A script with several loose ends & unwanted sequences makes this an average film – 3.0/5.0

By: Faisalkhatib

I wouldn’t call it a bad movie. It clearly had its moments of brilliance but they being so few and far between that you walk out of the theatre thinking about the opportunity missed.

Avid gamer Prateek Subramaniam (Armaan Verma) doesn’t believe in heroes; he’s tempted by the dark side. He being raised in a foreign country finds his father, game developer Shekhar Subramaniam (Shar Rukh Khan), a typical tam-bram from Mumbai, to be embarrassing, a coward and uncool. Shekhar tries to reach out to his son and as a last ditch effort creates an ultimate game called Ra.One (Derived from Random Access version One) where the artificial intelligence enabled villain called Ra.One (Arjun Rampal) can’t be defeated or so we are made to believe even though Prateek manages to almost do that in his very first attempt. Fashioning a bruised ego and technology at his disposal, Ra.One enters the real world to hunt down Prateek. The rest is a typical Bollywood masala movie sans the running around the trees (Iss film mein emotion hain, action hain, drama hain, music hain).

CGI Ra.One
The introduction given to Prateek through special appearances from Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra was pleasingly interesting in a silly way. The same can be said for Shekhars introduction thanks to his antics and accent. Unfortunately just like Shah Rukh Khans inconsistent accent, the script was mined with plot-holes that were so glaringly obvious that you’d wonder how it ever got approved. One look at the writing credits makes it obvious where the fault lies i.e. too many cooks spoil the broth.

Armaan Verma as Prateek
Armaan Verma was a bit of a mixed bag thanks to some good acting but held back by poor dialogues at vital junctures. He has potential but clearly has a long way to go. Shah Rukh Khan as Shekhar was enjoyable when he stuck to the character but often that wasn’t the case. The whole Tamilian act was used as a fall back for comic timings but forgotten rest of the time. Irrespective, it was clearly the stand out act of the film.

Arjun Rampal as Ra.One
Arjun Rampal, the protagonist of the movie was snubbed to the second half of the movie with minimal screen time and singular character line though he did look menacing in his bald look. Even though I am assuming he was used as the basis for the Ra.One CGI throughout the movie, the talented actor he is was wasted and it was a rather anti-climax in the end to all the publicity done for his character. The same can be said about Shahana Goswami who played Shekhar’s colleague Jenny Nayar. Being proclaimed as an amazing actress and rising star by Shah Rukh Khan at the press conference, she didn’t really have much to do thanks to a disposable character.

Shah Rukh Khan as Shekhar and Kareena Kapoor as Sonia
Kareena Kapoor as Sonia Subramaniam started off on a positive bubbly note but drastically dropped to mediocre thanks to a pointless emotional character curve and poor acting. Unwanted importance and screen time was given to her character whereas it should have been edited out to reduce the rather long running time (almost 160mins). Tom Wu as Akaashi was an eye sore due to a poorly conceived spendable character and what looked like forced acting. Satish Shah, Suresh Menon and Dilip Tahil were relegated to do their usual act that we’ve seen a million times already.

Shah Rukh Khan as G.One
Shah Rukh Khan as G.One was flawed just like every other superhero we have seen. Throw in some Hindi film masala and we get a unique combination that was a treat to watch especially when the melodramatic emotions didn’t drag it down. Shah Rukh Khan emoted well even with the lack of facial expressions and overall he didn’t disappoint.

Train action sequence
No super hero movie is complete without some breathtaking action. From car chases to train rides; it was an entertaining ride throughout. Apart from the action scene to introduce superstar Rajnikant (as Chitti) that felt a little stretched, most of the action was well choreographed and it was good to see injury ridden Shah Rukh Khan holding his own in them. Camera work with a mix of close in action and wide shots throwing you in and out of the action was faultless. Elaborate and well designed sets (digital or real) added that extra production value to the film completing the almost perfect visual package. Unfortunately, irrespective of how famous some of the songs were, they do dampen the pace of the movie and should have been minimalist if not completely avoided.

Kareena Kapoor doing the Chamak Challo
Talking about visuals; quoting my last night’s tweet; “Special effects/CGI might not be Hollywood standards but it was good in parts. They have made an effort; it shows.” The clear stand out being the way they have designed and used the cubes to create/manipulate our lead characters. When Ra.One punches G.One, the way the face contorts was clearly the highlight of it all followed with the way Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was destroyed. Well done Mike Kelt and Team Ra.One; full points there.

CGI visual treat
Kudos to director Anubhav Sinha and producer Shah Rukh Khan for trying to take us viewers through a visual ride never seen before from a Hindi film. Unfortunately a script with several loose ends and unwanted sequences makes this an average film held together to an extent by Shah Rukh Khan and completely by the special effect, both clearly the USP of the film. (My Rating 6/10)


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