Ra.One Review – A Failure of Imagination

Shahrukh Khan’s new film Ra.One is good enough for the Indian and NRI chutiyas who come merely upon hearing the name of a Khan or Rajinikant.

But for discerning souls like yours truly who have higher expectations, the Bollywood super-hero science fiction flick Ra.One is a  failure of imagination.

One more in a long list of disappointing Bollywood films.

Deja Vu

It’s a mighty shame that Indian film-makers who can’t even make simple movies have lately developed a restless itch on their cojones to put out super-hero movies.

Ah, the chutzpah!

First, there was Hrithik Roshan’s Krishh a few years back, then Rajinikant’s Enthiran last year and now we have Shahrukh’s Ra.One.

In a testament to the lack of imagination and originality, there’s virtually nothing in Ra.One that we haven’t seen before in Hollywood super-hero films or even Indian copycats like Enthiran.

Neither the ho-hum story nor the seen-it-all-before action scenes in Ra.One (story and direction by Anubhav Sinha) impressed us. Not one tiny bit.

Jumping on trains, running on walls, hurling cars, leaping in the air, stopping bullets and generally doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger is all so passe at best and tedious at worst without a gripping story to accompany the high octane activity.

Also, Ra.One is low on emotional quotient and fails to make a connection with the audience, at least the part of the viewers that doesn’t come merely at hearing the echo of Shahrukh’s name.

The story in its essence is about an angry super-villain Ra.One breaking out of the virtual world of a video game and entering into the real world in pursuit of a young boy Lucifer/Prateek (newcomer Armaan Verma), son of the game’s creator Shekhar Subramaniam (Shahrukh Khan).

Shekhar develops the new video game to curry favor with his young son, who thinks a super-villain would be cool.

No sooner is the game developed and launched then Ra.One, the villain gets into a rage over Lucifer/Prateek defeating him in the video game. To avenge the defeat, he intends to kill the young boy and follows him from London to Mumbai.

But how Ra.One jumps out of the virtual world into the real world is a big mystery that’s never made clear.

Pitted against super-villain Ra.One (Arjun Rampal among others) is the game’s super-hero G.One (Shahrukh Khan), who must thwart Ra.One’s evil designs and save the young boy.

Since most of our readers are Indians, we won’t get into the symbolism behind Ra.One and G.One.

As with most Indian movies, the unengaging story is the Achilles Heel of Ra.One too.

Besides failing to hold our interest, it’s also riddled with avoidable junk like the unnecessary fights (for instance, on landing at Mumbai airport), avoidable characters (Iyer, for example) and avoidable length aka poor editing.

Also, there was no necessity for the cameos involving Rajinikant, Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra. They not only failed to add anything but subtracted from the movie.

Rajini’s presence was, of course, intended to draw the Tamil audience. Whether that obvious trick will work remains to be seen given two Tamil films 7Aum Arivu and Velayudham have also released this Diwali.

Performances – No Big Deal

Shahrukh’s performance, be it as the video games creator Shekhar or later as the super-hero G-One, does not stand out in any way but is merely adequate.

By Bollywood standards, Armaan Verma, the young boy who plays Lucifer/Prateek, the son of Shekhar/Sonia, does a fairly decent job. Of course, Armaan does not have the elan of Hollywood child stars like Chloë Grace Moretz, who played Hit-Girl in Kick Ass with great verve.

Cast in the role of Sonia, the wife and widow of Shekhar, Kareena Kapoor does what she does best in every Hindi film she features in lately – she does her best imitation of a cheap slut, flaunting her boobs, shaking her ass, displaying her legs and thighs and opening her mouth invitingly.

All of it as obscenely as possible.

In short, that Kareena thing does everything but act and irritates the bejesus out of us.

Despite a decade-long background in Bollywood movies, Kareena still can’t dance without appearing hopelessly crass in her moves.

It’s getting tiresome watching her repeat her vulgar, crude act in one Bollywood movie after another.

But since the bulk of Indian movie fans dig such trash we’ve no choice but to be prepared for more such wanton sights on the screen. 🙁

Arjun Rampal is stiff as ever and a pitifully poor choice for the super-villain.

Less than Average Music

Except for Akon’s Chamak Chalo, none of the other songs in Ra.One stood out.

As for the picturization, every song scene including Chamak Chalo with all those White girls dressed in itsy-bitsy green dresses was hideous.

Horrendously bad was the picturization for the ‘Criminal‘ song where everyone was just slapping or thrusting his/her buttock. 🙁


Given the enormous hype associated with Ra.One, we were mighty disappointed with the way the movie ultimately turned out.

