Hi. Brass Tacks here. I just do not understand what made ‘Endhiran’ click. Is it because the entire Tamil population [or the entire Indian population, since the movie was a multilingual release] has a cabbage in their heads instead of a brain, or because Shankar and Rajnikanth don’t?? For the untrained eye, Rajnikanth is an actor in the Kodambakkam movie factory, who is, in many respects, comparable to Amitabh Bacchan of the Bombay movie factory. I can back that up with statements from a lot of movie reviewers, although I’ve not seen a single movie of Amitabh’s. But my point is, Amitabh has been looking at himself in the mirror for quite sometime, and so he has been taking roles that, atleast approximately, reflect his actual age. But not Rajnikanth! Had he been doing that, Santa-Banta and Fropki websites would have been gestating with jokes of, let’s say, Barack Obama instead of Rajni!
What I’m saying is, why does Rajni do all these crap? I mean, he is a 60 year old guy. Why not portray a 60 year old guy on screen? If he thinks that the omnipresent “Tamil audience” won’t accept it, take a look again. The success mantra to Kollywood movies of yesteryear was- title song, hero/heroine/villain intro, some mokka comedy, some sentiments, some fights and finally, the clichéd climax. But the recent movies have proved otherwise thanks to their inspiring storylines, some of which are blatantly stolen from Hollywood. So, if Rajni thinks his so-called image will go down the Koovum river if he plays an old guy, take a look at Amitabh, or better, Al Pacino!! They don’t sing duet songs or dance[?!] with girls one-third their age. But their movies become big hits in the box office. So my humble suggestion would be- Stop playing such roles Mr. Rajnikanth. And leave the task of exploiting Deepika Padukone’s skin to youngsters like me… I mean, younger actors.:P
Ok. I’m just gonna narrow down my discussion. I watched the movie SIVAJI once. And it was quite ok. But when I watched it the second time, it was nothing more than a sit-com show. Endhiran, I tried to watch but it’s so full of excrement [meaning ‘shit’], that I started sleeping after 20 minutes. But I gathered all my courage and watched the interesting parts of the movie [for the record, I was cheated by the word ‘interesting’]. And I’ve clearly seen what Chitti the robot can do. And let me tell you what an actual robot CAN NOT do. This is a tribute to all my EIE friends, who know a lot about robots than I [or for that case, director Shankar] do. And this I write on a special request from my classmate, Sri Vatsan.
What an actual robot cannot do
A robot, by definition, is a machine that closely resembles humans in looks, purpose, functioning or other traits, created to do work that, otherwise, a human would ask salary for… So obviously, there are limitations to the ability of a robot. The following are a few.
• Robots built for research are mainly for study and analysis for what they can do. So, they are not aimed to look exactly like a human being.
• Robots built for commercial use- like domestic helper robots- need not have karate, bharathanatyam or music fed into them.
• But in the story, the robot was built as a replacement to human soldiers! [ROFLMAO] If that is so, one would understand the environment a soldier has to face. There is no need for a soldier robot to look exactly like a human replica, at least as far as the face is concerned.
• If we move towards the basics, the visual input to the robot is not as tiny as the two eyes. And more importantly, the input device cannot, in any way, act as a projector, let alone projecting images on thin air.
• The status msgs on the robots so called visual reception, are absolutely unnecessary even to the robot. It’s a shameless steal from the TERMINATOR franchise of movies.
• Likewise is the case with the audio output from the robot. If the actual purpose of such a mechanism is to just convey through sounds, what the robot wants to convey, a simple speaker arrangement with text-to-speech software is sufficient. It need not have a mouth, or lips.
• This is the real kicker. How many of us have thought about how the robot moves? So far as I know, even the simplest of motion patterns of a robot require a combination of electric motors aided by pneumatic or hydraulic actuators [Yep! You guessed it- Ironman] Even such a perfect combination will not be able to reproduce the elegance of a human [especially women:P]. But not in Endhiran!
• Another similar entry- Walking. Science says that any object should have atleast 3 points of support on the ground in order to be stable and the centre of gravity of the object must lie within the triangle thus formed. Most animals walk on 4 legs, and if you might have noticed keenly, all animals [from 4-footed ones to millipedes] have at least 3 feet on the ground at any point of time. Only if the animal is running or hopping does it break this rule. Humans and other animals that walk on 2 feet do so by delocalizing the projection of the centre of mass on their feet. This is why the upper and lower parts of the underside of the feet are hard, while the middle is comparatively softer. But most importantly, this is why we are able to walk. A robot can NOT do that.
• How is possible for the robot to charge itself from different sources of power? A dedicated 1A DC source in the laboratory, a car battery, railway mains of several hundred volts AC, what else? May be he should have tried charging the robot with static electricity from the clouds or better, lightning!! [4 varusham ‘FULL NIGHT’ pottu padiccha naangallam kena pasangala??]
• A robot cannot lift an LCD TV or anything that is heavy enough to disturb its centre of mass.
• A robot cannot RUN.
• A robot cannot feel. It cannot love. It cannot pee. It cannot puke. [The last two don’t appear in the movie however ;)].
• One question- I’ve seen parents name their kids with specific reasons, and families and clans thus develop unique naming patterns. How come a family named their first child ‘Vaseegaran’ [a clean red tamil name], wheareas the second kid is named ‘Chitti Babu’? [a pakka local Madras tamil name. Wait a minute! ‘Babu’ is telugu, isn’t it?? :O] Welcome to the family of partiality!
• Not only a robot; no creature, or creation can simply ‘slide’ on a railway track. The idea stinks like the ‘Cooum’ river over which those train tracks are laid. [Dey! Tambaratthukkum Beachukkum naduvula etthana station irukkunu unakku theriyumada??]
• Oh no! The fights. Don’t get me started with that…
• A robot cannot speak to mosquitoes
• And as a converse to the above theorem, Mosquitoes cannot speak to the robot
• A robot cannot develop giant magnetic fields. So, it can NOT form those fancy shapes like sphere, or a snake or a gigantic man
• A robot can not create a ‘hand-gun’
• A robot cannot, I repeat, can NOT rotate its head.
I guess this is quite enough from me. But as a token of appreciation, let me tell you what a robot can do. IT CAN DEFINITELY EXTEND ITS MIDDLE FINGER. Guys, if you want a better robot entertainer, I suggest you watch “Vicky the robot” of the Small Wonder series. Who knows? May be some day in the far far future, a robot might be able to do some [or all] of those things. But I'm damn sure it won't look like Rajnikanth...
To Shankar: Poi pulla kuttingala padikka vainga saar!