View Poll Results: Did you find 'RA.One' a good film?

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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009

    Default Ra.One is a must-watch for SRK fans and SFX lovers..Reviews

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    After Rajnikanth, Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan; the next superstar jumping on the 'superhero flicks' bandwagon is none other than the supposed Badshah of Bollywood – Shah Rukh Khan. With an astonishing investment of Rs. 150 crores (suggested by reports), Ra.One is not only Shah Rukh Khan's most ambitious project till date but also Bollywood's costliest film ever made. The film's publicity campaign has been phenomenal enough to be referred to as a case study by marketing students. From getting international singer Akon on board, to the mega superstar Rajnikanth; Shah Rukh Khan has left no stone unturned. As he must have wished, since the past few months Bollywood has been all about – Ra.One! Will Ra.One be able to live up to the tremendous hype and expectations? Will it be able to recover its investment?

    A father tries hard to fit-in in his Son's badass world. While Shekhar (Shah Rukh Khan) was trying every trick in the book to woo his son with wife Sonia (Kareena Kapoor); his son had already given up on him. Just when the father-son duo hit a deadlock- Shekhar strikes gold when he designs one hell of a game. Finally it all starts falling in place. The family comes together, but only to find themselves in the middle of a crash. Not just a hard drive crash but a crash that would drive them to a disaster. All hell breaks loose when – the game that was meant to be played with, starts playing them. Ra.One- The next level!

    "Tum log har saal raavan ko is liye jalate ho kyunki tum jaante ho ke raavan kabhi marta nahi" – Killer dialogue, isn't it?! Well, the best part of the film is the bad man himself having the title role to his credit – Ra.One. The film starts off with an outright ridiculous beginning. The fact that a 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' song starts playing in the midst of a superhero sequence, justifies my judgment. You pray the film doesn't follow this trend, and thankfully, your wish is granted. The film goes on with an interesting flow and a brilliant latter half to its pre-interval segment. Watch out for the entire portion which shows the emergence of Ra.One into life, it has the ability to get you some serious goosebumps! And the credit purely goes to the SFX (special effects) team. The SFX witnessed in Ra.One is definitely the best ever seen in the Hindi Film industry. Another plus point is the action sequences between G.One and Ra.One. It keeps you wanting for more. Also, Shah Rukh Khan's star power and screen presence is unmatchable. He can even make a Tamil character likeable with maybe the worst Tamil accent ever. That's Shah Rukh Khan for you.

    However, the film does have its share of flaws too. The film majorly defaults in its "balancing act". The film tries to balance out between a sci-fi superhero flick and a massy Bollywood entertainer, and that's where it loses focus. This leads to several unnecessary sequences, typical Indianised Bollywood moments plus dialogues and failed emotional sequences. The forced humor which majorly comprises of some kicks in the nuts, fails at most places. Except the scene where a homosexual officer is checking out Shah Rukh Khan's body parts. That's hilarious! Even the emotional quotient between Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor doesn't make an impact and seems unnecessary. Sequences having Rajnikanth, Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra's special appearances seem absolutely forced to increase the 'star power' of the film. Also, why does there have to be a hero v/s 10 gundas scene in every damn film?! Getting on to some other typical Indianised Bollywood moments, what's with the scene having G.One asking Sonia about Karva Chauth?! There are many more such scenes. Only if the film had concentrated on just the 'superhero' aspect of the film and have some more friction between G.One and Ra.One instead of concentrating on other unnecessary storylines, Ra.One could have proved to be path-breaking cinema.

    Being director Anubhav Sinha's next directorial venture post Tum Bin, Dus and Cash, Ra.One has definitely escalated his level. However, Sinha doesn't live up to the expectations created by the scale of this film. Not only the direction, but also screenplay by him along with Mushtaq Sheikh and Kanika Dhillon isn't first-rate and seems more of an attempt to make a 'complete package' rather than a sci-fi film. However, the strictly okay direction and screenplay is compensated with some brilliant cinematography by V. Manikanandan and great special effects. The music has already topped all popular music charts, Chammak Chalo being the talk of the town. However, it's not only the music but also the background score by Vishal-Shekhar which is brilliantly gripping.

