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The most expensive and third highest grossing movie in Indian history, Robot (Endhiran, in the original Tamil) is an action comedy about the brilliant scientist Dr. Vaseegaran (played by Rajnikanth) who creates an Artificial Human named Chitti (also played by Rajinikanth, though the two characters look very distinct). Intending to offer Chitti to the Indian army, Dr. Vaseegaran first has to teach his creation how to function in society. Though he's superintelligent, Chitti takes things very literally, and he has zero knowledge of social situations. Still, he tries to be as kind and helpful as possible. Dr. Vaseegaran and his beautiful girlfriend Sana (played by Aishwarya Rai) try everything they can to make Chitti into a real person -- although Sana's slowly getting annoyed at how much time her boyfriend spends at work, instead of with her.
Unfortunately, Dr. Vaseegaran's old tutor, Professor Bora, is stricken with a rather nasty case of jealousy and sets out to prove that Chitti is unsafe. Chitti encounters further backlash when rescuing people from a burning building, due to his inability to understand Tamil cultural rules.
Instead of abandoning Chitti, Dr. Vaseegaran decides to teach the android how to feel emotions and make moral judgements. Dr. Vaseegaran succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, but begins to regret it when Chitti falls in love with Sana. All the while, Professor Bora watches, ready to exploit the tension and frustration between the three.
Robot pulls out all the stops when it comes to action, displaying a fantastic level of visual creativity. The film also has by far the most hilarious and dynamic special effects to ever come out of Bollywood.
TV tropes include
- AI Is a Crapshoot: All it takes is one "destruction chip" to make Chitti turn evil.
- Artificial Human: Chitti.
- Badass Automaton
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: A couple of the songs, particularly the one in front of a replica of Macchu Picchu.
- Bittersweet Ending: At the end, a reprogrammed Chitti convinces the court to not blame Dr. Vaseegaran for the destruction caused by his creation. However, the court decides that Chitti must dismantle himself. Chitti takes this in stead and complies, making peace with Sana and Dr. Vaseegaran as he does.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Chitti has this in spades.
- Bollywood Hacking
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Averted. Chitti helps Sana cheat on her medical (!) exams. When caught, Sana convinces the examiner that Chitti is just some random nut (easy to do, given Chitti's odd behavior), and is allowed to continue the test. Never one to leave a task incomplete, Chitti sneaks into the air vents and scans the relevant pages onto her exam, giving her the answers. She isn't caught the second time.
- Chef of Iron: Literally.
- Conspicuous CG
- Do-Anything Robot
- Ear Worm: Boom, boom. Robo-dah. Robo-dah. Robo... Zoom, zoom. Robo-dah. Robo-dah.
- Finger Gun/Finger Firearms/This Banana Is Armed:
Chitti: Don't come closer. I will shoot you.
Dude in car: Stop acting like a child.
- Gone Horribly Right: Professor Bora is finally able to make Chitti incredibly murderous and evil. He doesn't realize how successful he is until Chitti kills him.
- Hive Mind: How the many versions of Chitti communicate.
- Hubris: A theme that's brought up a few times.
- Humans Are Bastards: The movie touches on this as well.
- Instant Expert: Chitti, thanks to Dr. Vaseegaran installing all kinds of information in his brain.
- "I Want" Song
- Laser-Guided Karma: Professor Bora. He finds a way to turn Chitti evil, and evil Chitti proceeds to kill him.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Dr. Vaseegaran tries and tries to teach Chitti about emotions. It doesn't seem to take until Chitti is struck by a bolt of lightning.
- Literal Minded: Chitti.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Chitti rescues a naked girl from a burning building. Traumatized by the exposure (and by the photographs taken by jackass reporters), she runs into the street to get hit and killed by a bus. Dr. Vaseegaran excoriates Chitti for not finding something with which to cover her. Being a robot, it never occurred to him that such a thing would matter. However, it didn't seem like there was much that he could cover her with, plus Chitti probably only had seconds to spare. This might also be a case of Values Dissonance for westerners, though they could still understand why the girl was so traumatized.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Happy Diwali [Festival of Lights], folks!" *opens fire with fifty guns*
- Rule of Cool: What makes the action scenes possible.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Chitti, halfway through the movie.
- Scaled Up: One of the forms that evil Chitti and his duplicates take when they magnetize is a giant snake, which proceeds to do decent damage against the Indian army.
- Selective Magnetism
- Serial Escalation: The action scenes. How much? After evil!Chitti makes duplicates of himself, he ends up having an entire army of totally obedient and nearly indestructible minions. At the final confrontation, they magnetize and come together to form a giant sphere of bullet-flinging death! Then they form a spinning column that trashes tanks and infantry alike! In the best tradition of multi-stage level bosses, they then form a giant snake that eats cars! But even this isn't enough, and the finale sees them take the form of a giant Chitti made out of hundreds of normal-sized Chittis. It has to be seen to be believed.
- Shout-Out: To Isaac Asimov and his Three Laws of Robotics, and many, many ShoutOuts to the Terminator movies. Oh, and one of the more primitive robots is off-handedly referred to as R-2.
- The Musical: Of course. It's Bollywood.
- We Have Reserves: Chitti eventually duplicates himself to an insane number and annihilates the Indian Army.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?
- William Telling: With a revolver.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Rejected by the woman he loves and dismantled by his creator, Chitti is a good example of Woobie-dom. Then Professor Bora installs the destruction chip, and things go crazy.
- Your Head Asplode: Professor Bora's fate, when he tries to stop Chitti from going rogue.