Chennai Express (2013)
Chennai Express is a 2013 Indian ro-mantic action co-medy film directed by Rohit Shetty, and produced by Gauri Khan for Red Chillies Entertainment. The film features Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles; it is the second collaboration between Khan and Padukone after Om Shanti Om (2007). The film is about a man’s journey fromMumbai to Rameswaram, and what happens along the way after he falls in love with the daughter of a local don. Principal photography began on 27 September 2012, filming began in October 2012 and was completed by May 2013.
Chennai Express was released in the overseas markets on 8 August 2013, and a day later in India. Extensive paid previews were held in India on 8 August as well. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it broke several box office records in India and abroad, becoming the quickest film to collect ₹1 billion (US$15 million) net domestically.
The film surpassed 3 Idiots to become the highest-grossing Bollywood filmworldwide; a record it held until it was surpassed by Dhoom 3 in December, 2013. According to Box Office India, Chennai Express currently ranks as the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film worldwide.
Rahul Mithaiwala (Shah Rukh Khan) is a forty-year-old bachelor living in Mumbai. His parents died in a car accident when he was eight years old, so his grandparents raised him. His grandfather (Lekh Tandon) owns a chain of confectionery shops. Before his grandfather’s 100th birthday celebration, two of Rahul’s friends invite him to accompany them on a vacation in Goa, which he accepts. Rahul’s grandfather dies on the eve of the celebration, just when he witnesses Sachin Tendulkar on TV in a cricket match get dismissed on his 99th run. His grandmother tells Rahul that his grandfather wanted his ashes to be divided into two parts—one of each to be immersed in the Ganges and Rameswaram. She asks Rahul to take the ashes to Rameswaram and disperse them. Reluctantly, he accepts her request but is also eager to attend the Goa trip. Rahul and his friends plan to dump the ashes at Goa but his grandmother wants to see him off, forcing Rahul to travel by train. He books a single ticket on the Chennai Express, planning to meet his friends along the way. However, Rahul forgets to take the ashes, and he almost misses the train when he returns to collect them. As he tries to leave the train, he notices a young woman running to board it. He helps her and four other people board the moving train, but the train leaves the station before he can get off.
Rahul tries to flirt with the woman, who starts communicating by singing parodies of Hindi film songs, and explains that the four men are trying to kidnap her. Rahul lends her his mobile phone so that she can contact her friends, but the men with her grab it and throw it from the train. Rahul is annoyed, but says nothing because the men are carrying weapons. Rahul tells the ticket inspector about them, but they push the inspector into a river below a bridge. Panicked, Rahul learns that the men are her cousins, and that her name is Meenalochni “Meena” Azhagusundaram (Deepika Padukone). She is fleeing from a forced marriage to Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer). Her father, Durgeshwara Azhagusundaram (Sathyaraj) is a powerful headman of the local mafia in Tamil Nadu.
Meena takes Rahul to her father and introduces him as her lover. Tangaballi challenges Rahul to a duel that Rahul unknowingly accepts, due to his lack of knowledge in Tamil. On the night of the duel, Rahul escapes with the help of a local policeman, Shamsher (Mukesh Tiwari), but he ends up on a ship with Sri Lankan terrorists and smugglers. A gun battle ensues between the police force and the terrorists. When the police officers investigate and take Rahul into custody, he tells his story and ends up back in Komban. Terrified and once again surrounded by Azhagusundaram’s sickle-wielding henchmen, Rahul pretends to take Meena hostage and escapes with her in her father’s car, battling Azhagasundaram’s men. When the car has a breakdown, Rahul and Meena quarrel and part ways. Rahul, not knowing which way to go, returns to Meena, who takes him to the Vidhamba village. Meena tells the villagers that they are a married couple who needs protection and rest, to which the villagers agree.
Meena then realises that she has fallen in love with Rahul. When Rahul plans to sneak away, she argues, not wanting to earn the villagers’ distrust. Tangaballi catches Rahul as he tries to leave, but the villagers help them escape again. Meena persuades Rahul to disperse his grandfather’s ashes and travels with him to Rameswaram, where they complete the rites. On their way back, Rahul realises that he has fallen in love with Meena, and does not tell her where they are going. He takes Meena back to her father and tries to make him understand and honour his daughter’s wish. He also tells Meena that he loves her. Rahul tells Tangaballi and his goons that he is ready for the fight this time. In the fight that follows, Rahul is severely injured but emerges victorious. Meena’s father and Tangaballi reform, accepting that the love of a common man like Rahul is bigger than their physical ability and political influence. Azhagusundaram allows Rahul to marry Meena. Rahul then leaves a message that love knows no regional or language barriers and that with a strong heart, there is no limit to what the common man can achieve.
- Deepika Padukone as Meenalochni “Meena” Azhagusundaram
- Shah Rukh Khan as Rahul Mithaiwala
- Nikitin Dheer as Tangaballi
- Sathyaraj as Durgeshwara Azhagusundaram
- Priyamani (special appearance in “1 2 3 4 Get on the Dance Floor”)
- Mukesh Tiwari as Inspector Shamsher
- Kamini Kaushal as Rahul’s grandmother
- Lekh Tandon as Rahul’s grandfather
- Rakesh Kukreti as Rahul’s friend
Mayank and Rohit Shetty had originally planned to team up for a remake of the 1982 film, Angoor. After the 2011 blockbuster Singham, Shetty had begun writing the script of the film but left it half-finished. The script of Chennai Express was ready for Shah Rukh Khan as a back-up, because of the difficulty of obtaining the actor’s filming dates. Upon reading the script, Khan liked the idea and agreed to star in it before the Angoor remake, causing Angoor’s remake to be postponed. Shetty said the film is “a hard-core commercial film with a romantic angle. The story is about this man’s travel from Mumbai to Rameshwaram and what happens during the journey.” About 68 minutes of footage were enhanced with CGI by Reliance MediaWorks.
