Ra. One (2011)-Hindi Movie Review

Oct 27, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Ra. One is a 2011 Bollywood Hindi movie directed by Anubhav Sinha with Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and others in the cast. Read the film review at Calcutta Tube.

A Bolly-Holly masala movie

Shah Rukh Khan’s Diwali release this year was touted as a movie that would bring Bollywood one step closer to bridging the gap with Hollywood. Yes Ra One does shine brilliantly in the technical area but a patch line story marred the overall attempt.

The Background

So there is this kid Prateik (Armaan Verma) who loves “Kick Ass villains” and his dad- the ultimate exemplar of a goofy south Indian geek (which is also a myth by the way, kids people like that don’t exist!) Shekhar Subramaniam played by Shah Rukh Khan.

Shah Rukh wants to be acknowledged as “dude” by his son but Prateik firmly believes his dad to be a lame guy (I don’t blame him for most parts).

So Shekhar in order to please his son creates a game with an unbeatable villain Ra One who incidentally comes to life and now only the game’s hero G One can save the day.

The story – 2/5

So father and son relationship, huh? Some movie goers might say not again but sorry guys this is the season of Daddy’s day out or rather in.

Dads are in this filmy season but what lacks in this Diwali offering is credibility of the characters that portray the relation. It’s fine for a dad to want to become his son’s hero but that looks good only if the bonding is the issue of the film and if the dad is a plausible character.

Ra One however doesn’t follow the rules and throws only a dash of that Dad-son combo in the entire mix and match bag of stories, and a few minutes into the movie the Dad is dead, the son and the wife are running for their lives while we are racing to figure out what is the next story.

Ra One takes sloppy romance, kick ass action and even a bit of sex comedy in one big bucket and jumbles them all to create something that once was known as a script (after Bollywood started making the recent masala movies I don’t know if script exists any more).

Ra One and G one don’t have the usual comic base of stories and hence while introducing two new super-people the writers should have made their roles stronger and definitive but what we get are rather vapid fuzzy outlines.

Why does anybody want to do anything in the film? I couldn’t figure that out clearly after 2 hours and 35 minutes, so tell me if anyone can.

And there is this one silly question too- Why the hell is a guy brought in a coffin and then cremated and why does all this happen in a minuscule short amount of time?

The direction and technique – 3.5/5

I didn’t give it for direction (sorry Anubhav Sinha) but I gave it for the technological brilliance that Ra One has shown.

Yes it wanted to take Bollywood closer to Hollywood and it did so; even to the extent that they not only produced superior sequences but also in terms of a rather bland storytelling (Hello Green Lantern disaster anyone?), Ra One gets the job done.

Barring the silly train jutting out and station crumbling to pieces sequence, Ra One has the right amount of goodies in terms of special effects to dazzle even the greatest cynics of Bolly techies.

The fights and the lights remind you of a number of Hollywood science fiction flicks but they are still well executed and a treat for the eyes.

So what if Superman can stop a bullet with his eyeball, G One can do it with his nose hole!

As for the direction, the sequences are sometimes dragged too long and while other useless ones are introduced without a hint of mercy for the rational brains of the audiences.

The acting – 2.5/5

Does G One remind you of someone? Well if you have watched My Name Is Khan, then I am afraid you are right. There is very little difference between machine Shah Rukh and autistic Shah Rukh and both perform their missions without hint of emotions, well at least G One is honest and agrees (some consolation).

Kareena has the usual spirited demeanour as the wife of Shekhar but that is all there is for her. She looks pretty and mouths “gaalis” for the future of Indian women but as such has no more to offer.

Arjun Rampal looks menacing as Ra One but sadly he doesn’t appear for a greater half of the film as this villain can change appearances Terminator 2 style.

Still I guess not talking much and only doing muscle show wasn’t much of a challenge for him.

The music – 3.5/5  

The music is the one thing that stands out for Ra One in very inimitable ways. For one Akon sings Hindi and does a fair job, although he doesn’t really fit as Shah Rukh’s voice.

Still the music rocks and as we all know “Chammak Challo” and the others are already hits.

The background music draws heavily from 80s maestro RD Burman but manages to create a unique fit in the screen play without stemming the overall flow of the scenes.

So should you pay for this game?

Ya you should if you are dying to see mind-blowing special effects and if you are a diehard fan of the science fiction genre.

But if you are looking for a “Dark Knight” style credible plot to go with all the gizmo gimmicks, then dishing out the notes wouldn’t be a nice experience for you.

– Arnab Chakraborty

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