Chennai Express is a masala entertainer. So you should not expect logic. Chennai Express is a comedy movie. So you should not comment about the stereotyping. Chennai Express is Rohit Shetty's movie so you should not expect more.
I expect these comments after publishing this review. I think it will come true as even Chennai Express over delivered on my expectation. Yes,I expected it to be bad and it was horrible. Indian movies are full of stereotypes. Each and every movie has some stereotype or the other. The creative liberties will be summoned if you criticise and if it's region based stereotype, your regional movies will be criticised of stereotyping. But Chennai Express is beyond everything. It not only reinforces the Bollywood stereotypes of South Indians but has grossly distorted geography, culture and what not. Above all, it also lavishly copies from famous Tamil/Telugu movies.
Rahul (40 yr old SRK) takes the Chennai Express to take the ashes of his grandfather to Rameshwaram. Actually, all he wants is to get down at the next station and enjoy his time with his friends in Goa. But accidentally, he helps Meena (Deepika Padukone) and his father's goons to board the train. They also kidnap him along with Meena to Komban Village (god knows what was the inspiration for that name). Confusion ensues because of Meena's actions. What starts as a wonderful comedy takes the dreaded path to demise.
Seriously, I loved Chennai Express the way it started. The wonderful spoof of DDLJ and the song dialogue bravado that ensues between the lead actors are brilliantly conceived. But when Deepika opens her mouth to utter her Hindi dialogues, everything went for a toss. That hideous over the top accent, Mr.Rohit Shetty, where did you see any Tamil Girl talking like that? Seriously, they either admit they don't know Hindi but if they learn a language, they will speak and even sing like any other normal Hindi speaking person. And her Tamil is not better than any other non-Tamil speaking actress that we have in Tamil cinema. (Mandai not Mundai)
Rohit Shetty doesn't care anything about how authentic he needs to be with the culture. Mundu, Veshti, Lungi, Kathakali.. Who cares ? (And what is that “Rasam” in the temple you are talking about?) Obviously, there is no difference between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He also deliberately copies from South movies like Muthu, Okkadu (Gilli) and the terrible Alex Pandian (which we disowned). Alex Pandian??? (Damn!!!) At one point of time, I even thought I might end up seeing “Irukki Anachu Oru Umma Tharu” sequence from Muthu with Rohit Shetty doing a cameo at the end.
Rohit Shetty should be credited for extracting a stone faced portrayal from a brilliant actor like Sathyaraj. I never thought it would be possible. Except for Titli and the excellent use a short sequence from Nalayira Divya Prabhandham, there is nothing much to talk about the musical score. And the lungi dance is cringeworthy. (No, using Rajinikanth in a picture, doesn't guarantee you a hit in Tamil Nadu)
Chennai Express is a dream come true for those who love south indian stereotype portrayals. Usually, Hindi movies will have one or two supporting characters to make fun of but now they have a movie to make fun. Some may claim it's not offensive then what's the problem. Because, for me stereotyping itself is offensive. Next time, a guy from Uttar Pradesh or Maharashtra, who comes to work in a software company in Chennai will think that all those beautiful Tamil women will talk “Bokwaas”.
Congratulations Rohit Shetty and SRK, you will have the grandest opening and 100 crores. But please be reminded, you made it from a “Bokwaas” movie.
Go watch it. Enjoy. After all, what's going to happen? Who cares about those stereotypes?