Ra.One : Not the Worst Movie I've Ever Seen But It's Still Pretty Bad.

Ra One Title Card
Get it? Ra One...Ravan...

Ra.One is a movie released in 2011 produced by and starring Shah Rukh Khan. The movie was marketed in such an insane way that even aliens heard Chammak Challo. It was released in Pandora so that not even the Na'vi could miss it. If you haven't heard of it, you probably live in the cave Osama was hiding in before shifting to Abbotabad (it was a better neighbourhood for his kids).
It reminded me of the movie They Live. For a few months you couldn't escape the bombardment of Ra.One ads. Right before the pollution of Diwali came the pollution of Ra.One.

Is that the size of a happy meal these days? No wonder the kids keep getting fatter 

So obviously I wanted to watch the movie.

It's interesting to note that even after months, the ads didn't give me any idea what the movie was about. "There's SRK's face on the poster, so go watch it" was the apparent message.
From everything I read, heard and saw about the movie, in the end I gathered that...

-SRK is in it. He's G.One.
-He's making the movie for his kids.
-The villain is Arjun Rampal. He's Ra.One.
-Kareena Kapoor is in it.
-Akon
-Videogames(?)

SRK had spent a crazy amount of money in producing the movie, so it was bound to be decent. I didn't watch the movie in a theatre in all its 3D glory. Instead I waited for the DVD to release and quickly pirated it.

Just kidding. Piracy kills.

That's right.

But in the end, the movie doesn't even live up to the already low expectations I had for it. It could have been something good with a better plot and acting because the CGI work was good. The movie's got some good things about it but overall it's just bad. It's clearly a kids movie marketed to everyone. At times I struggled to make sense of the plot.

The movie starts off by throwing any subtlety out the window by explaining the main plot device in a seminar showcasing it. It's some sort of technology which uses the various frequencies all around us from existing electronic devices to bring images on screen to life. You can touch and feel the images it shows.
They didn't even give this technology a name. The makers of this film don't seem to know much about computers because the computers in Ra.One still beep and boop.

"I'm doing technology!"
*taptaptap* *beep beep boop*


I don't understand how it works (because it was never explained) but it looks cool. It's a way to bring the virtual world into real life. I guess they didn't call it a hologram because holograms are hollow...? The whole movie is based on this concept and they explain it in a 2 minute scene with beeping-booping computers and an auditorium full of firangs.

The movie starts going downhill from here. There's a daydream sequence in which SRK is "Lucifer".
Lucifer is a bike-riding anime-resembling badass who's on his way to save the damsel in distress. On his way to the main villain's lair, he comes across an obstacle. It's the three sisters...

Is Sabki Lee a man?!
That's right, their names are "Iski Lee", "Uski Lee" and "Sabki Lee". Hilarious, right? There's a lot more where that came from.
Turns out that SRK's son is dreaming in school. It doesn't even make sense that he would dream about being SRK because in the movie he thinks his dad is lame. Was it to show that the kid subconsciously thinks of his dad as a hero? Hahahaha, I crack myself up.

How flamboyantly badass.

Back to real life, we see SRK struggling to drive a car and act at the same time. He's supposed to be a Tamilian called Shekhar Subramaniam but has an afro for some reason. Curly hair is a trait associated with Mallus, as far as I know. I guess SRK uses a map which has MADRAS scrawled all over the southern part. And because he's Madrasi, a horribly forced accent and saying "aiyyo" a lot come along with it. I'm gonna have to calibrate my intelligence with this movie's to be able to watch it.

Shekhar Subramaniam is an oblivious clutz who just happens to get into awkward situations.

"Hey dreadlocks, I'm gonna throw my keys to you for no reason!"
The keys fall into the cleavage of this woman who just happened to be passing by.
As Scooby Doo would say, "Ruh-roh!"
Haha this is so awkward!!
The woman slaps him and walks away. He never got his keys back, but I guess he was just relieved that the woman didn't call the cops.

Shekhar works for a videogame company (owned by the same company which made the virtual reality tech) which has made a couple of flop games recently. They've got a huge contract for a game to be released in India, presumably from someone who was bored of burning his money. If this game also flops, the department will be closed. This motivates the team to make the best game ever. Unfortunately, they don't set out to make this.
Shekhar leaves the office and goes home to his wife.

This screenshot is pretty much Kareena's full scope of acting in Ra.One.

Sonia Subramaniam is an author who is also a feminist. She greets her husband using male versions of the maa-bhen gaalis. Apparently she's writing a whole book to convince people into doing the same thing. Noble thoughts.
This is the movie's excuse to not have Kareena do anything. She just exists in the movie. She's SRK's wife, that's it. Her character seems like an air-headed bimbo who's only there to stand on the side and look hot.
I heard that they had to shoot Kareena's scenes with a special camera because her character is one-dimensional but the movie is in 3D.

The next character is Shekhar's son Prateek who's blaring music in his room. This kid thinks Shekhar is really lame and doesn't respect him at all.

He's got a God of War poster on the door. I'm cool with him. 

The family gathers at the table. Shekhar eats a plate of curd with noodles. Noodles are made with rice, so it's the same thing. He discusses the new videogame with Prateek but is disappointed to learn that the kid thinks villains are cooler than heroes. Since Shekar's life is an endless need for approval from his son, he sets out to make a game where the villain is much stronger than the hero, just like every game ever.

A 2D-animated sequence plays to explain the mechanics of the game; another crucial part of the story has been explained in one short scene. That's one deep plot.

Hmm, that looks familiar. What do you think, Tony?
A trailer and demo for the game are played in the same auditorium as before. During the making of the game, there seemed to be a couple of glitches. The game seems to speak by itself (that doesn't strike as weird to these people) and it also makes the player move in real life.

