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Raw One, Ambition None

  • Ankur Pathak

    Ankur Pathak (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - December 21, 2013 8:52 PM IST
    3.8DM (7468 ratings)
    RA.ONEWatch trailerRelease date : October 26, 2011

    He is conceived out of a videogame which was designed to give better abilities to the super-villain. Bad guy pops out first in real time to avenge being beaten up in the virtual world (by the person who played, and to actually finish the GAME) But he wants to kill him off for real (and also random people he thinks are useless). Now, the good one must pop out too, to kill his counterpart, no drag him back to the videogame. Eh, whatever.

    An over-complicated plot which at times is too somber for its own good and at times which succumbs to frivolity for its lack of conviction, Ra.One is neither an incredible display of technique, nor a film boasting of ambition. It is such a badly calculative drama, the superficial surface stands out significantly without allotting any space to ponder over or retain something from the picture.

    By that I mean, even if the audiences are entertained it is a momentary triumph, not a long-term leverage. An equation which is fine if one is out to watch a Ready or a Bodyguard. But the very way Ra.One was touted as, nothing mediocre was even thought of, forget substandard.

    The film has a blatantly embarrassing prologue which shows us a cleavage-screening Priyanka Chopra trapped by Sanjay Dutts Khalnayak screeching for a long-haired hero to rescue her. It is unfunny, and what is surprising is this was thought off as the opening sequence of a film which the makers are hoping, receives historic stature.

    Sorry, but you lost it right there.

    Sharukh Khan plays Shekhar Subrhamanyam a game developer who drives very badly. That is to be taken as his funniest character trait, unless you count eating curd-noodles with fingers. His son Pratiek, thinks lowly of him, and his wife (Kareena Kapoor) shows no outstanding emotion, apart from being the pretty and cutesy mommy-wife. To please his son, and appear somewhat heroic, Shekhar creates a game which would give the baddie an upper-hand, but eventually will lead the Good one to win. Good over Evil stuff.

    There is the entire built-up in which father Shekkhar should come across as clumsy and coward so the film validates his bravura and all the coolness as it climaxes. But too much time is spent in literally portraying him as a coward, and the instances here are plain boring, and unfunny. Where a cleverly thought character was required, screenwriters make Sharukhs Shekhar a South Indian who is somewhat socially alienated a role annoyingly reminiscent of Rizwan Khan, more so when he is G.One. Neither is the character likeable, nor does Sharukh enacts the part with any exception. The mannerisms archetypal, the tone sounds abnormal on him. When he is transformed to G.One, he is just a caricature who speaks robotically, which wasn't even a compulsion. G.One repeats at first, and then has his own lines. He says he doesnt comprehend emotion, but then he has plenty of them. All these hiccups steal away any aspirational value which one would ideally want in G.One, or for that matter, in any superhero.

    Most of the sequences deviate from continuity and are planted just because they ought to BE there, because they would make the screen look so awesome. Like Arjun Rampal walking like a seasoned model with the burning Ravan in the background. Beautiful it might be, but drastically unfitting.

    The dialogue which again is an important parameter in gauging the greatness of a superhero film, is the weakest point. Sans any wit, also lacking the robustness required to polish the film with intelligence, the lines are either melodramatic (Acche log marte hain, acchaie kabhi nahi marti) or fall flat (Of course main use bachaunga, isiliye to main Jeevan hoon) Some of them are insipid bordering vulgarity, which simply isnt amusing.

    The action the apparent USP is good, especially some chase sequences, but nothing shockingly novel about them. One marvelous scene includes a local train crashing out of CST onto the main crossroad (Inception, anybody), G.One wrestles his way to palm-stop it (Hello, Spiderman), and a while later Kareena Kapoor lands on his arms while he swings down and hops off (Batman Begins) Finely executed but wholly unoriginal.

    Yet we arent at the core defect of Ra.One.

    It is the sheer insufficiency of ambition in a larger-than-life figure. For Ra.Ones only purpose after flocking out of the video is to kill a little boy nothing beyond is even speculated. Which consequentially leaves G.One with the solo purpose to save the boy. Nothing fanciful here, do the diminutive job, somebody else can threaten humanity, or take over the world. We will play videogames.

    And show some lighting-infused spectacle. Its Diwali, too.

    Khan promoted the film saying it is a film about a father-son relationship, which it hardly is. There are no peculiar moments between the said father-son, not even the camaraderie is thoughtfully developed.

    Even if you bargain everything wrong with the mammoth production, what will escalate your disappointment is lack of a single outstanding performance. It was as if everybody was so engrossed in perfecting the VFX knick-knacks, acting became a part-time job.

    So as it is, I really have nothing to recommend in Ra.One to you, apart from a couple of songs and some rare action here and there. However this doesnt mean Ra.One is a terrible film; it means Ra.One was packaged far too seductively for it to actually deliver. It is like you pay a bomb for potential fireworks and they collectively turn out to be damp squibs.

    What I expected was to forget the number of times I devoured-in some kickass luminosity. What I received was a fake Bandra station, an Azad Maidan beyond recognition, a Mumbai which is so Chennai.

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