by Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network
Oct 28, 2011

King Khan Shah Rukh Khan’s ambitious and much awaited film Ra.One   was released in theatres all over the world on Deepavali weekend on October 26, 2011.  With an estimated budget of well night Rs. 175 crores, it is touted as India’s most expensive film till date and was dogged by multiple controversies and delays ranging from issues of plagiarism to post production related delays.   The film also made news as King Khan opted youth icon Akon to   croon the   song “Chammak Challo”  in the movie, a first for Akon in Hindi.    Needless to say the film was looked forward to with bated breath in Bollywood and also by the science-fiction freaks.  For the starters, the film projected as a Deepavali   gift is running to full houses all over the country. 

Whether it will keep up with the initial euphoria or not it has to be accepted that Ra.One  is the most ambitious, high budget and technologically advanced and complex movie ever made in Bollywood and it is the movie for those who are die-hard fans of scientific fiction.  Computer crazy kids and technology-driven graphic-savvy younger generation   would vouch for it though the same cannot be said about the rest.   

That makes it a class apart, a notch above the rest for the sheer guts in investing such a huge amount in its making.  For those who believed that technically class movies are belted out only from Hollywood,  Ra.One will make them sit up and  take  notice as it makes an impressive effort in that aspect.    With such excellent computer graphics and high class gadgetry, it is a much superior well packaged product over all.   It is Shah Rukh Khan’s home production and he also essays double role in the movie.    With the other Khan Salman basking in two back to back hits like “Ready” and “Bodyguard”,   this fill will decide who is going to be the real King Khan of Bollywood.   

Ra.One is a scientific movie based on Gaming.  It goes about how gaming expert Shekar Subrahmanyam  (Shah Rukh Khan) creates a computer game for his son Prateek (Armaan Verma) who tells his father that villains and not heroes are just coooool.  He tells him to create a game on a villain who is nearly impossible to be defeated.  Though Shekar believes in the good old saying “good always triumphs over evil” in order to placate his son or rather to impress him Shekar vows to create a game with a  powerful villain   and the rest of the movie revolves around this computer game with a battle  for supremacy between the all powerful  villain Ra.One and the good guy but less forceful G.One.  It is a clash of the titans for supremacy, the good versus the bad, and the evil over good ones as his villain becomes a monster bent   upon killing his  (Shekar’s) son Prateek who plays and defeats him in the game in  the name “Lucifer”.  From then on Ra-One  is on the lookout for Lucifer.  Ra.One then wrecks havoc with killings and mayhem and Shekar whom he kills is reborn as the good guy G. One to combat this monster he had created. 

The movie written and directed by Anubhav Sinha of  has Shah Rukh Khan  in the lead role as (Shekar and G One) and has Kareena Kapoor as Shekar’s wife, Arjun Rampal as Ra.One, Armaan Verma as Shekar’s son Prateek and also Chineese American actor To Wu as Akasi.  Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Rajanikanth and others have inconsequential    roles to offer anything substantial to the movie.  As we all know, there cannot be Hindi movies without romance.  A stunningly beautiful and senous  Kareena Kapoor essaying the role of Shekar’s wife Sonia provides the much needed romantic angle to the movie.  With her stunning looks & perfect body curves and dancing prowess she oozes oomph and sensuality especially in the song sequences.   Shah Rukh Khan also excels in his double roles but seems to overact a bit in the role of Shekar.  Full marks to debutant Armaan Varma who portrays his role like a seasoned artistes.  Shah Rukh Khan shares a wonderful chemistry with this child actor. Armaan exudes a kind of vulnerability which forms the very soul of the film.  Arjun Ramphal with his six packs and chiseled body is menacing in his role as a villain for the first time and his presence is also plus point to the movie.  He is capable of instilling helluva fear as a villain capable of wrecking havoc.  But unfortunately he makes a late entry in the second half of the movie.   To Wu is also impressive in his role.  There is nothing much to perform for other stars some of whom are in guest appearances.   

While the film may come out as a winner in the packaged form the muddled script proves to be the weakest point of the film.  It film impresses the audience in patches and with a muddles script it looks as though the story is elongated with excellent cut and paste formula of songs and  dance and other sequences.   While the storyline is hackneyed the director is able to come out with visual dazzlers which are a treat to the eyes, something with which the present genre identifies.  The action sequences are carried out with élan and choreography of Ganesh Hegde and Feroz Khan is quite rapturous and vivifying.  

Music my Vishal-Shekar is mediocre with Chammak Chalo and Dildara are quite melodious.  The Akong sang Chammak Challo has found takers among the younger generation and there is a sizeable chunk of his followers here. 

To sum it all the movie is a brave effort as a Hindi scientific movie which comes close to the one produced in Hollywood though not in that class.  It is a movie for those who look for fast-paced action and thrills and will definitely find takers among the younger generation.  The kids would just love it and they should not give it a miss.   Too much sound and action might not find takers among a section of the people.  For others who look for mere romance and emotions, there is nothing in this movie.   And for diehard fans of Shah Rukh Khans, the movie might be just what the doctor had advised.