Ok, for those familiar, I return to blogging after a really long time. Only a movie like Ra.One could compel me to take time out of a schedule where I have no time other than to read, write, eat and sleep. So, here goes…
Two people, Director Shankar (from Tamil filmdom who only directs mega-budget commercial entertainers, like Robot, Indian etc) and Bollywood Mass Star Salman Khan, must be laughing their asses off looking at what has been happening with Ra.One in the last five days…
Ra.One Movie Review: Sometime in the recent past, Director Shankar, who loves directing big budget movies with high commercial value and low story value [except Indian], but produces low budget high story movies, and Shahrukh Khan (SRK) were in talks for a hi-tech/sci-fi/robots kinda movie. The talks fell through, Shankar made it with Rajikanth [Robot, a huge hit, but with a story the size of a pea] and SRK announced Ra.One. Now, I can probably re-construct what actually happened.
I always jitters whenever I would hear SRK say he is making a super-hero film for his kids [I mean, its just silly.]. Clearly, SRK’s son Aryan loves video games and SRK wanted to make a movie where video games is the central theme. Director Shankar, being more rooted and grounded to the masses obviously thought it was a silly idea and so SRK rejected the commercially viable script presented by Shankar. Today, Shankar must be laughing watching this joke of a film; Ra.One neither has a head nor a tail and it is has certainly taken Indian cinema to a new level…of stupidity.
I will save myself the torture of having to revisit the story. What is it anyway? Father, Mr. Goofy SRK, wants to impress his son by making a devious video game where the villain is stronger than hero. The villain is programmed with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and soon enough Ra.One, the video game villain, comes into the real world to kill the guy who is able to defeat him (SRK’s son). So far, so good—concept is fine, but how to translate this concept into a feature film? What is the plot? This is where the movie goes all wrong. The director, Anubhav Sinha, has no track record and his past movies and this one just go to prove that he is more of an action sequence choreographer than anything else. The real director of this film seems to be SRK, who just was in love with this concept and ended up making a mockery of the direction.
To put it mildly, the direction was just childish and immature, which begs me to wonder who directed it? SRK, his son Aryan, Anubhav Sinha, or Karan Johar? What was the need for SRK to be cast as a like a goofy Tamilian? So Ra.One and G.One run riot on the streets of London and there seem to be no cops! [all watching some Bollywood movie in London perhaps!]. What was the need to show Victoria Terminal collapse?—could G.One have stopped the train inside rather than do it outside? What was the need for that gay-scene at the airport?—just reinforces further speculation among anti-SRK groups that he is indeed oriented differently [not that there is anything wrong with that!]; what was happening with all that Tamilian family thing with Satish Shah? Couldn’t they even figure out what happened to the goofy tamilian SRK? So his chief architect of the game is dead and the company’s boss Dilip Tahil seem clueless! nobody even visits the lab’s wreckage after Ra.One comes out…..phew….the list of illogical stuff abound.
Actors need to understand that a successful actor is the product of the creativity of a story writer and a director. All of SRK’s super classic hits are products of the director’s vision. Just because you have money and love a concept [a villain comes out of the virtual world to the real world to wreck havoc] and put together a few action sequences under the supervision of a Hollywood technician—doesn’t make a movie. Ra.One lacks all the basic elements even an average SRK movie had which made watching his movies enjoyable even thought the story line was not strong [i can think of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi...]
India’s best superhero movie, in my view, is Mr. India. What a fantastic script! Don’t we have issues plaguing the poor and middle classes in India where a superhero of sorts could help? I mean, come on video games? please give me a break. SRK and Anubhav Sinha and SRK’s sycophant group totally forgot the most fundamental rule of a super-hero movie: whether it is Mr. India or Batman,a super-hero’s context exists only in saving a group of peoples. By breaking this rule, Ra.One has no context and it is not grounded in reality.
To sum it up, as I don’t have any more time than this to write: Ra.One is an embarrassing moment in the life of any self-respecting SRK fan. Remember Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani…, Badshah, Asoka, and now add Ra.One. It has taken Hindi cinema to a new level…a new level of stupidity. SRK should now travel to the places he visited and issue a public apology for making such a ridiculous movie with Windows Media Player type VFX and for falsely promoting this as a super-hero movie.
Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two Thumbs Down!
Ra.One Box Office Report and Public Opinion:
So the other man who must be laughing his ass off is Mr. Salman Khan. It is no coincidence that Ra.One also had a five-day extended weekend just like Salman Khan’s Bodyguard. SRK wanted to prove a point that the only reason Salman Khan has given back-to-back blockbuster is because SRK has been away from the scene.
From the first minute of its release, ironically for SRK the Ravan for his Ra.One was really Salman Khan. Ra.One released in 1000 or more additional screens compared to Bodyguard or maybe more, it has a 3D version, inflated ticket prices, holidays, but still the shocker came: Bodyguard holds the first day opening record. This is a major blow to SRK. All bets were off. SRK probably thought that Ra.One will beat Bodyguard‘s record by a mile [please...diwali puja etc are all just excuses.].
Ra.One‘s five day total is also below Bodyguard‘s five day total. Sure, the economics of movies has changed so even a Tees Maar Khan or Golmaal 3 will make collection records, but does that mean anything? In particular, you think SRK will be happy with the fact that Ra.One will be safe for Eros International? He wanted Bodyguard’s head, but he didn’t get it. Period. End of discussion.
The hype is that Ra.One is a 150 Crore budget film, so my question is how much was it sold for to Eros?—how much table profit did Red Chillies make? at least 50 Crores? So what is a hit then?—Shouldn’t Ra.One earn 200 crores and upwards for Eros? But like I said, SRK has lost this battle with Salman Khan when Ra.One couldn’t cross, with all this hype and hoopla, the first record of a simple hero film with a simple story that the masses can relate to and enjoy.
I am sure Salman Khan is laughing away in this typical style…sure, just like SRK he maybe unable to believe that Ra.One couldn’t beat Bodyguard’s records. I expect to see a steep fall in Ra.One’s collections and that is not only because of its overscreening, but more because of its poor content.
Ra.One‘s public talk is negative. From my driver to my sister to my father…talk is negative. Sure, this is not a representative sample, but it I will stand by my findings. My wife’s facebook account shows that all her friends are joking about Ra.One and infact mocking at it they way Telugu’s mock a Balakrishna movie!
It is high time SRK realized that he came to stardom making movies that the masses could relate to. Now, he is at risk of losing his stature because he is making movies that masses cannot relate to. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana, My Name is Khan are some examples; perhaps even the upcoming Don 2 looks to foreign. The recent success of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan is only because they are making movies grounded in India’s context. Nothing wrong to be an international star, but there is no charm of being that when you’re losing ground at home. Today, an SRK film is a scary thought and an Aamir Khan film means good content and a Salman Khan film means good entertainment.