Movie Review: Ra.One

Ready to overlook certain flaws? Then get yourself entertained!

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Ra.One breaks Bodyguard's opening weekend collection record

Movie Review: Ra.One

There, But Not There! Ready to overlook certain flaws? Then get yourself entertained!

By Jyotsna Kumar


In Bollywood it's all about THE KHAN CLAN. So in 2011, first it was Aamir's turn to clench our belly with Delhi Belly. Then came Salman who is known to objectify men on-screen with his Duan Juan image. On Eid he smacked a solid punch at the box-office with a whopping 140 Crore collection through Bodyguard. It was therefore quite obvious for the third in line (not necessarily in that order) of the Khan trio- Shahrukh to retort.  He did so and that too fashionably. Yes! This Diwali he came out with the power packed Dhamaka called Ra.One. The most anticipated release this year. But is it worth your money? Does this Dhamaka have enough power to generate a 'bang'? Before I answer that let me make it crystal clear to those who think I'm biased. Yes! I'm biased BUT I'M ONLY BIASED TOWARDS GOOD CINEMA. So for me, the actor doesn't matter it's the CINEMA that counts.

Moving on to Ra.One, this anticipated release generated enough hype in the media circuit by SRK's enviable marketing gimmicks and his omnipresence in a superhero kind of avatar at multiple events. And so let me break this…yes! It is worth your penny. But as you know I'm not easy to please, so I will raise my concerns but later, first the plot…

Shehkhar Subramanium (Shahrukh with Curls) is a game developer. He has a long haired son called Pratiek (Armaan Verma) who finds Villains more fascinating than heroes, and a gorgeous wife Sonia (Kareena Kapoor) who is doing P.HD in 'Gaalis'. Sehkhar is a contented man with only desire and that is to please his son. He would go to any length to make him come close to him and to see himself as his superhero. And to do so he would dress up as Micheal Jackson only to pull his hamstring.  Play football only to fail miserably. And so one day he decides to gift his son an ultimate video game which would have an ultimate evil. Here the evil would be empowered with more powers than the good one. But on one unfortunate night the evil comes out from the virtual to the actual world and destroys Shekhar.  Will the good one be able to take the evil one back to their implicit world? And in this quest who will survive then? This is the journey of Ra.One.

There are enough interesting, high points in the film. One of them is when the programming team is working on names. So Ra.One is Ravan from the epic Ramayana, with the gizmo/ techi twist. G.One (Jeevan) is simply derived from the word Good One.

Not only this project is Shahrukh's biggest gamble, it is also by far Shahrukh's most ambitious one. It's clear that his intention was to create Bollywood's first Science-Fi on the lines of the make belief world of X-men, Terminator, Total Recall, Transformer and Matrix. But does the format of a pure science fiction works in Bollywood? This is where you as an audience need to decide?  If you are somebody who doesn't reject the idea of Science-Fi but takes a lot of time to consume then Ra.One is for you. The first half of the film gives you ample time to get used to the video-game format. And as you do you'll definitely find yourself in a comfortable place through the second half of the film.

Special effects are not as clean as it should be. The London chase, the gravitation defying somersaults, the coming together of cubes through different beams of virtual rays and the car's somersaults as they fly in the air lacks finesse. The ultimate clash of titans in the virtual set-up during the climax was tacky. The only special effect sequence that'll make your eyes 'split-wide-open' was the demonstration of the gothic structure at the CST station in Mumbai which came crumbling down in the sequence due to the local train engine collide.

Ra.One also has its share of wit here and there especially with the Rajanikath's Robot i.e. Chitti's encounter with G.One.  Apart from that humour is slightly edgy. To be honest it's juvenile and cheap. Shahrukh, is it necessary to have homosexual glances, physical comedy in the name of humour? On one hand you came out with deliberate social messages like no smoking, not trying stunts at home for kids, good over evil soul and on other you resort to cheap thrills by taking squeamish approach.

Performance wise Shahrukh truly stands out. Kareena Kapoor's only value addition to the film was to add glamour. She looks stunning in Chamak Challo and Criminal.  There's absolute no sizzling chemistry between Shahrukh and Kareena. Both look at each other with more admiration than love. Arjun Rampal is effective and does scare you. His six pack abs is more eye candy than Shahrukh.  Shahana Goswami is wasted. She plays video game developer, who vanishes inexplicably from the scene midway through the film.  Cameo appearances by Priyanka Chopra and Sanjay Dutt are just to ease you in through the movie and also to keep you awake for more surprises in store. Also SRK is known to fill-in his frames by big names.  Shahrukh as G.One is more appealing and endearing than caricaturish Shekhar.

Now the verdict - Ra.One is a complete package which has something or the other for every one.  But you'll surely be disappointed if you are excepting a Hollywood science-Fi flick. The effects are impressive but not path breaking. However, Ra.One is a good start for the Bollywood Science- Fi kind of league.  So if you are ready to overlook certain flaws then get yourself entertained with Ra.One. The experience is better if it's on 3D!