So you think Real Steel would always be a cropper in our cinema? That we aren't equipped to make a really groovy VFX film? Wrong wrong! Ra.One proves to be that turning point in the super-hero genre that Hindi cinema had been waiting for ever since Amitabh Bachchan donned the cape and leather trousers to play Toofan for Manmohan Desai.
Shah Rukh Khan, God bless his ever-enterprising spirit, whips up another kind of toofan in the comic book garb of the super-hero.
There is a free-spirited comic book element underlining the plot. To miss that element is to bypass the essence of the film. Indeed if Manmohan Desai, God double-bless his never-say-die spirit, were to see Ra.One, he would smile at the mÃ©lange-like marriage of mirth mayhem merriment and a sense of ongoing madness that comes naturally only to those visionary filmmakers who know that cinema is all about a scintillating suspension of disbelief.
Ra.One takes you into the world of computers and robots, but the humane element remains apparent if not predominant. Director Anubhav Sinha gets there with an emphatic Ã©lan that borders on cockiness. But then Shah Rukh is not Shah Rukh if he isn't cocky? The mega-star now donning the cape of the super-hero simply pulls out all stops to furnish the proceedings with a high-octane breathlessness.
There is an element of anything-goes about the proceeds that is highly contagious. The narrative grips you into its giddy giggly gorgeous world of adventure. The special effects are indeed very special, specially two key chase consequences by car and train just transport you into a world of frenzied overdrive.
Strip away all the fancy special effects (super-impressive in its super-heroic escapades) and Ra.One is an old fashioned drama of valour, vendetta and other vicarious pleasures, all experienced in a format that is astonishingly good to look at. This is feel good cinema with virtual perks.
The fetching visuals and sound design (full marks to cameraman V. Manikanandan and sound designers Resul Pookutty, Anup Dev) go into spaces never touched by a Hindi film before. Ra.One is a saucy sassy scintillating super-hero film which knows exactly when to let the narrative flow in a furious frenzy of hyper-activity and when to break the goings-on just before the hysterical happenings topple into the realm of irretrievable absurdity.
Extravagant flamboyant and incurably precocious Ra.One energizes and reboots the nervous escapades of the nerdy South-Indian computer-games engineer as he moves into the world of virtual game that he createsâ€¦Or is it the other way around? The steely menace of Arjun Rampal's villainy as Ra.One as it jumps out of its virtual precincts is delineated with tremendous gusto.
True, some of the audacious hijinks don't quite fit in. The Rajinikanth guest appearance is contrived to the point of seeming manufactured into the script for no other reason than to pay homage to Rajinikanth's recent foray into the super-hero genre in Robot.
Indeed Ra.One moves ahead of Shankar's Robot in terms of its dexterous and devious use of technique to generate an exuberance and excitement which Manmohan Desai would've recognized and saluted.
Shah Rukh Khan plays the two roles of the goofy scientist and the stoic robot with a relish that come naturally to the tireless entertainer. Who says Shah Rukh is no more the King? His power to ignite the screen with his energy remains intact. Kareena Kapoor as his wife brings beauty to the plot, though her character is inconsistently written. In a grossly under-written part, Arjun Rampal in the title role brings a steely edge to his part. Wish there was more of him.
Not that the film dithers on its road to providing us with the crackling entertainment of a true-blue Bollywood entertainer. Anubhav Sinha directs with a nonchalant chutzpah, never making the mistake of taking the fantasy element too seriously, but at the same time ensuring that the plot remains convincing in its outlandishness.
And if you haven't seen the 3D version of Ra.One then you haven't really experienced the film's true high-octane spirit.
More Pages: Ra.One Box Office Collection , Ra.One Movie Review
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