Ra.One - Review

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?) - That is if you are a child or are keen for action/VFX
quick review:

Ra.One has some really "Whoa! Cool" action sequences. Yeah, yeah even if you are exposed to "Hollywood" action. Now if only, the story had a nail-biting edge to it - the razor-sharp punch in the story that makes a hallmark thriller more than a string of snazzy "dhish-dhish-dhisum" fist-punches; the sweets and the warmth that a family shares along with the fireworks to make Diwali complete.

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Wogma Review

Ra.One's first-day-first-show was reviewed by wogma's guest reviewer Pradeep Menon here. Thank you so much, Pradeep for doing this for wogma.

I was off for Diwali with family and saw the film a couple of days later. Here's how I liked Ra.One.

*

Ra.One works as a brilliant film for kids. And I say that with no sarcasm at all. From the time I heard the premise of the film, it gave a very children's film vibe. Of course, for the fear of alienating most of its audience, Ra.One couldn't be marketed as a kids film. But, in this day and age where being nice is not "cool" enough, Ra.One goes on to show what happens when you try to mess with the "good > evil" formula. Or like Pradeep said, "it tries".

It is only an attempt because the moral of the story is very functional, very shallow. When a woman who loves her husband, grieves only perfunctorily, using a two-minute song as a medium AND is ready to look all shiny and hot for the next party number, you can barely care for the character who just died. As an adult, I wonder, whether it was the right lesson in morals at all. But as a child, one could be more forgiving and focus on the job at hand - kill the villain and cheer up.

The movie-lover in me takes this lack of warmth in stride and focuses on how a film made for entertainment allows a dark event like death to happen. That and all the slick action at a swift enough pace that I didn't get bored in a two-and-a-half-hour film with a fifteen-minute ad-filled interval. That is a huge plus for me who wants every minute beyond the 100-105 minute mark to count.

While all the action is executed by a team that is obviously the best in its field, the writing is mediocre - both the dialogue and the overall story. The film tries too hard to be funny, and almost all the "one-liners" fall flat. The non-funny, supposedly emotional/inspirational lines are "bleh". The only line that stayed with me as a powerful statement was said by Ra.One the villain, which can also be heard in the promos.

And I wish I had more of that, and also more of Ra.One, the character. I was supposed to fear him only because my protagonist feared him, not because there was anything menacing about him. And I can't blame actor, Arjun Rampal, the story itself didn't have any sub-plots or events that exposed anything loathsome about him. I need something powerful, if I'm supposed to hate a software program, right?

It could also be because the only thing at threat is a little boy's life. It isn't as if the earth is being destroyed by aliens or world peace is at stake. And there isn't anything extra endearing about the little boy or his gorgeous mother Kareena Kapoor for me to feel the fear on his behalf. Instead, all we get is mumbo-jumbo in the name of how this game really works?

We have a villain that has the power to take control over others' mind, and the writers couldn't think of intense situations for us to see his power. There is the one scene with Kareena Kapoor, but that comes across as a device to give her some more screen time with a different expression, than anything else. The climax is lame, but what it leaves is an interesting premise for a sequel, but of course, it will need some out-of-this-world writing to make good use of it.

The one thing that comes as a pleasant surprise because it didn't happen is that Shah Rukh Khan doesn't fill every frame. Also, he doesn't ham and go all Shah Rukkkkhy on us, though he loses his Tamil accent way too often. There is one scene in which his character Shekhar is scared out of his wits, I forgot he's The SRK, I was taken over by Shekhar's fear and confusion over what's happening - absolutely un-hero like, and certainly non-star like.

There are these little elements that make the film likeable. There isn't much to take home, but the 2.5 hours spent in the theater are not all bad. There are sequences in the film that made me miss my kids. I know where one will laugh out loud, and when the other will clench my hand with fear. Yes there's a lot of juvenile humor which I'm giving my kids two more years to snap out of. I'm surely going to test my hypothesis out, not that I have a choice, for they both want to watch the movie, I've had to make a promise, "Even if you don't like it, mamma" :D I'll surely update this space if there are any interesting observations. Till then, a very Happy Diwali to all of you.

And once again, thank you Pradeep for doing a wogma review on day 1.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of fighting and action sequences
  • Language: Sonia (Kareena Kapoor) is trying her hand at creating new abusive words.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Lots of cleavage and skimily clad women. A couple of innuendoes
  • Concept: Good vs. Evil?
  • General Look and Feel: A very slick video game

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 2

Ra.One - Movie Details

Ra.One - Trailer

If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

Comments (11)

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Shantanu:

Is this the trailer you are looking for ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h25UcAeRb1U

Shantanu:

This is another one with some hint of the story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0PfKvPXEUI

meetu:

@Shantanu uhh...no. It was a mushy one, with some lame joke. But I loved the first link you have here. Have updated my post accordingly!

subhorup:

There was a certain freshness about Mr. India that is obviously difficult to recreate in today’s day and age, but Ra.one is definitely more bearable than Krish, Koi Mil Gaya, and Dashavatar. I am aware that that by itself doesn’t really amount to anything, but then, neither does Ra.One.

Amit:

RA.one is a disaster of epic proportions. It is a little bit of this and a little bit of that but doesn't hang together in any which way, shape or form. For anyone! Its trying to save a sci-fi element, some 3D gamifications, some double-entendre jokes/dialogs (from condoms to "iski lee", "uski lee", etc.). You are better of donating your money to charity and not having to pop headache medication...

meetu:

@subhorup agree about it being more tolerable than Krishh and co.

@vishal thanks for the vote of confidence, but I agree with Pradeep. My reasons might be slightly different, but I don't think it is a completely awful film.

@Ajay That kind of language children pick up from friends these days. Its a film for kids in the sense that the basic moral story of good over evil is dealt with at a very simplistic level and many jokes and special effects, the kids are going to absolutely love!

meetu:

@Vishal of course, i liked Ra.One better than G.One too. Only wish they'd show a little more of him

@Rachit that's interesting. SRK is very popular overseas anyways, right?

@Suman ouch!

@A.One it's interesting that so many people found the jokes so offensive. I found them regular level of offensive.

guddu:

what a pity! who thought it will be such a big fiasco anyways good luck for don2 SRK ... nice review meetu The keen must watch on screen; else DVD (?) - That is if you are a child or are keen for action/VFX
quick review: Ra.One ..... :D

meetu:

@Shashank The thing is there are 11 wall posts, does it matter for the makers then, that 8 didn't like them? The box office ringed, their job is done and well done, at that.

@guddu ;) thanks!

meetu:

@Sankha loved the last line of your comment!

meetu:

@Paresh :D actually the Rajni sequence, I felt was an afterthought. If I remember right, I don't think there were too many shots with the main cast and Rajnikant in one frame. I wouldn't be surprised if years later (if we still care), there's trivia floating around that the Rajni scenes were shot completely separately and no one other than the cameraman was around for those shots. :D

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