Friday, October 28, 2011


Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 26th October, 2011
Time : 156 minutes
Director & Writer : Anubhav Sinha; Music : Vishal, Shekhar
Starring : Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Armaan, Arjun Rampal, Dalip Tahil, Shahana, Satish Shah

Ra-One is a very ordinarily scripted film which has some stand out moments (only a few of which don’t feature the lovely–in-red Kareena). Instead of focusing on its core, interesting premise, a villain who steps into the real world combated by a father –son duo, it chooses to delve into silly subplots, irrelevant characters & songs which detract from the film. And its much hyped special effects were also a let down. Nothing we’ve not seen before, either in Hollywood or locally (Robot, for example).

Geeky, Tam-Brahm SRK is a game programmer who, inspired by his bratty son (Armaan), creates a game with a super-cool villain Ra-One, more powerful than the hero, G-One. Unfortunately, due to the artificial intelligence of the villain, he picks up a few tricks that weren’t in the script and decides to seek vengeance when Armaan leaves a game incomplete. Most of the rest of the film deals with Ra-One’s search for Armaan and G-One’s attempts to thwart him.

I found it sad that instead of ‘changing the rules of the game’ in Bollywood by making a slick, crisply edited superhero film that doesn’t deviate from its main storyline, SRK chose to add every masala element conceivable and take the easier, more appeasing route. So the scientist is a tam-brahm, complete with all the ‘ayyo’s and an accent that is thick at times but changes to SRKs more familiar baritone when reciting shayari. There are unnecessary cameo’s by Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka Chopra and Rajni. Irrelevant characters (Dalip Tahil, Shahana, Satish Shah, the Chinese mom). Rehashed jokes (‘I don’t know how to make idli’) and buffoonery moments (none more cringeworthy than the MJ one). And preachy dialogue (esp between the father son) when something more snappy would’ve been more representative of todays generation.

What works are some of the moments when G-One attempts to adjust to the human world (the airport scanner) and with SRKs household (Kareena as SRKs wife gets it just right for her role). Some of the fight sequences. The haunting ‘Bhare Naina’ song, which, thankfully, plays in the background during a key sequence in the film.

In its current form, this works primarily for pre-teens and for SRK’s adoring fans. Logic is given a miss, it takes until halftime for the film to really warm up and even then it drifts a little.

Its tough to ignore all the hype and focus just on the film with this one, especially with promos, songs, PR and the smiling visage of the main protagonist hounding you on every screen (big, small and the internet).

Most superhero films seem to take their time to find their feet. I find the original Batman films (Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer) almost unwatchable now with their cardboard heroes and over the top villains. The new ones, with Christian Bale as the angst ridden hero and more real life villains, are superb ! I hope that this is the case with Ra-One. That the next one, which is set up well right at the end of this one, doesn’t try to be cheesy, glitzy but really about the black & white battle of good vs evil and all the greys that lie in between.

PS : This project wasnt conceived in 3D and it shows when you watch the 3D version