By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Here are 10 reasons why Shahrukh Khan’s Chennai Express will get one of the biggest openings ever:
1. Shahrukh Khan: He commands the kind of eyeballs that other actors can only dream of. And although his last home-production Ra.One was a super-hero fiasco and Jab Tak Hai Jaan left his fans underwhelmed, there is no denying the enthusiasm-level for Chennai Express (CE) is higher than for any release so far this year.
2.Rohit Shetty: His track-record speaks for itself. In his entire career as a director Rohit has made only two flops Zameen and Sunday. Besides his Gol Maal franchise All The Best also did a 100-crore business.
3. Deepika-Shahrukh: They came together the last time in 2007 for Om Shanti Om. Much has happened to her career since then. For one, Cocktail happened. And then Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani happened. Chennai Express is expected to complete Deepika’s hat-trick of bumper hits.
4. North-South Divide: Whether it’s Kamal Haasan-Rati Agnihotri in Ek Duuje Ke Liye or Mehmood-Kishore Kumar in Padosan or Rohit Roy’s wonderful short-film Rice Plate with Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah, films that play on the cultural differences between the North and the South have always warmed viewers’ hearts. Heroines who speak in thick Aaiy-yai-yo accents were at one time hugely popular in Mehmood’s films.
5. Shahrukh Khan’s Romance With The Railways: Remember Chal chaiyyan chaiyyan in Dil Se? And the grand finale of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge where Rahul yanks Simran into the railway compartment? And that amazing sequence in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades where a little boy on a railway platform runs after Shahrukh Khan’s speeding train to return him the change for a bottle of mineral water…And most memorable of all SRK’s final journey by train to his beloved’s doorsteps before he breathes his last in Sanjay Bhansali’s Devdas?Shahruk shares a wonderful empathy with the railways.
6. Indian Audiences’ Romance With The Railways: Films set in trains or in and around railway stations have always fascinated us Indians. Remember Om Prakash the station master in Julie ? Remember Vijay Anand and Jaya Bhaduri’s final embrace on a railway station in Kora Kagaz? Remember Ravikant Nagaich’s suspense thriller The Train? And how about Pakeezah where Raj Kumar first sees Meena Kumar’s feet in a railway compartment?
7.Vishal-Shekhar’s Music: The songs in Chennai Express seem to chug along nonchalantly creating platforms of pulsating rhythms that invite you in for a spin. The music here is as seductive as what Vishal-Shekhar conjured for SRK’s last film Ra.One.
8. Eid: It’s that time of the year when a whole mass of moviegoers rush to see a Salman Khan starrer. No Salman this time. So the coast is clear for SRK.Besides Hindi, the film opens with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, German , Hebrew, Dutch, Turkish and Malay. The film will open in Morocco, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Peru and Isreal on Friday.
9.Shahrukh The Action Star: We’ve seen Ajay Devgn doing Rohit Shetty styled stunts. But SRK???!!! That should be interesting.When was the last time SRK did stunts?
10.The Shahrukh Famine: Shahrukh khan fans be warned. No SRK starrer for at least a year and a half. Farah Khan’s Happy New Year should hit the theatres by Christmas 2014. Until then, happy viewing.