Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ra One - Movie Review

After everyone had finished blasting Ra One and I had absolutely no further expectations from it, I watched Ra One the other day thanks to the die hard Shahrukh fan at home, and hey, watched it fully. The key, like many say, is to have no expectations and things don't look so bad after all. I guess it works for everything in life, including ourselves. Like Tendulkar and his 100 for instance.

Ra One's creator is the geeky Shekhar Subramaniam with curly hair and curd and Maggi noodles, a game creator. As in normal fashion the geek gets the beauty and he gets Kareena or rather Sonia and between them they manage a small Prateek, about 12 years old I'd guess, considering his knowledge of contraceptives etc. Obviously he got his father's brains because Sonia is dumb enough to pronounce Konjem, Konjem as Condom, condom, which is probably a Freudian slip from her. Perfect match those two.

Anyway Shekhar is trying to impress his son and makes a new game for his Mallya kind of a boss. He makes a game with a villain who is surely scary to look at and a hero who looks like himself. There is some complex business of hearts in Ra One and G One that I did not quite get except that one is red and another blue and they are critical to kill anyone - just like humans you know. When the game is launched the Ra One, a real badass if there ever was, morphs into the Korean game creator and seeks Prateek who whips his backside in the first game. Ra One now wants to kill Prateek if that is the last thing he will do, even if he has to come out of the game. Now that is what happens when you give geeks all the big projects.

Anyway Ra One kills non-violent, curd eater Shekhar (surprising how the face-matching software did not work at that point) but its a relief because it gets the bore out of the way and in his place we now get a butt pinching, sex crazed (not really) robot or something like that (Shahrukh in his regular avatar, gay jokes, nose leak jokes and all) which has stepped out of the game and into the life of Sonia and Prateek to save them from Ra One who has also stepped out. While they are all dancing to the tunes of Chammak Challo where Kareena did some wonderful work with her arms and hands, Ra One has followed them across the earth in the shape of a bald Arjun Rampal who was a model on a billboard. Who is in the game now with both these characters out is the question, and all the creators dead? There is one left, the self effacing Shahana Goswami but all she does is have tea with Sonia and goes home. Perhaps she got fired for being on this disastrous and dangerous project. I'd have arrested her.

Before we get into a weird story of humans falling in love with robots, which they seem to be headed for, Ra one arrives and challenges G One. Prateek helps a bit, and in the end Ra One is killed, G One is killed, the Mallya lookalike is killed. But wait, these game characters might just come back thanks to that heart stopping logic so we have G One sitting on a chimney looking around like a meanie Cat Man. Now, isn't your job in the game young man? What are you doing sitting on a chimney as a deluded super hero with blue sparks? I found the sci fi effects fair enough and the game looked interesting. But the train stunt was a bore - you can't have him run along the train for five minutes, sometime on the top, sometime on the side, sometime inside, sometime outside and finally stop it. If it took you from Bandra to CST to get to the front of the train, then in all likelihood it was Lord Ganesha who stopped the train and not G One. Bro you got to check out the Rajini stunt in his Robot. And, what was that Delnaz shot about?

Anyway I thought it had promise and a plot that had potential. Somewhere after the first attack by Ra One in London, the film stopped being interesting and it was dull all the way. Perhaps because we know for a fact that G One would always be around to counter Ra One - even though he fancies his chances at 0.01% (again he almost terminates Ra One in the first encounter - funny). After that we only have to put up with his jokes, his attempts at romancing Sonia which seem better than what the geek did and wait for the inevitable showdown. Also we know that there will be no blue sparks flying between the two so that's another bore. Now if there was a Sonia lookalike robot in the game, there would have been more fun. Why did Shahrukh not think of that? Instead of dialogues like 'now I know that there are angels'.

Was it a film for children? Only twelve to fourteen year olds I'd think because the younger ones would get scared at the Ra One fellow. Even I got scared, at not just Ra One, but many other things as well. Kareena as Sonia looked most desirable. But all else falls flat gently. Shahrukh does not look like a super hero to me despite the costume. I did get confused as to whether the two game characters will stay in the game or step out - are they real? But when you stop caring if they are, that is a sign of disconnect I guess. Need to worry about those. Sometimes I feel these movies would do better without all the hype. Hype should only be to the extent of the content that you have. Or am I old fashioned? These days, its the exact opposite. But I did not shut it off, watched it all and thought it could have been slightly better handled in the second half. You know, more between the hero and villain, than the hero and someone else's wife.

Why is Sharukh failing and Salman clicking? My theory is that Shahrukh is heading out northwards to the stars while Salman is going southwards and getting more earthy. Maybe an earthy role Shahrukh, paan spitting and all? Worth a try.

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