Chennai Express Box Office Review and Updates—All Time Industry Hit!

inkenti-logoFirst things first, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Chennai Express is what in Tollywood is fondly referred to as the following: ALL-TIME INDUSTRY HIT!!! In his 21st year of Bollywood career, SRK has delivered a film that has re-written all box office records and established new benchmarks—all sectors, centers, and countries. The crown of Box Office King is for him to keep for the next five years, irrespective of how many remake-hits Salman and Akshay make and regardless of how much Aamir Khan and Hrithik try to select perfect scripts.

The Openings: SRK’s films are always fighting several demons. At this point in his career, and similarly in the past, but it has never been so strong, SRK’s biggest challenge was: how to re-invent after being successful for 20 years? This is a common syndrome for superstars. Salman Khan, in particular, found his answer in the quintessential South-Indian Hero. SRK, to his credit, tried to reinvent himself but was always let down by poor story like DON 1 and 2 [I hope there is no 3], Ra.One. SRK’s disassociation with the supremely talented Farah Khan who gave him Main Hoon Na and Om Shanthi Om (which if they released today are both 200 Crore plus movies!) also cost him a lot. The Top 10 lists of record breaking movies has been dominated by Salman Khan films post Dabangg. Thus, not only did SRK have to deliver a good film that satisfies his fans, but also one that pleases the general audience. And implicitly, he had to break the records of Ek Tha Tiger. And I am sure, much to surprise of UTV, SRK, Rohit Shetty, SRK’s fans and even Salman Khan—Chennai Express has simply cruised through at 200 Crores in the first seven days. And with this SRK can keep his crown.

The Product: Lets be honest here, all of us. Chennai Express is not a supreme product in terms of story…at least, nothing compared to 3 Idiots. But again, India is diverse country with different socio-economic groups each liking different kinds of movies—that is why we can have blockbusters like 3 Idiots and Dabangg and Yeh Jaawani–three really different movies, all occupy top positions. At the end of the day, Chennai Express did what every movie is anyway supposed to do: entertain. Period.

Why is it such a success: I have been reading since the past one week several critics and analysts write about this. They also seem to be giving the credit to Rohit Shetty, which he surely deserves, but not in entirety. I would argue that this is far from the truth. Although Rohit Shetty enjoys the status of having the maximum number of 100 crore club movies, how many of us will go and buy a DVD of these movies for home viewing? None! In fact, Chennai Express is Rohit Shetty’s best film to date and that is because he adapted his style to suit the image and charisma of SRK. It is not the other way round as others claim. This is not the first time SRK has played the bungling fool or common man turned hero because of love. But I do want to thank Rohit Shetty for one thing—for not signing up Kareena Kapoor, else this would have been Ra. One all over again! With this film, the one common theme between SRK and Salman is: we will see more South Indian movie adaptations and hopefully SRK will realize that he really needs to focus on the India market and masses. For this, I will thank Salman Khan for making it apparent to the Bollywood box office that: the masses matter.

The SRK Theory: I have an SRK theory. I told my neighbor, the day Chennai Express trailer released that it will be a hit. why? there are three elements needed for a full-fledged SRK Blockbuster: mother sentiment, blood oozing out from the mouth in a fight sequence, and a running scene in long shot. When I saw the blood-from-mouth scene in the trailer I knew it would be a hit. Chennai Express had a dadi-dada sentiment (so this is close to mother sentiment), but no long-shot of SRK running. If it had then it would have been an even bigger hit!!!

Anyways, the biggest reason why Chennai Express is doing so well is because of the following: the Indian Rupee and stock market are bleeding, there is political and policy paralysis in the nation, cross-border fighting, a naval submarine that just blew up and nobody knows why, states fighting to be united and to be split, and a silent TB epidemic that is raging parts of India…in the midst of all this…the silly humor that Chennai Express provides seems like gold. Go Enjoy!

I sincerely hope SRK’s future movies are focused in India (left to Karan Johar this would have been Copenhagen Express!), cater to the masses, and adheres to the SRK theory.