    Moving on to the performances, Ra.One belongs to Shah Rukh Khan. He brings in some amazing star power and screen presence as always. Frankly, the performance doesn't require histrionics. Being Shah Rukh Khan throughout is just more than enough! However, while playing Shekhar, he should have worked on his Tamil accent. Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal are hardly there, but considering their poor performances, their minimal screen time actually works for the film. Kareena Kapoor, an actress who proudly claims to be doing equally meaty roles like her male counterparts, does nothing but add glam quotient to the film. No doubt, she looks drop-dead gorgeous. However, Kareena does nothing but dance, crib, look good; and gives in an average performance in sequences which require her to emote. In fact, if the emotional sequences don't work, Kareena Kapoor's mediocre performance is a major factor. Arjun Rampal tries his best to do a Voldemort but fails. The special effects version of Ra.One has more expressions compared to Arjun Rampal. Even in his minimal screen time, he fails to make an impact the character of Ra.One would require to do so. Armaan Verma gives in a confident performance. Shahana Goswami and Tom Wu don't have much scope. Satish Kaushik and Suresh Menon are good in their usual bits. Special appearances by Rajnikanth, Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra are absolutely forced! Amitabh Bachchan's voice-over makes an impact. One wonders after getting 'Shahenshah', 'Chitti', 'Khalnayak' and 'Desi Girl', what stopped Shah Rukh from getting Krrish a.k.a good friend Hrithik Roshan from making an appearance.

    Overall, there's no doubt that Ra.One as a film is flawed. However, Shah Rukh Khan's star power and the brilliant work by the film's special effects team is the saving grace and makes Ra.One a definite one-time watch. The film might not be liked by all sections of the audiences but shall definitely be loved by the masses. Also, it's a must-watch for all SRK fans and SFX lovers.

    ...being a human...

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009


    It’s always tough to make a sci-fi film where you have to first make the audience understand the basic premise – the ‘new technology’ that makes things happen. And even tougher when your primary target audience is children. Shahrukh Khan and Anubhav Sinha manage to pull it off barely by a pixel. So Shekhar Subramanian (SRK) is a clumsy, Hindi and Tamil speaking game programmer in London. He has a wife Sonia (Kareena Kapoor) and a kid Prateek. To impress his son, he makes a computer game where the villain RA.One is more powerful than the hero, G.One. Then the unexpected happens. Thanks to the ‘new technology’, RA.One enters the real world. Now he is all set to cause destruction everywhere he goes and even G.One might not be able to stop him.

    Kareena really doesn’t have much scope to show off her talent, except in the songs and she shines in them. Shahrukh is in a totally new avatar here and it’s not just the curly hair. His romance is downplayed, he does funny football fights and gets his Tamil wrong. But hey, it is an interesting change from his usual dreamy romantic scenes. And when he has to remain expressionless as he is playing a game character, he still conveys a lot with his blue eyes.

    A big cheer for Arjun Rampal. We couldn’t wait for RA.One to come out of the game, just so we could see the hunk. We waited. And waited. The most tragic thing that can happen to a hero, happens to Shekhar and all we are thinking is, where is Arjun? It’s post-interval and he is still to make his appearance. Poor Arjun. And to think he shaved his glorious head of hair just to be in less than half a movie. Despite the length of his role, Arjun makes a heady impact.

    If you are a die-hard SRK fan, you should give this film a shot. Especially with the VFX actually being really stunning. It makes you want to believe that yes, gaming characters can enter the real world. That’s a huge plus. RA.One has set the bar really high with its VFX. If only director Sinha had paid that much attention to the emotional factor. There are so many moments where you know he wants you to pull out your handkerchief but you just don’t feel the need to. That’s why in the end, we are still left asking one thing: G.One might be a superhero with a heart, but hey Shahrukh, where’s the soul?
    ...being a human...

  3. #3
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    Default Why Ra.One disappoints

    There was a time when we used to read books, talk about them with each other, share ideas and sing lullabies to little kids. Those were simple and quieter times. Shah Rukh Khan may remember those times when was a young kid growing up in a middle class family in Delhi, or when his NASA scientist character sings Ahista, Ahista in Swades .