We strongly recommend Indian film-makers learn to tackle simple stories before setting their sights on super-hero and science fiction themes.

SearchIndia.com does not recommend Ra.One.

Related Posts:
Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One Opens to Poor Reviews

22 Responses to "Ra.One Review – A Failure of Imagination"

  1. Filmlover   October 27, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Hi SI,

    I saw “Real Steel” starring Hugh Jackman. The movie was awesome. Why don’t you get rid of ugly indian movie and try to watch “Real Steel”? this will help you to relax your mind, after you have had undergone traumatized experience. Good luck and accept my belated Happy Diwali greeting.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Sweetie, thank you for your Diwali greetings. We wish you the same.

    Unfortunately, Real Steel DVD is still not available at Netflix. We’ve saved it and will watch it as soon as it’s available.

    Currently, we have two DVDs, A Better Life and a French movie The Names of Love, waiting to be watched.

    • MadAtBollywood   October 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

      Here’s a small list of decent & watchable movies that came out of that shithole called Bollywood. Please add them in your database. They are not masterpieces, but at least a nice attempt by bollywood.

      (1) The stoneman murders
      (2) Deadline:Sirf chaubees ghante
      (3) Shaurya
      (4) Strangers
      (5) Ab tak Chhappan
      (6) My wife’s murder
      (7) Aamir
      (8) Encounter: The killing
      (9) Daira (A Pakistani movie based on the novel “Moth smoke”)

  2. Naveen   October 27, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Anybody awake? pls check email.

    Happy Diwali!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:


  3. Hari Jr   October 27, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Expected!! 🙂

    Happy Diwali & wish u a good, successful & happy new year ahead!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Thanks, we wish you the same.

  4. gandhiji   October 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

    How big was Rajini’s role? Was it a good cameo (think like a Rajini fan and tell!)?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Very brief, say a minute or two at most.

    Stupid cameo. If Rajini doesn’t kick ass, it’s a stupid cameo. 😉

    • gandhiji   October 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

      nevermind, saw the youtube clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31AVlLePDms

      is that all?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Yeah, that’s it.

      As we lamented earlier, Rajini Saar never kicks any ass. 🙁

      • gandhiji   October 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

        damn.. thanks youtube (and video piracy) for saving millions of Rajini fans from having to watch this crapfest.

        and why is my “Displayed name” changed to my username. is that some sort of temporary glitch or a permanent policy change in SI?

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Gandhiji sounds sexier and in any case was your display name originally.

        If Gandhiji doesn’t sound cool, you can change it to Udayanidhi or Dayanidhi or any other name that you fancy. Just that MuniAndy sounds so uncool. 🙁

        • Gandhiji   October 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm


          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          Payback for your unsightly gravatar.

          Each time we see it, we throw up over the keyboard.

          • gandhiji   October 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

            Whatever happened to Rama Dasa.. hope he is alright.

      • Naveen   October 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm

        Thanks for the link.

        Whatever irrational reason I had to watch Ra1 this weekend is gone! 🙂

        The chutiyas have no idea how to use 1 minute of Rajinikanth.

        • vinith   October 28, 2011 at 1:25 am

          I still have a hard timing believing it was really Rajnikanth who did that silly cameo. It’s too sad to think that a star like Rajni agreed to such a silly cameo “just for the sake of a few silver coins”(to quote SI)

          In the theater, those silly Rajni fans were ejaculating the minute they saw him step out of the car. Pathetic!

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          We watched Ra.One mostly with a Hindi crowd and a few Telugu-speaking people.

          No one gave a flying f*ck for Rajini-can’t. They just ignored him.

  5. indusporus   October 28, 2011 at 1:10 am

    How close is the g.One’s character to infamous game..? I heard that all the super powers are copied directly from the game..is it true..?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Copied from game?

    They are the ‘real-life’ manifestations of the game’s two ‘virtual’ characters

    • indusporus   October 28, 2011 at 5:14 am

      naa…check this video:
      you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Ah, we see. Since we’re not into gaming, we couldn’t follow your point earlier.

      Your video link is damning, i.e. seems like some copying has happened. But since a lot of other masala has gone into the Ra.One khichdi it won’t look like the movie is one outright copy. Bits & pieces, perhaps.

    • gandhiji   October 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

      He must be talking about the Infamous game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mst4lcc1-28

  6. vinith   October 28, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Btw, watched Ra.One yesterday. First half was pretty entertaining. But second half was a mess and the final battle was too silly that it can be watched only by kids who are below 5 years old.