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The Lungi Dance Review—Seriously, Whadd the F**K Is This?

inkenti logoAt the outset, let me make one thing clear: I have been eagerly waiting for Chennai Express hoping that it delivers the much needed solid-masala-box-office-success that has been eluding Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). In the absolutely busy graduate school schedule that I have, it takes a highly atrocious, moronic and ludicrous national event to make me blog about it—no, I am not talking about the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, but about The Lungi Dance. Here is the link:

lungi-dance-the-thalaiva-tribute-feat-honey-singh-shahrukh-khan-deepika-padukonePerformed by SRK and Deepika, featuring Yo Yo Honey Singh this song claims to be a tribute to Rajnikanth. Far from being a tribute, the song and the dance sequence comes off as mocking south’s regional cinema and makes a caricature of Rajnikanth and the hero of regional south films, in general. Surely, the north indians will have a good laugh and south indians will just not be able to relate to this nonsense. To begin with, if this is really a tribute then why isn’t SRK wearing a lungi? Dressed in a dapper suit with pink shirt, the song set looks like the promo song for when SRK hosted KBC. The choice of lyrics and the accent further perpetuates existing stereotypes about south-indian heros. My complaint is not about the accent here; it is okay to make fun if that is the intention, but it cannot look like a mockery in the name of a tribute. That is just plain being silly.  In my view, there is absolutely nothing in this song that would make a Rajni fan feel nostalgic or proud [I am guessing that is what a tribute is meant to be], instead the viewer is instantly repelled by the idea of watching Chennai Express.

As he ages and as his stardom fades, SRK is prepared to go to any desperate length to make his films earn a few more bucks.  Keep in mind, Chennai Express is co-produced by Gauri Khan-Red Chillies i.e. SRK’s home production. I trust none of you even choose to remember the embarrassing tribute SRK gave Rajnikanth by making a fake-dummy Rajni do a cameo in a really silly film called Ra.One. May I also refresh your memory that in Ra.One either SRK or Kareena is a Tamilian and Kareena actually teaches him how to wear a lungi [check out Dil dara song]. Thankfully, Rajni Sir did not save the film and neither did his fans. Here is the link for the Rajni tribute in Ra.One; those with a weak heart should avoid this as I cannot take responsibility for harming your life:

Congratulations! you survived the video if you are reading this line. Fast forward to the present and now we have Deepika play a Tamilian and again a ghastly tribute to Rajnikanth. Seriously, when is this going to stop? Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with a tribute to Rajni Sir, but my problem is with the way the song has been conceived and delivered. It could have been so much more enjoyable. From what I see on, this song looks like a stand alone item piece—meaning, a desperate attempt to earn a few more currency at the box-office.

I would be shocked out of my life if the actual song in the movie is shot differently and is well integrated into the story.  I highly recommend that SRK and Rohit Shetty watch Nithin’s Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde [Telugu film] where he gives a tribute to his matinee idol Pawan Kalyan’s Tholiprema [Telugu film]—now, thats what I call a tribute:

Let me add that the song by itself is quite catchy and I wish this was the item song with Priyamani albiet with different lyrics. With a couple of weeks more to go and with such an embarrassingly ghastly publicity gimmick called The Thailava Tribute, Chennai Express is all set to get derailed at the box-office. I would be happy if it is not, but the signs are ominous.  But again, we live in funny times, right? The economics of movies today ensures that even Ra.One and Jab Tak Hai Jaan are massive grossers at the box-office. And the sycophants around SRK will never even allow him to know how the movie really is. The show goes on; and now with plastic surgeries and what have you…our stars will never age! LOL!

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Attarrintiki Daaredi Audio Function: The Making of Power Star is Now Complete!

inkenti logoTo fully understand and appreciate a phenomenon in its live context, it is best advised to visits its antecedents. The phenomenon I examine in this article is the making of Pawan Kalyan as a Power Star in the context of his latest film directed by Trivikram Srinivas titled Attarrintiki Daaredi. My first encounter with Pawan Kalyan was when I watched Badri at Sandhya 35mm, RTC X Roads–it had way passed the 100 days mark by then. In fact, the reason why I sauntered into the theater was because of Ameesha Patel [remember Kaho Na Pyaar Hai…?]. I laughed at one of the banners that read loud and clear: POWER STAR PAWAN KALYAN and remarked to my friend that Telugu hero fans are nuts…every silly hero seems to have a star title. However, 30 minutes into the film and I have been a Pawan Kalyan fan since then. This was one the eve of my leaving India to pursue undergraduate studies in the United States. Thirteen years or so have been passed since then and now Pawan Kalyan has been made into a Power Star, there are apparently now Pawanisms and now his fans are Power Star fans, not Mega-Power fans anymore. How did this happen?