    But then technology came into our lives. Consumer electronics became a vital part of our existence and video games took over the imagination of young kids and even adults -- from the simple charming Pac-Man, Mario Bros and Donkey Kong to the violent world of Mortal Combat and Grand Theft Auto. And kids forgot the value of reading. Superheroes that were in the comic books we used to read, started appearing in larger than life movies.
    This is not necessarily a bad thing. When Hollywood makes superhero films -- the recent Spider-Man, Batman and Iron Man series – it often does a terrific job. The best of those films have tightly written scripts with consistent good and evil characters, and actors being in the role from start to finish. In fact, those representations of superhero stories enhance that we could read and see in comic books.

    But when a Bollywood superstar like Khan makes a $20 million production Ra.One, inspired by the world of video games, superheroes and villains, he has a lot more to focus on. The rules of Bollywood and his massive fan following do not allow him to be one character throughout the film. He cannot make his fans forget that he is Shah Rukh Khan -- the romantic hero who can dance and lip synch to hot catchy songs, play comic situations and do much more. There is a reason why the term superstar is usually attributed to actors in Bollywood and not in Hollywood.

    There are quite a few Khans in Ra.One -- the bumbling Shekhar, a Hindi speaking video game designer with a bad South Indian accent and an equally bad wig, who mixes yogurt in spaghetti, and overnight transforms himself into a hip Michael Jackson like cool dude, just to impress his son.

    Then there is the sharply chiseled G.One, the good guy in a video game, who sometimes acts like a robot, but then also -- quite unlike his character -- displays emotions, a sense of humour that can only be attributed to Khan's personality and even dances and lip synchs in Akon's voice.

    Khan's passion project Ra.One also tries to be many things -- some awesome action sequences using the best technology available in the world, thrilling car chases and fun video game derived fighting moments, and homage (some may claim the scenes are lifted) to just about every superhero action films -- T2, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Batman, Matrix and Superman.

    Ra.One also has to be a Bollywood film -- at times time fun, such as during the Chamak Challo song sequence, but then it is melodramatic, overplayed with loud background score. Also like many flawed Bollywood films, Ra.One's script is muddled ( gives credit to six writers including Khan and director Anubhav Sinha), and it gets lost in many competing narrative threads, nearly forgetting the main plot.

    The premise of Ra.One works at times. Shekhar lives in a palatial house in London , with a stunning wife (a very hot looking Kareena Kapoor ) and a son, who actually looks like a girl, other than that his name is Prateik. To please his son he designs a video game called Ra.One -- named after its villain -- who takes many forms, including finally that of a creepy Arjun Rampal perhaps the most interesting element of the film.

    In a Purple Rose of Cairo manner, Ra.One, the villain, escapes from the video game in search of Lucifer, the last person who played against him. Turns out Lucifer is Prateik's video game handle and so begins the villain's search for the young kid. All fine, expect it is often interspersed with long chunks of Bollywood masala.

    There are some promising moments in Ra.One -- such as the opening dream sequence where an almost unrecognisable Khan, who looks like a CGI created figure, fights evil forces (including Sanjay Dutt , who is introduced to us with the song Nayak Nahin, Khalnayak Hoon Main) so as to rescue a pretty but hysterical Priyanka Chopra . The mood, texture of this dream sequence is inspired by Asian cinema and it is quite cool. Also thrilling are many of the video game fight scenes, including the film's climax.

    Those exposed to international films may not find much of this remarkable. Last year's Endhiran had some terrific CGI scenes, but this is a new path for Hindi cinema. And perhaps as homage to Endhiran, Ra.One features a brief appearance of Rajnikanth [ Images ] as Chitti -- although it was one of those Bollywood moments when the film meanders from its focus.

    I wish Ra.One had more of the evil character played by Rampal. I wish we could have seen some more sparks of evil from Kapoor. But Ra.One is mostly about Khan.

    There are video games that kids play, but then they shut them off, after they win or lose. Finally, Ra.One has a similar forgettable quality.

    ...being a human...

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Default RA.One mixed verdict: Are the audiences divided?

    The initial responses to 'RA.One' have divided the audience fraternity into two distinct groups. Not only the audiences but film reviewers are also separated into two factions.
    The first group is of the opinion that 'RA.One' has brought the level of Indian films at par with Holywood films in just one stroke while the other group is complaining about the flawed script.
    The rating points given to the film also ranges from 1.5 to 4.5 which describe the effect of 'RA.One' on the viewers' minds.

