Dr Vasi (Rajnikanth) is a scientist with a mission. He wants to create the first robot which would not only serve tea and coffee to its masters but would have the power to serve humanity in more meaningful ways.
He creates Chitti, the humanoid who looks like him and is willing to do anything for him. Trouble begins when he goes a step further and teaches the machine to feel. Chitti falls in love with the professor's girl friend, Sana (Aishwarya Rai) and ends up becoming an almost undefeatable rival in love, courtesy the red chip that a rival scientist (Danny Denzongpa) infuses in him. Can the creator tame the rogue robot or will machine rule over man?
Want to see what mainstream Indian cinema actually means? Go, watch Robot. The last 30 minutes of the film are literally the baap (grandmaster) of all make-believe and end up creating a whole new genre of cinema: the 'curry eastern' which stands up as a wholesome alternative to the curry western. For Rajnikanth fans, the climax is definitely a sure-fire way to lose your sanity.
For non-Rajnikanth fans, it's a sure-fire way to understand the mystique and magical allure of Rajni saar, a hero who enjoys a demi-god status in several parts of India. Why? Because there are almost a hundred Rajnikanths eating up helicopters, smashing cars, battering planet earth and creating havoc, like never before. If you thought Terminator, Matrix, Godzilla was fun, then we guarantee you'll fall off your chair with glee as our desi T2-meets-Blade Runner-meets Neo-meets-Godzilla sets the screen on fire in a crazy, vengeance bid. Spoofy, yes. But super fun too.
Robot is primarily designed as an unadulterated tribute to the charisma of Indian cinema's ageless superstar, Rajnikanth. And it's completely, wholeheartedly, joyously desi. Where else would you find a hero who literally shoots with his fingers! What's more important is the fact that you actually don't mind when the bullet whizzes out of his forefinger and hits the man in front in the head. Instant death! Ha Ha!
The high point of Robot are the super quality special effects. All the Spiderman, Batman and Superhero antics of Rajnikanth have been done with exquisite elan by the Stan Winston Studio which reportedly provided the animatrics for films like Jurassic Park and Avatar. And all the stunts have been choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping, the Hong Kong based action director who created the high-adrenalin stunts of classics like Kill Bill and Matrix. Almost 40 per cent of the film's colossal budget (Rs 160 crores) has been spent on special effects, which, at the end of the day, seems all worthwhile. For watching Rajnikanth running horizontal on a speeding train, clambering across burning buildings like Spiderman or mutating into gargantuan monsters does manage to shock and awe the viewer who's out there to have big time fun.
But Robot isn't effect alone. It has a plot too which, if you really pay attention, has a meaning and a message. The film carries forward the man-machine war through interesting twists and turns and creates a lively love triangle between scientist Rajnikanth, medico student, Aishwarya Rai and robot Rajnikanth. Interestingly, the duo make an interesting pair, what with Rajni saar's sundry wigs and sideburns and Aishwarya's tribal `Kilimanjaro-Mohenjodaro' attire. Peppered with colourful songs (AR Rahman) and dances (Prabhu Deva, Raju Sundaram) and high-octane drama, Robot is the perfect getaway film, guaranteed to give you a high with its heady over-the-top Indian flavour. You might just OD (overdose) on the pungent masala fare.
Have a blast.