johnnySeveral factors—intended and unintended—have contributed to the making of the Power Star. Firstly, I am not sure if there is any other hero or actor whose stardom has grown every year with every movie that failed to reach its box-office expectations. You will notice that none of Pawan Kalyan’s films ever formally introduced him as Power Star; the first time I remember seeing this was when Annavaram released. Both the journey up to Kushi [2001] and from Johnny [2003] to Panjaa [2011] are unique in Tollywood—he was the super-duper star at the time of Kushi [2001], then he delivered an all-time disaster which is considered by many of his hardcore fans as a classic, Johnny [2003], and then all the way till Panjaa [2011] his movies didn’t deliver at the box office the way they were supposed to, but with each movie  his stature only grew. This filmography makes Pawan Kalyan a unique entity. It was precisely during this period of 2003 to 2011 that the Power Star was made and remember, this was happening even as the unmaking of the Mega-Star was unfolding. A void was being created and simple laws of nature would suggest that any void has to be filled and this was being filled by Pawan Kalyan. It finally took a young fan and director, a crazy and young producer, another crazy young music director and a Hindi film whose soul was essentially a south-indian film to fully and completely resurrect Pawan Kalyan after almost a decade. And what a resurrection it was! what a pleasure it was for one and all to see Pawan Kalyan in his elements in Gabbar Singh. By now, the unmaking of Mega-Star was completed, a definite space existed to be filled, and with the universal success of Gabar Singh…the making of Power Star was complete.

Once this process is complete, then everything that Pawan Kalyan did in the past becomes legendary and can be used to construct and consolidate the current pawan_kalyan_gabbar_singh_sstature. For this, I want you to listen carefully to Trivikram’s speech [here is the link the five encounters with Pawan Kalyan. More than films, it is Pawan Kalyan’s character that is constructed to be full of sincerely and integrity, which are the sources of his power. Notice that his character elevation is in direct contrast to that of this elder brother’s [who along with this brother-in-law merged his political party with its opposition, remember?] whom he once openly revered. Today, every act of Pawan Kalyan’s however irrational it may have been when it happened is now part of a perfect script that made the power star he is today—whether it is Johnny or the Common Man Protection Force. Today, a Pawan Kalyan fan is a proud Power Star fan, not a Mega-Power fan, and the space necessary in the industry to host this heavy weight star-power has been created. Ram Charan and Allu Arjun have not taken off as they seem to busy hacking people to death rather than focussing on stories at this young age. Mahesh Babu’s five year haitus from movies only helped Pawan Kalyan’s star power. Jr. NTR too seems confused as to how to move forward. With Gabbar Singh and with an apparent unconditional love for Pawan Kalyan from the movie masses…he is all set to become the Numero Uno Star.

What makes Pawan Kalyan’s star shine ever brighter with each movie [hit or miss] is that he simply forgets about the movie after its release and is just busy gardening. He literally implements the Bhagwad Gita philosophy….only hard work is in your hands, not the result. So we didn’t see him support Johnny neither did we see him boast Gabbar Singh. In this hyper-active media society, a media-shy star is even more alluring to his fans. Simple economic theory, right? a scarce resource is more valuable: that is why fans just will not let him speak when he holds he microphone! for more than a minute fans cheer him and his apparent shyness adds to the emotions. We saw this happen during the most recent audio function as well . Notice, however, that Pawan Kalyan’s presence at functions is slowly rising, but his presence and his speeches are considered special. It is baffling for fans to see how a stage-shy person can set the silver screen on fire with energy and whose actions are so unconditionally based on a value system.

wp-7atharintikidaaredi800Thus, the construction of Pawan Kalyan as a concept is complete. He is now a Power Star. A solo star who in the eyes of the masses is someone who helps the needy, has a simple life, and more importantly now is keen to build a career post-Gabbar Singh. A star who is not interested in amassing wealth, does not care for records and stands for his values. Yes, of course, the lion looks clean shaven, smart and ready to kick-ass at the box-office. By the way, does anyone remember that Ram Charan’s movie is releasing a week before Attarrintiki Daaredi? No? thats what I thought. Also, be sure Chennai Express from Mumbai to Rameswaram will not have any passengers the weekend of August 7th in Andhra Pradesh.

I will continue to write this series of articles up till and after the release of Attarrintiki Daaredi.

