Before I go on to tell you why this is the best movie of the year and one of the best superhero flicks of all time, I’d like to say that this review will contain minor spoiler, but nothing you couldn’t figure out on your own while watching, so feel free to read on.
Ra.One is one of the first (and most expensive) Indian superhero movies ever made (I would count Krrish as well as a Robot, and a few others), and it’s a damn fine superhero movie at that! I mean you have to expect something fantastic from Shahrukh Khan (SRK) who brought us such greats as Billu Barber and My Name is Khan. This is a big budget superhero extravaganza and I loved every minute of it.
My wife had the songs playing well in advance of the film coming out, so I got to listen to some of the songs and I really enjoyed seeing them performed on the big screen. But this movie is actually light on Bollywood numbers – there are only 2 and the rest of the songs play during the film. The film is also shorter than the usual Bollywood fare, it totals at 2.5 hours (most are 3 or more). I think SRK and the film makers wanted to make this more “internationally friendly”. Some of the effects were done by Hollywood guys and Akon (hip hopper/rapper) provided 2 songs (the best 2 I might add, and they are currently playing in my car). So this is a collaboration of sorts. The movie is still firmly Bollywood though, so expect what you will.
The Plot – SRK is a video game designer, his son is really into gaming and uses the handle Lucifer. See his son is into villains, the cooler the better. He often dreams of gaming and in the games he is always called Lucifer and is usually playing in the image of his father. This leads to a great opening sequence where SRK has to save Priyanka Chopra (from Don, and Krrish). This dream sequence lets you know that the boy really does love his father and wishes he could be tougher. SRK in this movie is a total geek, and his son doesn’t have much respect for him because he believes him to be a coward. SRK tries to teach his son that evil will always be defeated by good and that worshipping the villain isn’t nice. He also teaches him other values and when they are attacked by a mugger his son wants him to go after him and get revenge. SRK quotes Gandhi “An eye for eye would leave the whole world blind.” This lesson falls on deaf ears as his son runs off.
SRK in the meantime, gets an assignment to make a new video game and he decides to base the game on the villain instead of the hero.
The title Ra.One stands for the villain of the game. The letters R.A.O.N.E. stand for something but if you say Ra.One fast, it sounds like Raavan – which is the Indian Demon in the Ramayan Epic. The hero of the movie, G.One (named the Good One) if said fast stands for “Life”. So the names make a lot of sense to the whole good vs evil motif. Also Ra.One is red (used for fire, hell etc) and G.One is blue (water, cool colour) so even the colour schemes play an important role.
This movie has been compared to other superhero movies and people have said they have been ripping off other movies or characters, well there are only 6 possible superheros: Born with powers (Namor/Mutants); Alien power (Superman, Martian Manhunter); Accidents (Flash, FF, Spidey); Technology/Gadgets (Batman, Iron man), Power from Gods (Wonder woman, Hercules, Thor) or powers from magic (Dr Strange, Captain Marvel), so every hero comes under one of these categories, so why hate on something like Ra.One? I think that for some stupid reason American audiences don’t want to let go and have fun.
I continually hear “we hate remakes” “make something new” etc, but then you get Sucker Punch and everyone hates it. So far Ra.One has been getting good reviews, and I hope that these snobs can just let it go and enjoy themselves for once.
The good news for you readers is that I am not one of these fools. I judge every movie for what it is and what it’s trying to do and this movie succeeds. And do I recommend it and do I think it was worth the year long wait, YES. A thousand times YES.
I am not sure if you have ever felt as happy as I do when I walk out of the theatre after seeing a great film. When it finished I knew in my heart that this was special and that I loved it. I am passionate about films, if I love them I love them, if I hate them I hate them. But I always give reasons I never just say it sucks and that’s it.
I am also an expert in superheroes and I can tell you that this movie holds up to any American superhero flick and it beats them too! Much better than Thor or Green Lantern, only Captain America can maybe hold its own against this, but in the end, Ra.One is number one.
I also wanted to point out that Super Star Rajinikanth is in this film, but not playing himself, he plays his character from Robot! Robot is another superhero flick but South Indian (Tollywood) and I LOVED the fact that both G.One and Robot met – maybe a possible team up in the future?
One last thing, Ra.One, the villain, is just the coolest darn villain of all time, and one of the best onscreen villains in ANY SUPERHERO MOVIE PERIOD! I tried to get a picture of him to show you all, but they are keeping him so secret – you can find his human form – played by a couple of actors (he can imitate others), but there are no pics of him in his Ra.One form – he is sick!
So please go see this movie. I cannot stress enough that this is a must see. Support this movie. Stop asking for something new, you got it, it’s called Ra.One and it’s right there waiting for you. GIVE IT A CHANCE.