Lyca Productions and Karan Johar’s 2.0 (dubbed from the Tamil film of the same name) is a sequel to Robot.
A strange phenomenon occurs one day. Lakhs of people talking on their cell phones or using them are shocked when their cell phones are snatched away from their hands and sucked towards the sky. The phenomenon is inexplicable because nobody seems to be manoeuvring the movement of the mobile phones. Some users get calls from an unknown number before the cell phone disappears. Soon thereafter, cell phone company owners, dealers and even delivery boys of cell phones are killed in mysterious circumstances. The telecom minister also dies under strange circumstances. After his death, his cell phone comes out of his stomach.
The home minister (Aadil Hussain) is scared to death and he immediately asks scientist Dr. Vaseekaran (Rajinikanth) to put robot Chitti (Rajinikanth) on the job to understand what’s going on and to put an end to the phenomenon. Dr. Vaseekaran revives Chitti and also sends his PA, robot Neela (Amy Jackson), to investigate.
It turns out that Pakshikaran (Akshay Kumar), a strange-looking giant bird, is behind the weird happenings. Pakshikaran has got his powers from the birds he had protected since his childhood. In fact, Pakshikaran was still-born as a human, but a sparrow had made him come alive. Since childhood, Pakshikaran had developed a strong liking for and a special bond with birds. He had studied orinthology and had been pained by the dwindling population of birds due to radiation emitted by cell phone towers and indiscriminate use of cell phones. Seized of the contribution of birds in maintaining the ecological balance, he is nervous that the ecological imbalance would finally prove detrimental to the interests of mankind. Pakshikaran’s research has shown that cell phone companies have been flouting TRAI rules for personal gains, further adding to the radiation problem. Pakshikaran had been waging a lone battle against radiation but had faced failure at all levels including the court due to the manipulations of interested parties. After losing on all fronts, he had committed suicide by hanging himself in sheer frustration. He had reappeared in the bird-like form after his demise. The bird-like Pakshikaran had then sought to correct the situation by rendering all users phoneless.
Chitti and Neela give Pakshikaran the bird a tough fight and finally succeed in killing him by neutralising him. But a rival scientist (Sudhanshu Pandey) who is extremely jealous of Dr. Vaseekaran, deneutralises Pakshikaran the bird. In this way, Pakshikaran comes alive again and, in a bid to beat Dr. Vaseekaran at his own game, enters his (Dr. Vaseekaran’s) body. Pakshikaran now wreaks havoc on mankind in a bid to save the bird population. Dr. Vaseekaran has no option but to order his own elimination in a bid to have Pakshikaran killed. But Chitti refuses to obey Dr. Vaseekaran’s orders. Before long, Chitti is defeated by Pakshikaran and rendered useless and powerless.
What happens thereafter? Does Dr. Vaseekaran win the battle against Pakshikaran? Or does Pakshikaran prove one-up on Dr. Vaseekaran? Is Chitti revived again? Does Dr. Vaseekaran survive? Does Pakshikaran survive?
Shankar’s concept of radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers harming the ecological balance and killing birds is unique, novel and fantastic. His story, woven around the concept, is both, interesting and engaging. The first half has its share of light moments and a good degree of intrigue value too. The second half is stretched a bit and gets boring in parts but the last half an hour is a visual delight. Yes, the fight-to-finish between Dr. Vaseekaran and Pakshikaran does look a bit unjustified if only because none of them is a villain in the true sense of the term. For, although Pakshikaran is now a threat to humankind, he is doing what he is doing for the good of the bird population and the ecological balance. A better and more solid reason for the ultimate fight would’ve made the drama more interesting and worthwhile. But the fast-moving screenplay (by Shankar) keeps the audience interest alive, and expectations, high. The visual effects and computer graphics quite make up for the few lapses in the script. As mentioned above, the climax may not be cent per cent convincing (script-wise) but the sheer presentation is mesmerising. Yes, the screenplay does not afford the usual and ultra-popular Rajinikanth antics – and that’s a minus point. Also, the screenplay is low on emotions. But the back story of Pakshikaran’s birth is so outstanding that it acts like a superb foundation for Pakshikaran’s actions. Abbas Tyrewala’s dialogues are good but not as punch-packed as they ought to have been.
Rajinikanth, minus his antics this time, is very good as Dr. Vaseekaran, Chitti and Robot 3.0. His fans will simply adore him but they will definitely miss his typical stunts and antics. Akshay Kumar does a fine job as Pakshikaran. He is convincing when he is in human form and sober. His bird-like avtaar is excellent and his performance in that get-up is also wonderful. Amy Jackson plays human robot Neela effectively and exudes oomph. She looks very pretty too. Sudhanshu Pandey makes his mark in a brief role. Aadil Hussain lends able support as the home minister. Others provide adequate support.
Shankar’s direction is phenomenal. He has given the film a grand scale and has made it in a way that people will be blown off their minds with the computer graphics and visual effects, both of which are of international standards. The 3D conversion (by Prime Focus) is also terrific. A.R. Rahman’s music is ordinary. Background music is impactful. Bosco-Caesar’s choreography is fair. Nirav Shah’s cinematography is absolutely outstanding. The prosthetics (by Legacy Effects) deserve distinction marks. Action and stunts (by Kenny Bates, Nick Powell, Steven Griffin and Silva) are thrilling and exciting. Production designing (by T. Muthuraj) is of an excellent standard. Anthony’s editing is sharp. Dubbing is lovely.
On the whole, 2.0 (dubbed) is a surefire hit and will keep everyone associated with the film as also the audience very happy. It can easily touch the 100-crore mark in the first weekend itself.