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NAAYAK Movie Review and Box Office News

These days I am suffering from inertia. Unless a strong external shock shakes my system, I am not prompted to write. So I saw Naayak on the first day at Inox breaking my RTC X Roads tradition purely out of convenience. The distributor’s hapless agent was selling tickets right outside the box-office. First things first, the movie is total nonsense and is a typical VV Vinayak movie to get a severe headache. But even this did not move me to write the review—today I read on websites that Charan is “thrilled” with the response. Let’s take some time to digest all this.

First, the review of the movie. Are you bored of your  peaceful life and wish to induce some pain? If the answer is yes, then go watch any average Telugu movie.  If your answer is a resounding and thumping yes, then go watch VV Vinayak’s and Charan’s desperate attempt to strike big at the box office: Naayak. Charan is a happy go lucky software guy [though they never show him working in the office], falls in love with a local goon’s sister. When the goonda decides to teach Charan a lesson for romancing his sister, he sees Charan kill the DGP in broad daylight. It turns out that the killer is a look-alike of Charan who has a flashback in Kolkata. The family’s Kolkata fixation continues. Second half provides more violence, more goondas and more headache with a few laughs thrown here and there.

It appears that the only point of the movie is to make Charan appear like a young super-duper hero with a special concern for the society. Basically, he wants to repeat his father’s fake image. There is absolutely nothing new in this movie. The sequences between Brahmanandam, Charan and Kajal are straight from VV Vinayak-Ravi Teja’s Krishna, the double-role of hero like Vinayak-NTR Jr. Adurs etc. In fact, there are more goodas in Vinayak’s world than there are characters and sub-plots. V V Vinayak’s specializes in showing goodas and thugs in a comical way in addition to gory violence, which he surely thinks is action. If you want to torture anybody you don’t like in this world please show them these movies back-to-back: Krishna, Adurs, Badrinath, Naayak.

As for Charan, they guy has some serious identify crisis. He first needs to consider this face, body and height before scripting his own hero roles. And my sincere request is for him not to remix his father’s classic hit songs. I was never convinced of him playing Magadheera and equally not convinced of him being a mass-hero. I feel his entire jaw-line has been re-structured as it looks really fake. I fail to understand why he can’t make movies worthy of his age and physical attributes. This movie is totally over-kill for him. As far as I am considered, Racha and Naayak are flops, Orange is not really a movie and Magadheera is Rajamouli’s movie.

Now, coming to the box-office results. Even Prabhas’s horrendous movie Rebel set a Day-1 record. The strategy is simple: the distributors just buy and block the tickets on the first day ensuring full collections. But seriously, is this the kind of movie Telugu audience deserve? and have hailed this movie as a mass-entertainer—really? how Sad. So mass means goondas, violence, gory killings, senseless screenplay consisting of patch work, hero in each and every scene, no role for heroines etc. How about other movies like Rangam [just an example]: wasn’t that a mass entertainer? i.e. didn’t it entertain the audience? There is also a scene in this movie where Charan is praising the goonda that he uses his name to get respect in the society [and get tickets on the 1st day for Power Star Pawan Kalyan’s movie]—at a time when the nation is grappling with issues of hooliganism is the right message that should be sent out? are movies depicting reality or popularizing goondas and thugs?

I recently saw Midhunam. Such a beautiful movie and it had some meaning. It was so refreshing to watch a movie without Sumo’s rushing and goondas. Charan’s PR machinery may be working over-time to write that movies like Racha and Naayak are commercial hits, but the truth is even the masses feel that it is just about worth one time watch and that if Brahmanandam and Jayaprakash Nayaran was not there the movie is unbearable. I hope Charan is equally thrilled to hear this, but I trust the sycophants around hero’s like Charan will never reveal an objective view. So as long as hero’s like Charan think that numbers don’t lie…this drama will go on.

Mr. V V Vinayak should now invest this money in a fixed deposit account and enjoy the interest; his career has hit rock-bottom. Charan should seriously look out for movies that suit his age and body.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two thumbs down! Kindly spare yourself the headache.

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Jab Tak Hai Jaan Movie Review—-What the heck did I just see?

ImageA friend of mine who saw the latest Bond film SKYFALL remarked that the Bond he grew up with is “gone”. Similarly, the SRK I grew up with is gone, but unlike my friend who liked the new Bond I dislike the new SRK-Yash Raj film I just saw. Sure, this seems to be time for super-hero’s of all kinds to reflect, resurrect, and move on. We saw this with the Dark Knight, James Bond, and now with Yash Chopra—when Katrnina Kaif is the new Chopra heroine you know Bollywood romances have entered the dark ages. Unfortunately, with due respects to Yash Chopra, he fails miserably to resurrect the musical-emotional love stories for the new era. I am a simple guy, I don’t mind characters questioning the relevance of their existence, but all I want is a movie that entertains—Jab Tak Hai Jaan fails to entertain. Period.

