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


Nitin said...

Also a million times mentioned in the movie was the fact that is more powerful than Not once did he beat though...Get the feeling in the next one, is going to be the villian..

Darbari Lal said...

haven't seen the film yet, so can't react to your review. but here's my question to you vis a vis your status as a reviewer/producer - if you're so smart and prescient about films then how come the films SaReGaMa makes suck so bad? I have seen Jhootha Na Sahi, Soundtrack for the record. Curious about how you reconcile your two roles.

Apurv Nagpal said...

Darbari ji

as you've mentioned, the 2 roles are different & you're entitled to your opinion. While I'm obviously biased, I know a lot of people who've seen our films & would disagree with you...

hammadwriter said...

I'm very much with Apurv. I posted my comments on facebook(
There are real technical blunders in the screenplay...
For instance, in the very beginning the son of G1 day dreams where he sees his father being a superhero fighting against Sanjay Dutt(though he lathes his father being a coward in the real life) why you need this scene? Ok, because you want to accommodate Sanjay and Pryanka. Well good!!! The they are series of dull subplots...and irrelevant dialogues which doesnt reveal any info rathar than rubbish.

My pick of the day is the car chase on London roads and to some extent the railway building shattering...thats all...though there are number of copied situations from films like T-2, Spiderman...etc...( no original thoughts)
But I just appreciate Shah Rukh Khan for beginning a chapter in Bollywood for others to follow in this genre because the film has very good CG and animations.

Rahul said...

Loved it. If a spider bite can turn a nerd to spidy, what is a problem if a game brings out a superhero. Tell me one thing - what is expected from a superhero movie? 1. Great action between the Hero and Villain. 2. Great visual effect. 3. Action packed cinematography, thrill and suspense. I would say that Ra.One is a sincere effort with a mixture of all these. It might not be as great as a visual treat like Hollywood movies, but I would certainly appreciate the efforts by the entire cast and crew making it the first of its kind in Bollywood. Where is the scope of acting in these kind of movies? The humour added was definitely mature content in a few ocassions, but the end result was enjoyable. Chammak Challo was great, action, VFX were good. Please enjoy the movie keeping in mind that SRK could afford less than 1/10th of what movies Avatar,Terminator or Spiderman could . Dont keep any expectation of storyline and acting since its out of scope and enjoy the 3d version. You would love it.

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