Image Source: Lyca Productions
Cast: Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Adil Hussain
Story. Yes, story is the most important aspect of cinema. Without that, even a great visual spectacle ends up giving a hollow experience. I admire Shankar because he is a gutsy and bold director; he wants to bring that cinematic vision and revolution with his movies but 2.0, despite its glorious action, feels incomplete due to an unconvincing script.
Let’s talk as the film progresses. Shankar makes a powerful presentation in the first 50 minutes as we get to witness the premise of 2.0. A mysterious bird like creature is stealing cellphones, killing some people, Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth) trying to figure out what’s happening, Chitti’s revival make for a pretty interesting scenario in the movie. So far so good. The anticipation for Akshay Kumar’s Pakshi Rajan or bird man character was actually built up brilliantly but when his background story is revealed, everything fell apart for me.
Understand this; the cause should justify the action. The cause for which Pakshi Rajan is doing all these killings and cellphone stealing were unconvincing for me. You don’t go on doing mass killings for some people’s mistakes. I don’t buy it. This is where problems began with 2.0. After that, it’s just the fights between Akshay Kumar and Dr. Vaseegaran and Chitti; no proper story associated with it. Shankar focused so much on the VFX and action that he ended up ignoring the substance of the film: Story.
See the character of Naseeruddin Shah in ‘A Wednesday’. The anticipation to know why Naseeruddin is doing such things and who he is, justifies his action. You can actually get convinced for his doings. Thanos in Avengers, Tyler Durden in Fight Club or Joker in The Dark Knight, you may not agree with these grey characters’ actions but at least you can understand that their cause is as big as the action.
I wanted Shankar to write that kind of strong and heavy cause for Pakshi Rajan’s character, to bring out the depth in his role. More often than not, dark or grey characters show us the truth and realities of the world but they need to be written and explored efficiently. This is where the biggest fault of 2.0 lies.
I also wanted some more run time for Akshay Kumar; that could have made the face-off more entertaining and even audience would have got ample time to engage with his character.
Having said the above, there are many appreciable aspects and some milestones achieved by Shankar and 2.0 which should never be forgotten. The visual effects are superior and you will feel proud that this is an Indian film that is so advance on such a gigantic scale. Shankar knows how to create a futuristic setting and bringing audience to that environment to get an immersive experience.
I am not a big fan of 3D because many time, filmmakers use it so pointlessly that it becomes a childish affair but 2.0 needs to be watched in 3D. The effects are crystal clear, attention grabbing and leave a mark.
Scenes where a dark room gets illuminated with cellphone lights and forms a cage, phones crawling up the humans and big structures, giant scary bird flying above the city, innovative fights between Bird Man and Chitti are something you will not see in Indian films for a long time. Shankar also proves his cleverness in the final battle wherein different forms of weapons and defense mechanisms make you go Whoa! and you will enjoy them like a kid. 2.0 also has many whistle-worthy moments from Rajinikanth.
Finally, I would say 2.0 is an average film experience due to the shortcomings in its script but it should also be applauded for its special effects which are not just exceptional but also visionary. DOT