{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

Article Hindi

5 years of Chennai Express: Mindless scenes that made Deepika-Shah Rukh film enjoyable

On the film's fifth anniversary today (it was released on 9 August 2013), we travelled back on Chennai Express to relive the moments of amusement and laughter.

Mayur Lookhar

Logic and Rohit Shetty don’t go hand-in-hand. So, the filmmaker has made a name for himself with mindless entertainers that include melodrama, over-the-top action especially, cars exploding. The popular saying, ‘leave your brains behind and watch’ holds true for most Shetty films.

In 2013, Shetty teamed up with actor Shah Rukh Khan for the first time. While Salman Khan and Aamir Khan were setting box office records with Rs100-200 crore collections, Shah Rukh, called the Baadshah of Bollywood, needed a blockbuster badly to redeem himself. Perhaps, a Shetty masala film was his best option. So, he jumped aboard Shetty’s Chennai Express. Khan reunited with Deepika Padukone seven years after Om Shanti Om (2007).

Critics slammed this mindless comedy, but Chennai Express was for the masses.  Set in South India, Shah Rukh was treading into new territory, and he didn’t mind poking fun even at his legendary film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) and its iconic protagonist Rahul. Chennai Express defied logic and conventional filmmaking, but still worked as Shah Rukh got his first Rs200-crore-plus blockbuster.

Rahul (Shah Rukh) agrees to his grandmother’s wishes to immerse his grandfather’s ashes in the Ganga and Rameswaram. His plan to dupe his grandmother fails as he tries to help a stranded Tamil woman Meena (Padukone) who lands up in Tamil Nadu. After faking to be her lover initially, Rahul and Meena eventually fall in love.

Much of Shetty's ridiculous scenes in the film got you laughing.

On the film's fifth anniversary today (it was released on 9 August 2013), we travelled back on Chennai Express to relive the moments of amusement and laughter.

Deepika Padukone’s ‘bokwaas dictionary’ and Shah Rukh's ‘common man’

If there is one thing that you remember about Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express it is the 'accha kahan se kharidi aisi bokwaas dictionary' line, delivered in a fake Tamil accent. Meena would often mutter this line when Rahul got flirtatious with her. When Meena got angry, Rahul would chide, ‘Don’t underestimate the power of a comman man’. As silly as they sounded, the lines caught on. It isn’t even funny, but just the manner in which the actors muttered the lines became amusing.

Communicating through song

As a majority of the Tamil goons were oblivious to Hindi, the best way for Rahul and Meena to communicate when confronted by them was to sing in Hindi.  This is decided the moment Rahul first meets Meena and the goons in the Chennai Express that leaves from Mumbai. Rahul does not even hesitate to make a mockery of the popular 'Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam' song from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Meena is quick to see that the singing is an opportunity to raise an alarm. Their plan goes bust in this sequence, but Meena and Rahul continue to use this communication method.

Not a secret anymore


Meena and Rahul’s lyrical conversation helps them cheat the goons or the innocent locals in Komban, but it goes awry at the most critical junction when the baddie Tangaballi (Nikitin Dheer) gets a whiff of their conversation. The big man knows Hindi and the expression on the faces of Meena and Rahul says it all. Tangaballi’s rage is not music to the ears of Rahul and Meena.

Meena’s scary sleep-talking habit

Chennai Express was loaded with bizarre, inexplicable sequences but the one that evoked fear and amused you in equal breath is Meena's sleep-talking. While Meena warns Rahul of this, he does not take it seriously. Meena’s spooky behaviour and expressions are scary, as well as amusing. Credit to Padukone for scaring the daylights out of Shah Rukh.

A linguistic dilemma

A Hindi speaking person is bound to have troubles communicating with someone who only understands Tamil. It gets more complicated when someone speaks more of what is gibberish than actual words. The good thing is this dwarf who speaks in sounds is not a mean goon. Rahul even learns how to create different sounds like the dwarf.