness agenda this time happens about the usage of mobile and mobile tower frequencies. But his usual charm of blending both aspects in an exciting formula was clearly missing here. Shankar’s pattern of making the character a superhero-like figure after the character going through multiple rejections and eventually taking revenge on each one who mocked him is repeated here and the only change is that this time that is the villain. The visual effects of the movie are a very subjective case. If you were totally pleased by the visual effects portions you saw in the trailer, this one will satisfy you. For me, the only thing that worked was the bird-like figure made out of mobile phones. The detailing given to that was great. Apart from that everything else clearly lacked a sense of completion. The movement of Chitti versions and that entire stadium fight looked very half-baked and it was almost like a few more layers of rendering was actually required to make it look real. Visuals look a bit too luxurious. Sound design was impressive. The background score was good and luckily there were no irrelevant songs that disturbed the narrative.
Let me put it this way. 2.0, on the whole, is much similar to its trailer. You can easily guess a basic plot. The visual effects will impress you only occasionally. And the 2.0 version has that commercial vibe to give the film some sort of energy. Because of the lately introduced 2.0 character, a dull generic script ends up as a watchable one.
2.0, on the whole, is much similar to its trailer. You can easily guess a basic plot. The visual effects will impress you only occasionally. And the 2.0 version has that commercial vibe.