The works of Ra.One lie in its visuals. If you are looking for a story this isn't the film for you.
2 out of 5 (Average)
| Swati Rohatgi (NOWRUNNING)
If there's one thing people have been looking forward to on Diwali more than the festival itself its Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.One. And after months of exhaustive publicity campaign the film finally sees the light of the day. There have been ample speculations and predictions around this film whether it will be good or bad. We give you an insight into what this film is all about.
Shekhar Subramaniam (Shah Rukh Khan) is a techie geek. A dimwit otherwise, Shekhar is more of a shame to his son Prateek (Armaan Verma). In a bid to impress his son, Shekhar creates a game in which the villain is more powerful than the hero as desired by Prateek. Hence originates Ra.One (Tom Wu, Arjun Rampal). Courtesy some confusing analogy about artificial intelligence, Ra.One starts programming its own self and transports from virtual world to real world to kill Lucifer (game name of Prateek) who challenged him in the game. Now that Ra.One is out in real world, how can G.One stay behind? Thus starts the battle between Ra.One and G.One coupled with some emotional drama between G.One, Sonia (Kareena Kapoor) i.e. Shekhar's wife and Prateek.
The initial 40 minutes of the film are a complete drag replete with cheap jokes that make you squirm in your seats. Sample this -
Kalnayak (Sanjay Dutt) has Desi Girl (Priyanka Chopra) kidnapped while Shah Rukh Khan as the superhero Lucifer comes to save Desi Girl. Amidst cheesy spoofs on many a films including a background score of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and also jokes like Bruce Lee's three apparent sisters Iski Lee, Uski Lee and Sabki Lee, Lucifer saves the day. A black fat woman who's the teacher of Prateek happens to be having her sex tape where she is spanking herself that gets leaked in the class.
While being frisked at the airport security, a heavily pierced SRK shows off his pierced nipples. The frisking machine even throws an alert towards SRK's crotch. Now the least I say the better.
Needless to say director Anubhav Sinha surely may have undergone a lot of research work to get the content of this film right. We anyway see glimpses of Matrix, Bicentennial Man, I Robot, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Toonpur Ka Superhero among others.
The real deal starts with Ra.One becoming a part of the real world. However, by then your patience is tested quite enough. The entire first half and a major portion of second half doesn't even have a glimpse of Arjun Rampal. The first half has Ra.One played by Tom Wu. So much for keeping Arjun's look under wraps for a very long time during film promotions.
Shah Rukh Khan's enactment of a South Indian dimwit is annoying. Wonder what the idea behind sketching such a character was; make him appear endearing or annoying?
Second half picks up pretty well as it has enough action, stunts and flying cars to keep you glued to the screen. Though the Bicentennial Man type emotional drama between Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor is much of a hindrance to the action scenes. The end does become much a cliche but then blame it on the Bollywood style filmmaking. One cannot blame the filmmaker when all that works in the end in Hindi films is happy ending.
Coming to the VFX work, there are some scenes especially about the car flying in the air are brilliantly executed, even the final kombat between G.One and Ra.One is one of the rare effects seen in Hindi Cinema but there's inconsistency even at that. There are some shots which are extremely tacky and easily identifiable. Specially the shoddy graphics work done on Rajinikanth in his cameo scene.
The film structure is more like the kinds we saw in the 90s with songs popping without context. The music is good and has already grown on people courtesy excessive promotion on TV, Radio etc.
Armaan Verma deserves a special mention. The kid is very confident for a first film appearance. A great find. Arjun Rampal keeps gritting his teeth in a bid to act tough and has a very small role. Kareena Kapoor looks very pretty and pulls her part well.
Shah Rukh as a producer excels in marketing his film well. He makes his film bigger than him as well. However, as a film he fails in delivering a flawless film. Even as an actor he is average at best.
Over all, Ra.One is visually appealing but not for the ones looking for sense in this piece of cinema.
Critic: Swati Rohatgi
2 out of 5 (Average)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good