The Chennai Express is Dubai bound. India’s biggest superstar Shah Rukh Khan is coming to town this Thursday to promote his latest Bollywood comedy, and he has co-star Deepika Padukone and director Rohit Shetty as travelling companions. The stars will make an appearance at the Arabian Centre mall in Al Khawaneej at 6.30pm, where Khan will break his fast along with fans. Their itinerary also includes press meets and a store visit.
Chennai Express is the story of a man who travels from Mumbai to south India to discover himself and falls in love with the daughter of a don. The film, one of the year’s most awaited, will see Khan and Padukone reunite after the superhit Om Shanti Om in 2007.
“I haven’t done a comedy film for a long time. As the years have gone by, very few superstars have that choice that they can make fun of themselves and people still love them as a superstar,” Khan told tabloid! in an exclusive interview last month. “It has been a long time since a person has offered me a role like [this].”
The actor, last seen in the romantic drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan last year, has been travelling across India to promote the film.
The film however has received backlash from south Indians even before its release, with many raising concerns about its stereotypical portrayal of people from the region. Padukone, who plays a traditional Tamil girl, has also come under fire for her thick accent, which many say does not even sound like a Tamilian’s.
Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu.
Padukone, who is from another south Indian state, Karnataka, has defended her role, saying the film should be allowed its creative liberty, adding that she’s done a lot of research for her role.
“I am a south Indian myself and I take pride in that. I take pride in the fact that I speak Kannada (the language spoken in Karnataka). Chennai Express shows the clash of cultures,” she told tabloid!. “I was nervous about my accent in this film. Meena is a loud character. Her accent is full-on, I was nervous but the response I got was phenomenal nation-wide.”
Chennai Express releases in the UAE on Eid.