ImageI hereby propose two theories: first, Mr. Chopra an 80 year old man himself must have been suffering with some sort of senility and forgot many fine points. Just like his protagonist, he too seems stuck in the past—Shahrukh Khan is apparently 25 or 28, earning part-time wages, he is a waiter, but looks more like an owner of the restaurant, he simply joins the Indian Army, leaves it to go to London in less than 24 hours notice and rejoins it as though the bomb diffusing squad has been contracted out to a private firm. Thus, the film is a product of Yash Chopra’s own senility. Second, Aditya Chopra who shares the credit [and in my opinion, the shame] for story actually directed this movie [btw, it is quite common for assistant directors to handle the affairs on behalf of the director]. When Papa Chopra was shown the film, he simply couldn’t believe what he saw and you know what happened.

Ok, enough of my theorizing. Samar Anand [SRK] is a young lad doing part time wage jobs in London, falls in love with a rich girl Meera [Katrina Kaif] who is about to be engaged, she too falls in love, accident, Meera prays that if Samar lives to the see the next day then she will leave him, which he does so Samar heads back to India to join the bomb diffusing squad. Please do not ask me where he acquired the skills to diffuse bombs because what he was doing in London was selling fish, singing songs and as waiting on people. Akira [Anushka Sharma] is irritatingly energetic and falls for what she considers to be old-school love compared to her date-today and break-up tomorrow kinda love. Again, accident in London, Samar loses memory, Meera helps out, and then after 10 years of separation [and apparent celibacy] they unite. By this time, Samar has diffused 108 bombs in the Kashmir Valley and Akira has become a major documentary film maker for Discovery Channel [I expect the channel’s image to take a beating after this]. All this shown in 2 hours and 56 minutes…the editor must have worked hard to cut down 4 minutes of the movie.

All his life, Yash Chopra showed the beautiful hills of Switzerland and for his last film he decides to Imageshow the Kashmir Valley infested with bombs!—did he really think it will help Kashmir tourism? Katrina Kaif is most comfortable in London-based movies and looks hot in the dance sequences where she wears a two-piece, thats it. Anushka repeats her usual Delhi-type character. A R Rahman’s music is just fine with Jiya re Jiye being the best. Shahrukh looks like a fool faking the guitar in the song Challa. For some reason A R Rahman does not augur well for SRK films. Aditya Chopra proves once again that the affairs of Yash Raj films (YRF) are in his most incompetent hands, but miracles do happen when some bright young director dishes out something fresh for YRF.

ImageAnd now, coming to Shahrukh Khan. Since the 1990s, for romantic films he is the Batman, Superman, Bond all combined. In 2012, SRK the romantic character has run its course as he looks totally jaded [too many cigarettes, perhaps] and out of sync with his character. While Om Shanthi Om shined on the creative power of its director, SRK really needs to play roles like he did in Chak De or Swades. It is interesting to see how rudderless SRK has become at 45, while his contemporaries Aamir Khan and Salman Khan after losing out to SRK in the 90s-mid 2000s finally seem to have found their mojo! Aamir will make intelligent movies and Salman will make complete massala entertainers. What SRK needs is to first start looking fresh and healthy. Next, he needs to start thinking about what roles he will play, stories he will select because he certainly cannot be playing these idiotic roles. This film is officially the last film for SRK as a lover-boy. Every super-star goes through this phase and I hope he is lucky enough to get a director who can understand this and turn around his image. In my view, Chak De and Om Shanti Om was his previous peak.  As an aside, all of SRK’s hits include either all or a combination of the following elements: mother sentiment, a scene where he is running with long coats, and a fight sequence where he bleeds profusely from the mouth. Jab Tak Hai Jaan had none of them.

Sure, Jab Tak Hai Jaan will collect a ton of money, but that is not the point anymore. In the times we live today, even Golmaal-type movies list in the top earners! This movie is a flop and with SRK will have lost so much more charm with the masses. For those in India, watch Son of Sardar and for those in US…watch this film on Soku! For those who are Yash Chopra’s fans, revisit his classics and forget this one.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two Thumbs Down!

