Review : Ra.One – Techno-Masala Visual Ride
Published on Oct 26, 2011 11:44 am IST
Release date: 26 October 2011 Rating : 3.25/5
Director : Anubhav Sinha
Producer : Gauri Khan
Music Director : Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Shahana Goswami, Satish Shah

There comes a time in every filmmaker’s life when he or she wants to push the way a story is told, and mind you there are only few stories to tell! So how does one really add variety to a movie without losing the ‘usual benefits’? If you ask the same question to director Anubhav Sinha and actor Shahrukh Khan, both avid story tellers (in their own might),– they would reply together “by making a film like Ra.One”. Ra.One is a kind of a film where the artists indulge in their aesthetics, splurge a wave of money and offer a visual ride that is thrilling and yet somehow that doesn’t push us over the edge!

What’s it about: Shekhar Subramaniam (Shahrukh Khan) is a virtual game designing geek working in London. He mixes his noodles with curd, dotes on his wife Sonia (Kareena Kapoor) and their son (Armaan Verma), and as easily creates a virtual game called ‘Ra.One’ named after its villain! Shekhar’s Artificial Intelligence is so good, that the villain, inspired by 10 worst villains, begins to learn lots of things. However, the villain’s ego is hurt when a kid beats him in Level 1, and when the kid leaves the game mid-way he somehow manages to come alive in the real world – looking to beat him! However, the kid has help from his dad’s another design – G.One (Shahrukh Khan), the hero of the virtual game. But the real question is if G.One alone is good enough to beat the Ra.One, who begins to unleash waves of destruction, one after the other!

What’s Good: The persona, the charm and the magic of Shahrukh Khan’s presence can be felt through right from the moment he is seen on the big screen. As Shekhar Subramanian, he is up to his usual tricks getting laughs, sometimes cracking a joke on himself and sometimes becoming the joke. As ‘G.One’, he does the fights, and involves in some stunningly shot action sequences. Of course with both the characters he ensures that the feel good factor of the film stays alive. He works up a chemistry with Kareena Kapoor, who looks million bucks and when they sing and dance together, the crowds go crazy. Of course the usual sexual innuendos, that recent Shahrukh Khan films tend to have, are there too. On the other hand there is a Arjun Rampal, who uses his chiseled body and a shaved head to look the ‘almost unbeatable villain’. The kiddo, Armaan Verma is decent in his act as the star actor’s son. Then there are guest appearances from Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt and Rajinikanth (reprising his role as ‘Chitti’ from the film Robo’). With all the usual Shahrukh elements, the film has astounding visual effects and comes with a texture that is at par with any Hollywood A-Lister. Don’t be too surprised if halfway through the film, you will be wondering if a John Woo or a Michael Bay has somehow managed to work on this Hindi flick.

What’s Bad: Even as the visual splendor of the film works big time, the lack of emotional quotient too is a visible. The connection between G.One and the kid leaves a lot to be desired. Because of this ‘lack of connect’ we question the very need of a superhero to come and save a kid from a villain, who otherwise doesn’t pose a great threat to the humanity. Also what’s wrong in a villain being a villain, especially when he was created to be bad – such questions are for those who go beyond the pleasing effect of watching Shahrukh and Kareena together. For those who have watched Telugu film Anji, the climax would be a let down, more so because Ra.One itself showcases a brilliant pre-interval scene that wows even the worst of critics.

Technical Departments: For what Ra.One lacks in emotional value, it makes up with some extraordinary work from the technical departments. The visual effects, especially those involving the particle dynamics with little cubes, are stunning, even though they are inspired by a Television commercial made for Sony TV few years ago. Cinematography, by Nicola Pecorini and Manikandan gives the film an extremely chic look. Any emotions you will feel in the film will be because Vishal and Shekhar translate the actors’ emotions into tangible sounds that will touch your heartstrings. Editing is up there with the best too, more so appreciable in the superbly choreographed fight sequences. The production design is colossal, and overall the director manages to give us a typical Hindi masala film, with a fine mix of visual richness and a techno-texture.

Final Point: Ra.Oneis an amazing joy ride and a must watch for everyone who likes a thing or two about Shahrukh Khan and Video Games. But if you are expecting something to tickle your braincells, well you will have other things to think about.

– Esskay Rating : 3.25/5

Legend: 5 – Flawless

4 – Must Watch

3 – One Time Watch

2 – Wait for the DVD

1 – Stay Away


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