Film Review: 2.0 has an important message but woven into a clumsy script

A still from the film '2.0'.(Supplied)
Updated 31 December 2018
0

Film Review: 2.0 has an important message but woven into a clumsy script

CHENNAI: Despite its meandering 148-minute narrative and a clumsy script, the newly released 2.0 has an important message that the world can ill-afford to ignore. The film, starring Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth and directed by Shankar, highlights the dangers of mobile telephone tower emissions, and many Indian cities have already begun to feel this. The house sparrow, for instance, has virtually disappeared from Chennai and other places, and it is suspected that the high level of radio waves emitted by the proliferating towers is the cause. In 2.0 (in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu), renowned ornithologist Pakshirajan (played by an unrecognizable Akshay Kumar) hangs himself from a tower after his desperate attempts to save birds hit a wall.

The movie turns into a sci-fi fantasy with Pakshirajan mutating into a giant bird out to destroy every single mobile instrument and tower, leaving Chennai furious and frustrated. In steps the mad scientist, Rajinikanth’s Dr. Vaseegaran, who is asked to bring back to life his look-alike robot Chitti to battle the evil unleashed by Pakshirajan. Along with Nila (a female robot played by Amy Jackson, the British model turned Indian actress), Vaseegaran sets to work in a nail-biting adventure with plenty of special effects. It is fascinating to watch the way telephone instruments make strange patterns in the sky as the huge bird, breathing fire and venom, sets about ridding the city of this pollution.
Shankar’s ploy to make his latest feature film an all-India attraction by roping in Kumar appears to have worked, with 2.0 grossing 5 billion rupees (approx. $800,000) worldwide in the first few days. Kumar’s role is very short, so his fans may well be disappointed. However, Rajinikanth, who is considered a demi-god in southern India, surprises by an extremely subdued and subtle performance as a scientist who in spite of his crazy ways (in an earlier film he had created Chitti, the robot that finally went berserk killing men) endears himself to a city in distress.
But these alone do not make for compelling viewing, and the 3D computer graphic imagery (with all the clanking metal) can only help so much, especially when the writing is so unimpressive.


Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

Updated 24 April 2019
0

Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

  • The author will receive a prize of $50,000 for her winning novel “The Night Mail”
  • The book includes a series of letters from individuals who are facing social and personal issues

ABU DHABI: Lebanese author Hoda Barakat has won the Booker international prize for Arabic fiction for her novel “The Night Mail.”
She will receive $50,000 and the five other authors who reached the final short-list will each receive $10,000, the organizers revealed late Tuesday.
Conceived in Abu Dhabi in 2007, the prize is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and financed by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.
Born in Beirut, Hoda Barakat lives in Paris and has published several novels including “The Stone of Laughter” and “My Master and My Lover.”
“The Night Mail” is her sixth novel and has been translated into French.
Alongside the prize money, funds will also be provided for translating the book into English.
The novel consists of a series of letters by individuals “facing social misery and their own demons,” according to publisher Actes Sud.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the emirate of the same name, has become an increasingly significant cultural hub.
The city hosts the Louvre Abu Dhabi — the first museum to take the name “Louvre” outside France — which houses nearly 600 works in a futuristic building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.