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Robot (Rajinikanth) Review

Robot (Rajinikanth)
Deepa Garimella /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
Robot could have been a fantastic movie. Using nuts, bolts, wires, jazzy computer consoles, titanium and silicon is the neatest way yet to legitimize Extreme Rajini and everything that he has stood for.

Because Chitti (Rajinikanth), the robot, is a master of a zillion skills, knows everything there is to know, fights like the meanest war machine the US has ever built, and is more brilliant than anything you've ever imagined. He can be Goddess Durga when he has to finish off cheap goons who use Her name, or Lord Krishna when he has to rescue the heroine from gang rape. He can push the limits of medical science by carrying out complicated obstetrics, and he can recharge his batteries at will. Heck, he can dismantle himself even.

This invincible automaton was built by a super-intelligent scientist, Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth). Indeed, the question of who is more awesome - the Creator or the Creation - becomes increasingly too mind-numbing to even think of.

But alas, this alchemy of Rajini-ness, this metallic immortalization of his quirks, isn't allowed to finish in peace. Shankar, who begins by feeding off the superstar's charisma and doling out a playfully cute first act, chucks the scriptwriters out after the interval and makes the film an exaggeration of every bit of ridiculousness that Rajini cynics so love to ridicule.

Robot's story isn't much of a puzzle. Vaseegaran has built a robot with the sole aim of donating the technology to the Indian army so it can use robots on its battlefields and prevent thousands of soldiers from dying. Thus is born Chitti, who, as described above, is peerlessness personified (Rajini, by the way, doesn't really do much; all his stunts and capers are computer graphics).

However, when Vaseegaran coaches him to start having feelings, all hell starts breaking loose. Chitti has started becoming a man, and no man can resist a woman who looks like Aishwarya Rai and keeps kissing him on his cheek and telling him how amazing he is - even if the woman is the boss' girl.

The first half of the movie consists of fun cyborg vignettes of the kind that you saw in Small Wonder, and a lot of the phony-yet-glitzy romance that commercial cinema usually has.

Robot slowly spirals into meaningless tripe, when Chitti turns bad goaded by the evil scientist Bohra (Danny Denzongpa). Shankar's obsession with visual creativity overtakes logic and reason to the point that towards the end, the extravaganza on screen totally stops making sense.

Think thousands of insane Chittis wrecking havoc all over, with even the armed forces not being able to contain the mess, and then transpose childish fantasy-graphics onto the idea - and you're bang on this flick's wavelength. There's no good vs evil battle here, by the way - just the entire State's machinery trying to stop a maniacal hydra-headed monster.

Still, Robot has its share of philosophy. In a particularly impressive moment, Chitti asks his master how he can "create" Chitti and teach him to feel and yet expect him to not love the woman he wants to. Then, there are the existential doubts - "So this is what being human means? To be capable of self-destruction?"

The movie is visually rich, thanks to its budget, as well as its star power. Rajini is understated and Aishwarya Rai is but an accessory, but make a formidable combination they do.

Rajini turns into an insane caricature in his evil avatar, but the rest of the flick sees him pull off rather sedate stuff, with even his swagger being simulated by the machines. Rai has stunning screen presence despite her silly role and exaggerated heroine-histrionics.

Rahman's music is an important accompaniment to the film, given Shankar's fixation with high-end songs. The tracks are all pretty good, but the much-hyped Machu Pichu song comes in at a point where the movie is grating your nerves.

In the end, the kind of hype and money that floated around this flick could probably not have been matched by its IQ anyway, and maybe that was the problem.
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Robot (Rajinikanth) (telugu) reviews
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1 - 10 OF 10 COMMENTS
Can watch again - Yes
Good for kids - Yes
Good for dates - Yes
Wait to rent it - No
Krishna on 13th Nov 2010, 9:58am | Permalink
Shankar has served a lavish thali consisting of action, romance, drama, great special effects, mind-blowing locations and rocking music. Powerhouse performance by Rajni especially in that “black sheep” scene where he’s at his zenith as an evil android maniac in love. Aish is impressive and once again hats off to her dancing skills. The way she moves in that techno-dance robo song (1st song after interval) deserves special mention. The music came as a real surprise. I wasn’t impressed the 1st time I heard them but as is with Rahman’s soundtracks these days, they grow on you. After watching the film the appeal of the songs grew even more.

Pros: Rajni, Aish, music, locations and choreography.
Cons: The climax
karthik on 4th Nov 2010, 5:45pm | Permalink
Stupid movie,no script, cartoonish visuals, badly picturized songs, horrible dialogues , I shouldn't even start talking about the action sequences.

This is the result when a "rich" director starts suffering from Megalomania.

Pros: all the hype
Cons: not even coming close to matching the hype
Saradhi on 28th Oct 2010, 12:38pm | Permalink
Everyone is saying, movie super, visuals super, Rajini super etc..etc..Did anyone recognize Aish's make up? It was simply outstanding. Costumes are superb. Didn't see Aish like this before. Rajini can not dance at this age, it would be very good if in the two songs of robo, if dance choreography is given to robo and aish instead of Rajini, that makes the songs outstanding. I regret to watch this movie on IMAX screen. Waste of money. Bad sound and visual. Never see the movies on IMAX screen which are not meant for that.

Pros: script, aish, rajini, techinical values and graphics
Cons: Rajini's overall choreography
Mungalla Ramakrishna on 16th Oct 2010, 3:41pm | Permalink
Really superb movie - Hats of to Rajinikanth

Pros: Rajinikanth
yashas reddy on 8th Oct 2010, 10:30am | Permalink
if tajmahal is the first wonder for love in india then robot will be the 2nd wonder for the movie freakers
Phaneendra Kumar Pappu on 5th Oct 2010, 12:43am | Permalink
The movie is bad for a Sci-fi genre and excellent for Rajani genre. The understanding of Artificial Intelligence is zero and all the Asimov's rules are happily ignored as stated by Rajani himself in one particular scene. The budget of 160 crores should have bought better graphics.

Rajani was excellent in acting department, but the script was very bad. The first half was promising in a large way but the second got wavered from the goal. Aishwarya never looked so beautiful. Music was great and locations for the songs were breathtaking, especially the desert with water in the middle and of course, Machu Picchu.

If, you want to see the complications that arise on giving emotions to a robo, then go watch AI by Spielberg. This is purely a Rajani flick which warrants all his histrionics under the disguise of Robotics.

Pros: Rajani, Aish, Music and Visuals
Cons: Script, Bad understanding of AI.
Srini on 4th Oct 2010, 1:23pm | Permalink
Movie is good, Deepa has done an wrong review.. No double meaning, good comedy, Wonderful visual effects.
kumar on 2nd Oct 2010, 7:14pm | Permalink
First, kudos to Shankar's thoughts. Those Special Effects could have been more realistic. But, With a budget of 162 crores, this is probably a top notch Sci-Fi film in that budget category. Rajini and Ash have done fantastic job. Hatsoff to Rahman and the art director.

Regarding fullhyd review, Deepa seems to be less interested in Sci-Fi films. This movie offers both information and entertainment.
damodar on 2nd Oct 2010, 2:22pm | Permalink
Good in parts. Overall, Not up to the mark for a Rajni film that came after 3 years.

Pros: visuals, hindi release
Cons: felt like watching a video game
RamBabu on 1st Oct 2010, 11:38am | Permalink
Outstanding movie. Just now came out of first show and writing the review. Shankar has done the magic again.

Pros: Visual effects, Script and Screenplay
Cons: NONE
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