The makers of the Rajinikanth-Akshay Kumar-starrer 2.0 have released only three songs from the soundtrack. The mega-budget juggernaut is reportedly director Shankar’s shortest film to date, and the superhero and the supervillain don’t seem to have time for much song and dance.
In 2.0, Rajinikanth reprises his dual roles from Enthiran (2010) as the scientist Vaseegaran and his all-powerful robot, Chitti. Akshay Kumar makes his Tamil debut by playing the villain, a half-bird-half-human mutant, who snatches all cellphones from Chennai and builds a robotic crow to terrorise citizens. Amy Jackson plays the female lead. The film will be released on November 29 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and has three soundtracks for each language.
Madhan Karky’s lyrics in the duet Endhira Logathu Sundariye speak of a romance between a male and a female robot. “En uyire uyire batteriye, enai nee piriyaadhae” (My life, my life battery, do not leave me) or “Hey minsara samsarame” (My electronic wife) are in line with 2.0’s storyline. Armaan Malik and Shashaa Tirupati have sung the Hindi version, while Sid Sriram and Tirupati have sung the Tamil and Telugu versions. The composition is not forgettable, but the trap music arrangement and the techno bleeps and bloops do come in way of the melody.
There are subtle differences, lyrically, between the Tamil and the Hindi versions, that reveal how the makers perceive audiences in the South and the Hindi belt. If Endhira Logathu Sundariye has Sriram singing “Un bus-in conductor naan” (I am your bus conductor), in Mechanical Sundariye, written by Abbas Tyrewala, Malik sings “Hoon super conductor main” (I am a super conductor) – the idea being that Tamil audiences will appreciate the reference to Rajinikanth’s early days.
Raajali is an anthem-like number that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, a typical sentiment in Rajinikanth movies. The song begins with a reference to science fiction author Issac Asimov (“Isaac Asimov peran daa” – grandson of Issac Asimov) but it is merely casual name dropping, nothing clever.
The best composition is Pullinangal, a sweet and sublime song that is an ode to birds. It is a theme song for the bird-loving villain, with the sweetness of the tune designed to draw him sympathy. Free from the mandate of having to be a theatre-shattering Rajinikanth song, the melodious Pullinangal’s arrangement and mixing is low-key with strings, a simple synthetic beat, some piano and recordings of bird sounds.
Though it is a love song that’s ultimately not for a person, the singers (AR Ameen and Suzanne D’Mello sing all three versions, accompanied by Bamba Bakya in Tamil, Kailash Kher in Hindi, and fellow composer MM Keeravani in Telugu) sing their heart out, bringing an emotional weight missing from the other two tracks.