    Almost everyone has prises for special effects visible for the first time on Indian screens but the traditional movie goers have felt the need of an original script which appears to be the amalgamation of several foreign films.

    Further, the opening collection book of 'RA.One' does not boast of grand income but it's a long weekend and thus the overall collection can amount to an impressive sum. 'RA.One' banked upon mammoth promotional drive in order to pull the audiences to the theatres and therefore mixed reviews actually have brought down the 'RA.One' fever a bit.

    Such marketing gimmicks are not a new thing for Shah Rukh Khan who has done ferocious promotions of 'Om Shaanti Om' and 'Main Hoon Na' in the past. He has simply refused to trust the word of mouth publicity since some years.

    Shah Rukh invariably talks about his loneliness in interviews and also cares to explain why he needs to raise the standard bar all the time. His inner urge to claim the supreme spot of the Hindi film industry comes out via words in different chat and reality shows. This anxiety was visible even when Shah Rukh appeared on 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' with Amitabh Bachchan. It seemed that Shah Rukh wants to make his presence felt more than Amitabh Bachchan.

    With his trademark sarcasm filled wit, Khan works tirelessly to achieve a position where he can safely call Rajinikanth as the number one star. Khan clearly knows the fact that the podium battle is among three Khans and one Roshan and Rajinikanth does not fit into this Bollywood line up.
    Shah Rukh has reached an age where any sort of competition should ideally stop but Salman Khan and Aamir Khan with their respective fan following have claimed the top spot in last three-four years, leaving Shah Rukh Khan with a strong desire to reclaim the position.
    Probably this is the reason behind making 'RA.One' a spectacular film rather than a good story. The focus on technical fineness has made 'RA.One' an experience worth watching but the hype around the film has begun to fizz away.

    It would have been better if Shah Rukh Khan had not promoted the film so heavily. In that case movie enthusiasts could have taken the film a little lightly with only entertainment in mind. The fan base of Shah Rukh Khan would also have felt satisfied with a magnificent show.
    This strategy of over hyping the film also has the potential of harming Shah Rukh's reputation in a longer run. Some more mediocre films and his entire prestige as an actor will be on stake.
    ...being a human...

  6. #6
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    Dec 2009


    I’ve often heard people say, film-making is nothing short of a gamble. And as any gambler will tell you, you’ve got to gamble huge to triumph huge. Going by this logic, Shah Rukh Khan is The Supreme Gambler of the year.

    What’s at stake, beside the big money invested in RA.ONE of course, is a dream, a vision, an aspiration to make a film which appeals to kids and kids at heart. In short, attempt a film that appeals to the universal audience. At the same time, it ought to raise the bar for Hindi films. Also at stake is SRK’s once-unchallenged supremacy as the reigning idol of Bollywood and that elusive thing called reputation. When you invest your repute in your dream project and stick your neck out, you expect nothing short of a mega-success.

    Movies like KRRISH and ROBOT initiated the trend of superhero films in India, with fantasy making deep inroads into mainstream Hindi cinema. Now RA.ONE raises the bar, takes not a step or two, but a giant leap and adheres to international standards, in terms of execution. But the soul, I wish to add, is very desi. That’s precisely the reason why RA.ONE emerges trumps. RA.ONE is beauty with brains.

    What characterizes a stunning superhero movie? I have narrowed it down to three precise constituents that I deem are absolutely necessary for an alluring superhero flick. The first is that the motion picture must encompass spectacular action and edge-of-the-seat thrills. Secondly, a magnificent superhero movie must also boast of luminous performances from the protagonists, which in turn should make these characters appear credible and relatable. Thirdly and most importantly, superhero films must have a narrative that keeps us yearning for more. All of these are indispensable factors in making a superhero movie that will be both acclaimed and adored by fans. Fortunately, RA.ONE emerges triumphant in all the three departments.

    RA.ONE is the most ambitious, most expensive and the most technologically complex Hindi film ever made. It pushes the envelope further. It’s not merely a film, but an experience, an event. It’s a film that will rewrite the textbook of computer graphics in Hindi cinema. At the same time, it is very Indian at heart. The relationship between SRK and the kid is the highpoint of the enterprise. But, at the same time, there are ample clap-trap moments that will send the viewers in frenzy. The chase sequence, when Ra.One finally zeroes on Lucifer, and the subsequent ‘entry’ of the superhero is awe-inspiring. The train sequence in the second hour is exceptional and a cinematic feat. The presence of Rajnikanth in a crucial sequence will be greeted with deafening claps and whistles. And, of course, the climax of the film; it’s simply jaw-dropping.