Shah Rukh Khan was the first actor to be approached with the script and was the first lead actor to be signed for the film. Rohit Shetty stated that despite the title, Khan would not play a South Indian in the film. The casting of the lead heroine was the subject of much press speculation; Kareena Kapoor, Asin and Deepika Padukone were rumoured to be involved. Shetty denied those rumours, stating that the cast would be finalised in April 2012, and that he was going to cast an established actress in the role. In October 2012, it was confirmed that Deepika Padukone had been signed to play the female lead opposite Khan, and photographs showing Padukone and Khan shooting were released. This was Padukone’s second film opposite Khan, with whom she made her Bollywood debut in the 2007 blockbuster Om Shanti Om. Starting with this film, which was released on Women’s Day, Khan wished to have the name of his female co-star appear above his own in the credits.
Sathyaraj was cast to play the role of Padukone’s father—the film’s main antagonist—making his debut in Bollywood. Actress Priyamani was signed in January 2013 for an item number in the film. Other personalities from Tamil cinema, including Delhi Ganesh and Mohan V. Raman, appear in minor roles.
Filming on the project began at Mehboob Studio in Mumbai on 5 October 2012. additional filming was done at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station with a minimal crew. Stills of the lead actor were unofficially released in mid-October 2012. In November 2012, the cast and crew went to Goa to begin filming the scenes set there. The railway station at Vasco da Gama was used to portray Kalyan. A romantic scene on board a train passing next to Dudhsagar Falls was also shot. In December 2012, the crew went to Jakarta to film certain scenes.
In January 2013, a shoot was supposedly scheduled to take place in Ooty, but since Khan felt that Ooty was too far from Mumbai, several locations from Ooty were reconstructed on the outskirts of Panchgani in Wai by the art director Narendra Ruharikar. It took over 40 days and ₹ 15 million to build the required sets. Filming in Wai took the entire month of March 2013. A 10-day shooting schedule in Munnar, Kerala, began in mid-April 2013; scenes were filmed at Devikulam Lake, Meesapulimala, Wagavara and Kannimala. Filming was stopped for several days because of heavy rainfall, resulting in the schedule being slightly extended until end of the same month. A press conference was held in Munnar. In May 2013, scenes were filmed in North Goa. Padukone finished shooting on 25 May 2013. Khan flew to Hyderabad in May 2013 to film his remaining scenes. The film has several Tamil dialogues, but to retain context no subtitles were used.
|Soundtrack album by Vishal-Shekhar|
|Released||1 July 2013|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
The score of Chennai Express was composed by Amar Mohile; the songs were composed by the duo Vishal-Shekhar, and the lyrics were written by Amitabh Bhattacharya and Yo Yo Honey Singh. Recording of the songs began in late October 2012. The track “Ready Steady Po” was recorded in November 2012 by the music’s composers. Several sources said that the director and actor were unsatisfied with the score. The director was reportedly asked to plan for a different musical composition. However, the composers denied these rumours. In mid-April 2013, singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam recorded the title track for the film, marking his return to Bollywood for playback after an absence of fifteen years. He said the song celebrated the spirit of togetherness. Initially, Balasubrahmanyam was apprehensive, but chose to sing due to the content and leads of the film. The song “1 2 3 4 get on the dance floor” was released as a promotional single on World Music Day. On 27 June 2013, the video promo of the song “Titli” was released, and on 11 July 2013, the promo video of “Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari” was released. On 19 July 2013, T-Seriesuploaded a song to its official channel on YouTube; sung by Honey Singh. The song was titled “Lungi Dance – The ‘Thalaivar(r)’ Tribute” in honour of the south Indian film actor Rajinikanth. On 25 July 2013, a promotional video of the song “Tera Rasta Main Chhodoon Na” was released. The music album was launched on 1 July 2013.
|1.||“1 2 3 4 Get on the Dance Floor” Free Download||Vishal Dadlani, Hamsika Iyer, Sricharan||3:48|
|2.||“Titli” Free Download||Gopi Sunder, Chinmayi, Srimathumitha||5:50|
|3.||“Tera Rastaa Chhodoon Na” Free Download||Anusha Mani, Amitabh Bhattacharya||4:13|
|4.||“Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari” Free Download||Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan||5:07|
|5.||“Ready Steady Po”||Vishal Dadlani, Brodha V, Smokey, Enkore, Natalie Di Luccio||3:28|
|6.||“Chennai Express” Free Download||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Jonita Gandhi||4:47|
|7.||“Titli (Dubstep Version)” Free Download||Zoheb Khan, Phoenyx||3:40|
|8.||“Chennai Express (Mashup)” Free Download||DJ Kiran Kamath||3:37|
|9.||“Lungi Dance” Free Download||Yo Yo Honey Singh||4:36|
Total length: 39:34