    I liked all the songs. But like you said, Criminal and Chammak Challo were poorly picturized.

    Bottomline is that Ra.one failed to live up to the enormous hype.

    But your review seems less harsh. What’s up SI? Were you in a forgiving mood?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: But your review seems less harsh. What’s up SI? Were you in a forgiving mood?

    No. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

    Ra.One was definitely not in the hopelessly bad/shitty category like Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, Dabanng or Akshay Kumar’s ‘leave-your-brains-at-home’ movies De Dana Dan, Tees Maar Khan, etc.

    • vinith   October 29, 2011 at 5:38 am

      Yeah, that I can agree. It wasn’t hopelessly bad. If they had put in some effort to make the second half as entertaining as the first, the movie would have been much better. The latter part of train sequence was rubbish and the VFX ventured into mediocrity.

      But to it’s credit, the VFX are pretty good in the first half and in the first round of the final battle.

  7. niramay   October 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    SI…I don’t know why you even raised your expectations on hearing about all the hype created by the media.

    The media cockheads get so horny on hearing that stuttering, overrated shithead SRK’s name that they’ll come within a nanosecond (a chronic case of PE 😉 ).

    The very minute I saw those promotional posters of Ra.one with SRK wearing that bizarre suit, I realised that it would be utter bullshit.

    A friend of mine stated that, excluding the first 15 mins and the last 2 mins, it was an awesome, beautiful, stunning, legendary…(he kept on raving and ranting till he ran out of adjectives) movie. I asked him the simple question of what he had smoked that evening…ganja or hash, and he got mighty pissed off. According to him, I was a tasteless asshole. Ah, the baboons we have to live with…TOI gave it a 3 1/2 on 5 stars review (anyway those bastards kiss and lick Bollywood’s dirty asshole and cunt). Mumbai mirror was slightly more sensible and gave it 2/5

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Yes, Indian media is for the most part in bed with Bollywood.

    Unfortunately, although Bollywood is pink-socking the Indian media the press doesn’t even feel it. Sad!

    How’s the movie doing in India?

    Guess, it’s shat-terred all records!

    • Hari Jr   October 29, 2011 at 2:14 am

      In TOI, it is mentioned that for the 1st day it grossed around Rs.18 crore & felt just short of Bodyguard’s record of Rs.21 crore collection on its 1st day but on the 2nd day, Ra.One has grossed around Rs.25 crores which is a mighty record & shat-terred Bodyguard’s 2nd day collections!!

      Here most of the people carry the notion that the expressionless Arjun Rampal was magnificent in his role!! 😉

  8. Hari Jr   October 29, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Not only Ra.One.

    Here Dabangg & Bodyguard are treated as epic movies!!

    Any bad comment against Dabangg & we receive death threats 😉

    That heavy dose of crude stunt scenes & fight scenes were lapped up with orgasmic pleasure by 99% of the people here 😉

  9. rajesh jagetia   October 29, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Ra one has become a laughing stock on net, some random Ra one jokes circulating on net

    1: Govt also declared 26th Oct as public holiday to celebrate the end of Ra1 promotions…!
    2: Govt of India just announced Rs 50,000 relief to all those who watched RA1 . Rs.25,000 for those who left atinterval.
    3: Breaking News…! Crocin, Disprin, Combiflam, Adol Panadol, Diclomol and all Headache Tablets Stock over after RA.ONE’s release

    4: Salman to SRK after watching…………g Ra.One, “Mujh par ekehsaan karna, dubara aisi movie mat banana”
    5: Rahul Gandhi to meet people affected after seeing Ra.One.
    6: Even Ra.mu doesn’t wanna waste time by watching Ra.one…!
    7: Nahi chala RA.ONE…! Ab SRK bolega buy one get one aur ek week ke baad bolega, RA.ONE coming soon on Sahara.One and Star.one.
    8: All bachelors must see Ra.One to understand what PAIN means to married men.
    9: Ra.One gives more pain than a wife – HARD TO BELIEVE BUT TRUE.
    10: Get RA.ONE under Lokpal bill…! Put people behind bars who made such crap.
    11: As SRK hates losing & hates messages he is surely going to take a break from Twitter. Now v came 2 know why he joined Google+ before RA1 release

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Laughing stock or not, SRK & distributors are laughing all the way to the bank.

    • rajesh jagetia   October 31, 2011 at 12:00 am

      There is no chance of profits to distributors, film will incur heavy losses as it is made at a budget of 175 to 200 crs.

      After the initial euphoria, film has started cracking in India, overseas is also not that strong considering SRK is biggest star overseas.

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