    Besides these factors, the ‘Chammak Chhallo’ number is already a rage and so are the sequences involving visual effects. In a nutshell, it’s an entertainer that works big time. You haven’t experienced something like this ever before, on the Hindi screen!

    A father tries hard to fit into his son’s world. While Shekhar [Shah Rukh Khan] tries every trick in the book to woo his son, his son had given up on him. Just when the father-son duo hit a deadlock, Shekhar strikes gold when he designs one hell of a game. Finally, it all starts falling in place. But the happiness is short-lived. All hell breaks loose when the game that was meant to be played with, starts playing them.

    We are spoilt by cinema’s ability to create on celluloid anything that can be imagined, therefore we have raconteurs making endeavors to bestow us with movies that you wouldn’t have ever envisioned even in your mind’s eye. You realize this as you watch RA.ONE, which is a visual spectacle from start to end.

    Director Anubhav Sinha along with co-writers David Benullo, Kanika Dhillon and Mushtaq Shiekh may be inspired by international flicks as far as the concept is concerned, but they ensure that they serve the right masala to moviegoers in those 2.30 hours. What actually takes you by complete surprise is not just the money spent on visual effects or the stunning chase and action scenes, but the twists and turns in the screenplay that unravel at a feverish pace.

    Besides, the moviegoers have certain expectations and notions about superhero flicks and they expect such characters to perform audacious aerobatics to save someone’s life or a nation. But this one’s different. Visually arresting and dramatically just what the doctor ordered, the film boasts of relatable characters, which makes this superhero movie for kids as well as grown-ups. In fact, I’d like to add, RA.ONE is not only skillfully directed, but also visually dynamic and entertains from commencement to conclusion.

    The album of the film lives up to the grand expectations. Vishal-Shekhar deliver a striking score with ‘Chammak Chhallo’, ‘Dildaara’ and ‘Raftarein’ being the pick of the lot. The background score, also recorded by them, is equally electrifying. V. Manikandan and Nicola Pecorini’s cinematography is top notch. Same goes for the stunts and chases [Andy Gill and Spiro Razatos]. Dialogue [Kanika Dhillon and Niranjan Iyengar] are hardly ever commonplace. What I found most interesting is that, whether humorous or thoughtful, the channel of communication appears very credible. The Ra.One and G.One suits, designed by Robert Kurtzman, are super.

    RA.ONE is a perfect vehicle that does justice to the talent of Shah Rukh Khan. He seems to have found a story and character that work in perfect sync and tandem with manic energy. SRK steers this physically challenging lead role with high-spirited self-belief. He’s endearing as the father and magnificent as the superhero with a heart. Kareena Kapoor is a delight to watch. She effortlessly glides into the character. Besides, she looks ethereal in the ‘Chammak Chhallo’ song and her wit is infectious. Arjun Rampal pulls his act with effortlessness and style. Also, Arjun’s well-designed look is admirable.

    I’d like to make a special mention of Armaan Verma, the kid who has a pivotal part to portray. He stands shoulder to shoulder with SRK and Kareena all through the film and delivers a super-confident performance. The film has a number of actors in key roles [Shahana Goswami, Dalip Tahil, Satish Shah, Suresh Menon, Mushtaq Shiekh and Tom Wu] and each of them fit well in their respective parts. Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra add to the glam quotient, while Rajnikanth proves yet again that he’s a scene stealer.

    But the man who warrants the actual round of applause is director Anubhav Sinha himself. For bringing out the best of SRK, Kareena and Arjun. For the amazing screenplay. For the speedy yet smooth stream of the narrative. And for the fantastic unfolding of the written material. He merits top admiration for every act of his.

    On the whole, RA.ONE is a solid entertainer, no two opinions on that. It’s not merely a great looking film, but also has soul, which is so essential to strike a chord with the avid moviegoer. As for the business prospects, RA.ONE is sure to shatter all previous records and set new ones, in India as well as internationally. The film will be the new yardstick for measuring success. It has Blockbuster written all over it!

    ...being a human...



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