Bollywood and restraint are two words rarely seen in the same sentence. But the 2010 Tamil production Enthiran definitively blows all of its predecessors out of the water. The S. Shankar-directed film took a decade of preproduction and two years of filming. The result is the most expensive Indian film ever produced at a cost of 1.65 billion rupees or about $35 million. Its also the highest-grossing Tamil film ever and the second-highest grossing Indian film, full stop. Clearly, the film delivers big-time in the way of fully-transporting escapism nearly three hours of it. The plot offers the kind of genre mash-up and melodrama that even the most hubristic, well-financed, Western directors could never hope to achieve. Heres the main gist: A scientist has created a robot named Chitti (both characters played by the same actor, Indian film icon Rajinikanth) who is semicapable of feeling human emotion. Of course, this backfires. The robot falls in love with the scientists fiancee and then is duly convinced to destroy the world by a rival, nefarious scientist. Spoiler alert: The world doesnt get destroyed, and mass musical singalongs ensue along the way. Trust us, you havent lived until youve seen Chitti pop-and-lock in a crowded nightclub to bilingual drum n bass.
Sun., Feb. 6, 8 p.m., 2011