In the recent times, we have seen Bollywood bringing out some of the worst and senseless cinemas…it all started with Salmaan Khan’s Wanted, followed by another Dabbangg and the recent one Bodyguard. As the competition intensifies…oopps…I should say as the ‘Khan War’ intensifies, there was no way that SRK would keep quiet. So he came out with his most ambitious project of all time; Ra.One.
With an estimated budget of well night Rs.175 crores, it is touted as India’s most expensive film till date, the film snatched a hell lot of headlines…with controversies and some expensive promotional strategies be it SRK’s idea of choosing the RnB singer Akon to croon the song “Chammak Challo” in the movie, or be the story of plagiarism. Needless to say the film was looked forward to with bated breath in Bollywood and also by the science-fiction freaks.
Ra. One is the story of SRK, SRK, SRK and Arjun Rampal. (Let’s not talk about the side actors; Kareena Kapoor and Shahana Goswami). Anyway, coming back to the film, Ra One is a story of Shekhar Shubramanium who works in Barron Industries that produces gaming software. For past few years, none of their games are working in the market. Shekhar is a looser and a coward in his son Prateek’s (Armaan Verma) eyes. Prateek tells his dad that heroic games are no good, villians are kick ass and he likes them. So, only for his son, Shekhar makes a game Ra.One that portrays the villain stronger than the hero. He also installs Artificial Intelligence in the Villian that makes him think for its own. Now what’s next. Ra.One comes out of the game and creates Havok. And then G.one too is bought in the physical world from the virtual to defeat Ra.One.
“Flash and sizzle” applies to more than just the special effects. Like most Bollywood movies, Ra.One includes a sprinkling of musical numbers featuring flashy costumes and expert choreography. Sinha and his writers have created a family that adults and children can identify with, and Sinha’s stars deliver nuanced, evolving portrayals amid a film that has the look of a live-action comic book adventure. Khan is perfectly paired with Kareena Kapoor as his devoted wife, while Verma’s Prateek matures before our eyes.
You can see the money on screen, if not in the screenwriting. The exposition is longwinded and confusing, as are the rules of the game, in the virtual and the real worlds. The bumbling Shekhar is too clownish; Ra.One is a dud demon (Raavan is invoked to little effect) who disappears for chunks of time; and you probably won’t hold your breath as good fights evil.
But if the storytelling disappoints (shocking!), the film mostly doesn’t. It relies on action and effects and Bollywood’s trump card, star power, to carry the day. This is SRK’s movie, and once he sheds Shekhar’s droopy locks, he shines as the deadpan, action-hero robot with digital snot and smooth moves on the dance floor.
But the film’s fast pace and ostensible similarity to Western blockbusters makes it an excellent introduction to Bollywood. It holds enough action and special effects to satisfy most genre fans, delivered in a style that comparatively few Indians are familiar with. As a departure from business as usual, Ra.One makes for a tasty treat.