Shahrukh Khan's South connection
How many of us are aware about the fact that King Khan has a south connection and that could be one of the reasons why is inclined to enact roles with a South Indian flavor? Indeed, Shahrukh Khan's mother was from down South and his father a Pathan! Could this be one of the reasons why he practiced with this genre in RA.ONE in a different way, i.e. he enacted the role of South Indian and now he is gone to another extreme of playing the role of a boy from North falling in love with a girl from South, and lack of linguistic affinity not being a stumbling block in the love that prospers, as it is going to happen in CHENNAI EXPRESS. CHENNAI EXPRESS underlines the fact that there might be the case when two people who do not know language of each other can still fall in love with each other.
Indeed this is a template which was for the first time experimented with great flourish by K. Balachander when he made EK DUJE KE LIYE in the early eighties and which saw the debut of the hit pair of Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri in the world of Hindi films. More than a decade down the line this template again met with great success by Joy Augustine, with TERE MERE SAPNE which was the first commercial production of ABCL Corps.
The difference in CHENNAI EXPRESS however would lay in the fact that it could be for the first time that the female lead character who is playing the role of a girl from down south has given a heavily accented performance, though it has not been liked by the purists. One wonders, why when the male of the fraternity gave such kind of a heavily accented performance, when etching the character from down South, Mehmood being the pioneer, no murmur of discontent was voiced. Is it got something to do with the fact that Deepika herself is from down South and that therefore she should not do that? Well, artists are artists and they have to perform the roles that are offered to them.
The real test would be in the form of audience accepting or rejecting the portrayals, and it is just a matter of 10 more days before the verdict is handed.