#2. What the Fuck Is a Context?
Enthiran thinks "context" is some sort of intraprison messaging service. Whereas Bollywood movies will often segue into relevant musical numbers, Enthiran will slam on the brakes to make you watch random music videos at the drop of a Haatim (that's the mustachioed fellow who just got booted through the cinder block wall behind you). For example, what happened after our heroes escaped the attempted rape by Indian Lennie Small back there? I mean right after -- what was the very next frame that followed that scene? Why, this right here, of course:
"Wait ... no, we were on a rural Indian back road and you -- this isn't even fucking Africa! WHAT HATH SCIENCE WROUGHT?!"
The movie cuts away, mid-manic-PTSD laughter, to a musical number about the highest mountain in Africa and how it's crazy that this chick is totally the same thing as fruit. Because Enthiran has absolutely no borders. It's not even firmly situated in any one genre, but rather rapidly oscillates from Short Circuit to Fist of the North Star to the video from Hall and Oates' Maneater.
I literally could not tell you which is which. I think I may be white-blazer-blind.
Early on in the film, the affable robot, Chitti, embarks on a wacky, cartoonish task to capture a mosquito, which he accomplishes -- obviously -- by speaking Mosquito to it:
Now here he is starring in a cutesy music video about innocent love with a cast of dancing Cylons.
Now here he is popping a man's head like a blood pimple.
Roughly 90 percent of this movie is written and performed solely for young children who love sci-fi/fantasy, and the other 10 percent is random sex crimes and gruesome murder. It's like if Labyrinth played out exactly the same for the first 70 minutes, but then when Jennifer Connelly reaches the Goblin City, David Bowie hangs Hoggle with his own intestines while the puppets take turns sodomizing Ludo.
If I'm to conclude something about Indian society from the contextual void that is Enthiran, it is that one thing does not follow another in any semblance of logical order there, and that life in Tamil is something between an Alzheimer's ward and an old Doctor Who episode. But, you know, with bitchin' little mustaches drawn over everything.
#1. There Are No Rules
Yes, he is surfing that man down the highway. Why ever do you ask?
The madness of Enthiran is a slowly building thing: Sure, it starts off a little strange and inexplicable, but there are parts -- particularly the fight scenes -- where you really start to see the advantage of chucking the entire rulebook out the window and embracing the ridiculous. Particularly this scene on the train:
That was just straight up bad in the general ass area. By shunning such archaic constraints as "reality" and "coherence," the fight choreographers were free to reenact whatever bizarre impulse popped into their heads, and the end result is fantastic: It's like the collaborative work of Bruce Lee, Stan Lee and a 5-year-old with a mismatched set of action figures. Chitti first engages in a painstakingly arranged kung fu battle, then he gets flung from the car, so he sprouts Rollerblades out of nowhere, activates his magnetic boots and sprints sideways along the entire length of a passenger train all the while hurdling other, oncoming trains, then resumes the battle suspended from the commuter handholds like a tubby Indian Spider-Man.
It's storytelling brilliant enough to provoke Shakespeare into shame-suicide, clearly. But this scene isn't the climax of the film; it's barely the start. It occurs roughly 45 minutes in. Jesus Christ, when you've set the bar that high, where do you go from there?
And the answer, of course, is "totally insane."
Apropos of nothing, Chitti turns evil halfway through the movie and starts reproducing himself. And every fight scene from that point forward features a clone army of slightly overweight Indian dudes. Picture the infamous "thousand Agent Smiths" scene from The Matrix, only mentally replace all of the Smiths with a set of tinker toys shaped like Bizarro Neil Diamonds.
Hey, don't take my word for it. Here's a bloated, middle-aged clone battle sphere:
Here they are in deadly tube form:
Here's a gargantuan cobra -- its very cell structure comprised of leather-clad fat guys -- eating a helicopter:
Now here are the Chitti clones bolting together, Voltron-style -- each limb a thousand jiggly Indian dudes; each joint lubricated by butter and hair wax -- into a giant recreation of my own fever nightmares after dosing up on cough syrup and falling asleep to a city council meeting on public access. In case the following picture is unclear, this is a giant robot made out of 200 tubby Indian men giving a thumbs-up with his thumb, which is also a tubby Indian man who himself is giving a thumbs-up.
You have now seen everything. Die in peace.
In short, this movie is the best thing that I, or anybody else, has or indeed ever will see in the aggregate of human history. And if this masterwork is at all reflective of the society that produced it, then I am forced to conclude that India is a terrifying, time-skipping, physics-defying amoral chaos dimension.
Which ... sounds pretty much right, actually.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Or you can join together with him and help build a giant puma made out of pasty white dudes to defend our nation against the rising Chubby Indian Voltron threat.
For more from Robert, check out The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies and 5 Bad Economic Indicators for the Criminally Insane.