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Why This Kolaveri Di is Not Really a Classic

Ok, so Why this Kolaveri Di is a now a rage of the (you-tube) nation. Since I am really out of India, I am not sure if this is the rage outside of the yuppy-you-tube nation; are the auto-wala’s playing this song? have they written Kolaveri Di behind their autos? The song has been covered by TIME, BBC, and has got the fascination of just about anything and everything: Sonu Nigam’s little kid has done a version, there is a version of it for the Sharad Pawar Slap scene, and even Pawan Kalyan fans–perhaps, piognantly aware that hits have long left their hero have created a Kolaveri video based on the smash-hit Tammudu song. I also believe my wife loves this song because her friend and cousin Lavanya forwarded it to her; I can be assured that had I told her like I do for many songs she would never have been raving about this! Anyways, in  this article I argue why this klaveri is not really a classic…not really the rage of the nation songs we had in the past.

Firstly, Javed Akhtar’s slamming of the song is unwarranted. His main contention is that it lowers the discourse of state of songs and lyrics. Why contention is to Mr. Akhtar is: so what?…In my living memory, there have been a few rage-of-the-nation songs. I remember it was Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast from Mohra, then there was Muqala Muqabaala from Kaadalan. As you can see, only less than a handful enter into my rage-of-the-nation list. These songs transcended language boundaries capturing everyone’s imagination. At this stage these songs are applied to our daily conscious lives and they become and here I refer to M. Night Shyamalan’s quote “cultural phenomenon” [remember The Sixth Sense’s “I see dead people” ]. Both these songs had lyrics which perhaps Mr. Javed Akhtar would not have liked “mast mast…” “muqala muqabaala….” [the later song had a line in Telugu which went something like “cow-boy cheyi kudithe, vollu antha sex ayindi gundello fix sexily sung by the late Swarnalatha”]; these lyrics strike directly at the heart of the masses and they love it [again, by masses here i do not refer to a particular socio-economic class, masses just reads ‘the majority’]. Another song, though not a rage-of-the-naiton but surely a super-duper-hit which had Bollywood intellectuals up in arms is for Rahman’s Telephone Dhun Me Hasine Wali…The bottom line is, Why this klavern di is a rage is precisely  because of its lyrics more than the song itself [I come to this point later]. Lines like….scotch in hand, tear in eyes, god i am dying now…she is happy how…pure and simple lyrics. Brilliant. There are times when such simplicity is needed and we must enjoy these and not crib about it. Of course, now there will be several Kolaveri type songs and trust me they will all go down the drain so finally the quality of lyrics is important, but sometimes some silly lyrics are good.

Next, why I think Kolaveri Di is not really a classic rage is because of the following: where is the song? The above mentioned two songs became the rage for the tune, music, dance, setting,…it was a whole package. But here, we have a virtual reality and I am not a fan of virtual reality and virtual relationships [my clear reference to social networking sites]. All we have is a really well doctored HD quality video  uploaded onto where everybody is trying to be natural and cool even thought they know it is being choreographed. With a totally incompetent Shruti Haasan and if I remember her disastrous Telugu movie with Siddharth this girl just can’t dance [both mast mast and muqaala were all about the dances…hmm…the hot Raveena and Nagma]. How have they shot the song? will it disappoint?…only time will tell. So as of now, why this klaveri di is a rage is because of its lyrics and because it is only limited to the virtual world, I don’t think it is a full-fledged classic song in its true and traditional sense. 

On a much lighter note, I shivered and shuddered at the sign of seeing that the movie is written and directed by Aiswarya Dhanush!!! Oh my God!!!….what happened when Kiran Rao directed that Amair Khan movie…i am even forgetting the movie…it was a stupid art-house movie, what happened when Pawan Kalyan allowed himself to write and direct Johnny; this career went down the drain and it still stinks of Johnny, what happened when Shah Rukh Khan decided to get fully involved in this movies: we got Ra.One—bollywood’s big horror and disaster movie!….Dhanush is a really talented guy and I can totally understand his situation…can he say anything if Mrs, Dhanush says she wants to direct a film with him?!….what would I say if my wife wanted to make a movie with me?!…ahhha!….

I fear this movie will go down the Johnny way….but I do hope Dhanush fans are not left asking ‘why this aiswarya directed the movie?!…’

here’s wishing that the song in its true and traditional sense is a hit [but it is highly unlikely because the tune is so popular now that any form of it may fall short of its current rage] and so is the movie. Till then, enjoy the you-tube video!

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Ra.One Review and Box Office and Public Opinion

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.

Public Talk:

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.

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