How is that possible, you ask? Oh, I forgot to mention that you have to wear a full-body suit to play the game. That's right, you get a giant metal suit with the game complete with a replica HART. It already sounds like the best game ever.

And I thought the PowerGlove looked nerdy.

So, when Ra.One in the game makes a crushing motion, it makes Akashi (one of the game developers) crush a cup he was holding in real life. He just looks kind of worried and doesn't bother to examine the glitch.
I have to mention here that a running joke for Akashi is that people call him "Jackie Chan" and then he hits them for calling him "Jackie Chan".
Now Akashi is once again playing the game for demonstrating it to the audience. The game is so difficult that even the guy who made it gets beaten and once again he looks worried.
Shekhar arranges a special demo of the game for his son Prateek aka Lucifer. He has made a special tiny suit. I guess you will have to give your measurements to get a controller that fits. This game sure is gonna sell well.

While the kid is playing this game in a room somewhere, the adults gets drunk and sing "Criminal". SRK lip-syncing to Akon is one of the most hilarious things I have seen.

This is how video game developers party.

Prateek's game gets interrupted prematurely when the song ends and the Subramaniam family has to leave for home. And here's where shit begins to go down.
Ra.One cannot rest till he has beaten his opponent. He takes over the entire computer system including the virtual reality tech and starts powering up. His plan is to come to life via a life-size Ra.One dummy which was made for the demo. Apparently this plastic dummy will be able to move freely after coming to life and will also have the game character's shape-shifting ability. Yup, that's how stuff works. By the way, have you noticed that Arjun Rampal is nowhere to be seen? He was supposed to be Ra.One.

It's...Arjun Rampal?

Stuff happens, Ra.One comes to life and kills Shekhar. This is one of the good moments of the movie and not just because that abomination of a character died. The funeral scene with "Bhare Naina" playing was tastefully handled and is one of the outstanding scenes of the movie.

Ra.One has now transformed into Akashi and his hunt for Lucifer is on in full force. I would like to take this moment to make a list of works that this movie has borrowed from :
1. Iron Man
2. Assassin's Creed
3. X-Men
4. Terminator

In the time I made that list, Ra.One has already found Lucifer and a car vs foot chase is on. The movie is about to have a happy ending, but G.One shows up to spoil the day. He outsmarts Ra.One who ends up exploding into pixels. His broken pixels are road-rolled over because they can't burnt or something I guess?
The remaining Subramaniams decide to adopt G.One because why not? They take the robot home and have some zany adventures with it.

Small Wonder - add that to the list. 
Some more stuff happens, G.One gets into a fight but Rajnikanth as Chitti shows up to save the day.

That's how you act like a robot! SRK can't even get being expressionless right. 

The movie breaks into a song and we get a scene or two showing G.One getting integrated into the family. Meanwhile, Ra.One's broken pixels effortlessly dislodge themselves from the road like they're breaking out of a muffin and once again form Ra.One. This is where Arjun Rampal's role starts.

Arjun Rampal is the poster boy for science-related colognes.

Ra.One notices a cologne ad and steals the model's look, who just happens to be Arjun Rampal. This is pretty weak considering how much they tried to hide Ra.One's look in the film.

Stuff happens and they dance and sing to Chammak Challo. Then something very disturbing is revealed. It turns out that Kareena Kapoor was actually Ra.One all this while.

Go on, watch this video knowing that in the story, Kareena Kapoor is Arjun Rampal in disguise. Those are robots dancing with each other. A robot which came to life to kill a kid is dancing to Chammak Challo with SRK.



Before getting down to seduce SRK, Ra.One used electric mind control waves to make the real Kareena hijack and crash a train. A long action sequence follows and eventually Ra.One and G.One meet up in a room somewhere for a fight to the death. Ra.One didn't die earlier because G.One had his HART and you can't die without your HART.
The only way to beat Ra.One is by reaching Level 3 and putting a bullet in his chest. G.One fights for a while and eventually gets thrown into Level 2 by Ra.One.

I have a burning desire. Wait, that's not a desire.
A much cooler hand-to-hand fight scene takes place in Level 2 which, in my opinion, is the best scene in the movie. All G.One has to do is survive through this level to reach Level 3. And he does because...y'know...it's not possible to die before Level 3.

This is me after trying to make sense of the plot.
Level 3 is a duel where they both get anti-HART guns and the first to pull the trigger wins. Ra.One pulls it first but G.One has outsmarted him by giving Lucifer his HART and covering the hole with his hand. That shows how dumb Ra.One is rather than how smart G.One is.
Ra.One doesn't respond kindly to this and splits into ten. Now G.One has to shoot the right one because as Eminem said, you only get one shot. He suddenly remembers a "folder" which has a hint saying something about a shadow.

I would have never figured this out.
Point, Click, BOOM. Ra.One explodes. But what's this?! Apparently these pixels flying towards Lucifer are deadly, so G.One shields him and absorbs all the pixels himself.
3 minutes later, after teaching Lucifer the important message of "Always listen to your heart", he thankfully dies.

Just when I thought everything was right in this world, something horrible happens. G.One's pixels start coming to life. No, it can't be...it SHOULDN'T be...a SEQUEL?!

THERE IS NO GOD


Comments

  1. Nicely done,though came a bit late.The references were awesome (Abbotabad neighbourhood for kids!).

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  2. really liked it..

    this review is not like others who posting anti-srk or srk fans but this movie does have lot of bad plot, like a hindu having christian funeral and immediately his ashes were thorn in to the river (they did buried him rite?)

    well really late comment of mine, just had time to watch the movie in dvd..

    thank you :)

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