Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ra.One (released in 2011) - Starring Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor - Wait for it to come on TV

For a couple of years now, Ra.One has been the most awaited movie in Bollywood. With the additional marketing blitz over the past few weeks, it would seem that you wherever you went, you would see something related to Ra.One; and with the product marketing tie-ups, there were many products that were related to Ra.One. The hype for the movie was incredible, and there is a sense of fear that comes when a movie is such incredibly hyped (which has been proved true for many movies in the past, the last one being Veer). I read a few reviews, asked some friends, and finally decided to take the plunge and buy a ticket (in a small group).
It's somewhat hard for me to describe how I felt, although one of my biggest indicators (looking at my watch often), indicated that the movie was not gripping enough. And, in the last couple of days, I watched some movies that were also some sort of super-hero movies, such as Robot, and Iron Man (1 and 2), it seemed to be clear that Ra.One was missing something. Which is very surprising if you look at the people and effort involved. With the backing of Shahrukh Khan, the movie was directed by Anubhav Sinha, music by Vishal-Shekhar, and with the huge budget of Rs. 175 crore letting the movie hire the best of talent from Holly wood. And yet, here are some of the negatives that really turned me off:
- The level of humour in the movie was incredibly low. What little humour there was dealt with poking fun of a Tamil accent, or of translating abuses into ones that ladies that can use, etc. I was cringing in the hall when I heard the language, and the common usage of words such as condom, main male organ, and so on.
- The film has very little action. For a movie that is styled on a super-hero, the action scenes would not be more than 15-20 minutes (or seems like that long)
- The movie has a feel of being in a video game; especially towards the end where the battle between the main characters does not really impress. Compare with the scene in Robot, and they seem better, and of course, there is no comparison between scenes in movies such as Iron Man.
- The movie displays the main Indian theme especially in the second half, where a song suddenly comes in and disrupts the entire sequence.
- The villain, supposedly endowed with superb powers, never really exhibits such powers other than the ability to deliver a strong blow (such as the one by the fireman in X-men, where energy is controlled and then thrown); further, this is a villain with only one objective, to kill the boy who last defeated him. There is no danger to the human race.
- Music is just about okay.
- Arjun Ramphal again has very little time in the film, with the cartoon character, and other guises taking up most of the appearance of the villain
- Who creates a video game with only 3 levels, and that too with only 1 gun and bullet in the 3rd stage (nobody would get hooked to such a game)

There were a few things I liked:
- Kareena did not have an action role, but otherwise she looked hot in her role
- The new kid (Armaan Khan) playing the role of the son of Shahrukh Khan was good
- Some of the interaction with the neighbor (Satish Shah) was decent
- The final train scene was good, and seemed well suited to the context of the locals in Mumbai

The story of the movie is basically the attempts of the super-hero to save the son of his creator, from another monster. So, Shahrukh works in a senior position in Barron industries, and creates video games. He is shown to be a bumbling guy, good with values and morals, and a good creator of video games. His son does not really idolise, and in fact, many times is embarrassed by the actions of his father. He is however in love with video games, and with villains. So, his father creates a new video game with the most dangerous villain, called Ra.One (the creation process of the video game shown in the movie is fairly nice), but his team soon starts to see weird things. The Artificial Intelligence given to the villain is giving the villain (inside the video game) some strange powers, and this comes out in the open when the young child Prateik (code name Lucifer) defeats Ra.One in the first level, but then abandons the game. At this, Ra.One decides to leave the game to defeat Lucifer in real life, and kills his father while doing this.
The only savior is G.One (played by Shahrukh Khan), the counterpart of Ra.One. Both of them have a brief battle where Ra.One is destroyed into several small parts, and they all flee back to India. After some sentimental scenes (sure to be a turn off for kids), Ra.One is re-created, comes to Mumbai and interrupts during the Chamak Challo sequence. A final fight sequence takes place, the movie ends. Yawn.

Ra.One (released in 2011) - Starring Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor

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