Film Hindi Review

Ra.One

2008, Mannat Third Dinner room

SRK: Finishing Adi’s schedule soon. KJo’s convinced me to act like that Tom Hanks guy by offering to name the film after me. *eats ego-booster, energizer chocolate*

Aryan: Papa, I’m sick of how you keep doing these soppy love stories for all my uncles.

SRK: You mean I should do something for myself, finally huh? You don’t understand, Aryan, this is my kind of –

Aryan: No I mean you should do something for me now. You said you owed me one after pushing me into the frame with Jaya didi in that ‘loving your parents’ movie na…

SRK: But it is all about loving your parents, friends, family after all, right Gauri?

*Miss Khan shrugs*

Aryan: Enough! I’m not talking to you. You’re not a hero anymore, Papa. You are Shahrukh Khan! I’m going to play on my special edition PS3 now. BYE!

SRK: Amazing how they talk so much sense when they hit 12, no?

*Miss Khan shrugs*

SRK: Phew. And to think, that Robot film with Shankar just fell through. Aryan would have loved it, I know, but I’m just not used to being so expressionless. I’m not a machine after all, right?

*Miss Khan sighs*

2009, Mannat, Fourth Lunch Room

SRK: But the problem is that my fans want something different. Maybe I should direct. What say?

*Miss Khan pouts*

SRK: That Shankar is too dominating on the set. And Rajini Sir has decided to tame him. That should be fun. A robot superhero, whoever’s heard of that.

Aryan: Papa, I found out that you made a profit of 150 crores with your KKR merchandise and season.

SRK: How the hell do you know so much?

Aryan: Video games.

SRK: Oh.

Aryan: where’s my Diwali gift?

SRK: You want me to spend those 150 crores on you? Aryan, its a company, not a gaming station!

Aryan: Papa, you’re so boring and one dimensional. I liked you better when you did films like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa…

SRK: but you weren’t even born then.

Aryan: Video games.

SRK: Oh.

While doing the climax scene of the romantic ‘thriller’ Rab ne Bana Di Jodi, SRK gets a sudden (edited) systematic montage flash of memories – transitions and all – Aryan. Boring. Shankar Anna. Video Games. Robot. Superhero. Director. Gaming station. Company. Gift. KKR. 150 crores. Shah Rukh Khan. Hero. Expressionless. Rajini Sir…

2010, Mannat, Gaming Room

SRK: So Anubhav, when I say I will act the way I want and have my writers write the dialogues I want. it doesn’t mean I’m director OKAY?

*Mr. Sinha shrugs*

Aryan: Papa, papa! Did you watch Enthiran? Rajini Sir did it! He did it! What fun it was…

SRK: Anubhav, please go and watch it so that Shankar thinks its an absolute bizarre coincidence that we have the same concept, scenes, graphics and even title fonts. And check out the train scene and report back to me asap.

*Mr. Sinha pouts*

Aryan: Papa, tell Gambhir bhaiya to win something or I will feel bad on my birthday again. I want my gift…or I will go and see Salman’s new film ok?

SRK: *nods to Anubhav, who secretly exits* Aryan, Sallu bhaiya only acts like a superhero. A cop uniform is nothing compared to a…*pauses for effect* robotic anti-pressurized, anti-gravity, anti-logical, Iron-shielded suit. RIGHT?

Aryan: Wow! Yayyyyyy! Are those terms real?

SRK: My writers say so.

Aryan: Kickass!

*Anubhav nods outside, taking down notes*

SRK: This is a father’s greatest gift to his son. And people say I’m vain and self-obsessed.

Aryan: I love you! So is it John Abraham or Rampal Mamu? Both are equally robotic, no?

SRK: Mamu just won a National Award. So it has to be him! Let’s make it a full family affair – to give the cinema-impoverished in India something pathbreaking by ‘our’ standards.

Aryan: But Papa, Bodyguard

SRK: We will change the script according to trends. Don’t worry! It will be a massy, lowbrow, funny, dramatic, romantic, dark, masaledaar musical Bollywood picture!

*Miss Khan shrugs*

If that was the ‘Inception’ of Ra.One, here’s the post mortem:

Here’s the breakup of our rating, loud and clear: 25% for VFX, technical bravado and blood, sweat and tears. 3% for what the rest of this unwritten, unplanned and mediocre  mishmash, ‘directed’ by Anubhav Sinha stands for.

How long will we use the escapist tag of ‘masala bollywood’ to get away with non-existent content, lack of research and loud visuals disguised in good-looking eye-pleasing packages? It is about time we stop comparing every new ‘pathbreaking’ effort to previous Indian efforts – because to be brutally honest, we’re just an overgrown song-and-dance blip on the world cinematic map.

If Shah Rukh Khan, previously the most talented ‘star’ in India, decides to forego his talent and identity in order to let the Salman audience relate to him (read crude jokes, stereotypical profiling), there is not much left to say.

As I speak, records will most probably fall, with the best businessman in Bollywood shredding that last ounce of dignity and respect in favour of pure numbers.

My suggestion? Wipe out half our population so that numbers are not an issue anymore – even if it means superstar clans and camps being destroyed. A nuke attack, a fresh start and a semblance of a new audience (evolution) – remains our only hope.

Till then, expect Shah Rukh Khan (disguised as a film actor) to take on Iski Lee, Uski Lee and Sabki Lee in an orgy of inside jokes and poor taste. He seems to have forgotten that kids and adults alike, have been treated to similar VFX levels for years now- with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Transformers topping the lists. A first here for sure, and somebody had to do it. Brave, maybe. But not a sincere effort by any stretch of Indian imagination.

If this is what made the man age overnight to a shadow of his previous self, and money was all that mattered anyway, all we can say is: Happy Diwali, Aryan.

Score28%

Hindi, Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Color

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