Movie Review: Ra. One – A Colossal Pain

My five day Diwali break was abruptly disturbed when I decided to catch the last show of Ra.One. I know I have made a mistake and I repent it. I would have preferred to curl up with my warm blanket and sleep rather than sit through a movie that is lacking in terms of plot and made up entirely of dramatic moments. So a word of caution to everyone out there – learn from my mistake and do not bother going to the theatre to watch the movie. Honestly speaking, I usually don’t take pleasure in writing reviews of movies that don’t please my heart. What is the point in wasting your time and energy on something that is not worth it? So why did I make an exception? Because I am perplexed at the thought as to why producers and actors and the entire crew go through the trouble of spending massive amounts of money and time on something that is so ghastly.

Trust me, I am not exaggerating. And if you think I am being dramatic, well the first scene of the movie will prove you wrong. Drama is a genre people used to enjoy. Now it’s become dreadful to watch. The cameo appearance of Priyanka Chopra at the start of movie where she plays the role of damsel in distress will actually put the original damsel in disgrace. She seems to have taken a leaf out of Sharukh Khan’s book and has resorted to over-acting.

And after a disappointing start, comes another let down. A South Indian curly haired SRK devouring noodles with curd living in London with his wife who plans to complete a thesis based on Hindi gaalis originated from brothers and fathers (to the script writers – is this how you show feminism?) and a son who is crazy about video games but favours the bad guys instead of the good ones. So the dear father goes out of his way to please his son and in the process displeases the audience. The movie lacks a story. Not a good story but the movie plainly falls short of a story. My 14 year old cousin sitting beside me could predict every twist and turn, not that there were many. The story moves on the same pace from the start right up till the end. Bad and long forgotten humor based on stereotypes has been forcefully thrown on the screen that fails to get a chuckle out of the audience. Ra.One manages to mock itself on screen. The theme of superhero is somewhere lost as G-One is committed to saving one family and not the world from evil thus playing the role of a personal bodyguard rather than the world’s savior. The movie seems like a muddle of Hollywood cinema like MatrixTerminator 2Iron Man and X-Men.

But the one thing that the movie can be praised for is its attempt at visual effects. Everything said and done, the movie does score when it comes to VFX. Shekhar Kapur, whose Mr. India made in 1987 was one of the first Indian films to use VFX, tweeted: “Shah Rukh’s Ra.One has raised the bar on VFX technique in Indian cinema. Hope other filmmakers catch up!” So I guess, it’s a job well done at least on that front by SRK and crew.

But a small note to everyone in the industry from a person who craves to watch good cinema. The heavy use of VFX in a movie will not satiate our hunger. You need to make movies with good scripts because at the end of the day, stories do matter.

- Esha Chanda

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