'Mumbai Express' is on the right track

CHENNAI: If Rajnikant's fans welcomed `Chandramukhi' with much fanfare, for `Mumbai Express' fans in the halls, it was business as usual. After all, Kamal Haasan has been pretty consistent in delivering comedies. His fans are used to his brand of humour. The laughs, as usual, came at regular intervals.

With `Mumbai Express,' the versatile actor has once again proved that comedy is his forte. But what makes this film work is the free-flowing narrative cooked up by the star himself, without his regular screenwriter Crazy Mohan.

Kamal makes it look so easy that `Mumbai Express' seems like cinema of the fast-food variety — a film he made just to test the potential of digital technology. Does the layman care if a film was shot on film or digital video?

Going by the response in the halls, not really. Barring film technicians, not many even bothered to find out. Full credit to Kamal Haasan and director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao to have created the canvas only 35mm film is known to provide, on digital video.

Thanks to digital projection systems like Qube, `Mumbai Express' played in the Abhirami multiplex without any sort of a glitch and opened to full houses. Abhirami Ramanathan is an excited man. "Both Chandramukhi and Mumbai Express have had an equally good opening. It's the second revival for the Tamil film industry after the government curbed video piracy," he says.

`Mumbai Express' can be called a crossover film. For, it has taken digital technology successfully to mainstream commercial cinema. More producers will now dare to use technology, for he has shown them that if a script is good, the medium does not really matter. Moments into the movie, no one remembered that the Censor certificate shown right at the beginning termed it `Video.'

Soon, it was about Mumbai Express, the simpleton who finds himself in a bumbling abduction squad jinxed with a series of accidents. It was about his adventure and getaways. Soon it was about laughing at the comedy of errors. And soon, it was just about cinema at its casual best.

Sudhish Kamath

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