Archive for November, 2011

The Curious Case of People vs RA.One

November 5, 2011 2 comments

SRK just can’t seem to win these days!!

For the past two weeks, I have seen every single reviewer and every viewer first watch and then lambast his latest venture, “RA.One” and every single reaction makes my belief get stronger:  When it comes to Bollywood, we Desis just don’t want to give up our double standards.

If T-2 resurrects himself in a fight, we cheer him because he is Arnold Schwarzenneger.  If G.One gets up after being down, we boo him away because he is Shah Rukh Khan. If we see “Spiderman” stop a running train from falling off the tracks, we call the action superlative. If we see G.One do the same in an equally, if not more, impressive sequence for a crowded Mumbai train, we call the scene a lift-off.  We can’t help raving about Neo fly high up in the air in a chase sequence in “The Matrix”.  But if RA.One is following Lucifer on the streets of London, we call it as “just not being enough”. We can look at our “Robot” and “Krrish” as standalone Indian products and give them a Thumbs Up.  And yet we call “RA.One” as being a “lift-off” and call the end product “tacky”?!

What exactly do we want as an audience from a sci-fi thriller? Made in India. By an Indian crew.  For the Indian Audience. Ah, but you don’t understand. That is not the problem.  The issue lies with….you guessed it…SRK!!

So let’s talk about SRK then.  The perennial complaint about SRK has been that he is a “one-dimensional” actor, who can only act in Yash Chopra – Karan Johar flicks and should stick to them.  And yet when a “Veer-Zaara or a “KANK” comes out, we complain that he does not challenge himself enough and only works in Yashraj-KJo films.  Fair enough.  So the guy goes out and does a “Swades”, a “Chak De India” and a “RA.One”.  The result: Box-office failures and criticism galore.

If Mohan Bhargava (“Swades”), Rizvan Khan (“My Name Is Khan”), Om Kapoor (“Om Shanti Om”), Devdas (“Devdas”), Veer Pratap Singh (“Veer Zaara“), Kabir Khan (“Chak De India”), Surinder Sahni (“Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”), Raj / Rahul (“KKHH”, “K3G”, etc.), Shekhar Subramaniam and G.One (“RA.One”) are all “one-dimensional” roles, then our favorite actor definitely should be Salman Khan who just can’t seem to lose these days, with his swashbuckling, terrific and memorable depictions of…..I’m not sure what??!!

“RA.One” sure had its faults.  The comedy was lame and lewd, the jokes were flat and unnecessary and there wasn’t enough time given to the RA.One himself.  A movie touted as a kids film had language that was definitely not intended for kids.  But come on!!  Can we at least give the film credit where it lies?  The concept was impressive, the chases were great, the special effects were awesome, Vishal-Shekhar’s music was pulsating, the heroine was a jaw-dropping stunner, the villain (in all his “shapes and forms”) was terrific and the overall look of the film was noteworthy.

Folks, this was a Diwali Dhamaka offering…SRK’s “Dabangg” if you dare want to call it…and if someone came up to me and complained that the premise of the film was a bit hard to understand for the standard movie-going audience in India who lives in villages, I would still accept that as a legitimate reason.  But simply rejecting the film, while making the intensely headache-inducing “Bodyguard” a blockbuster, is something that I just can’t fathom.

SRK made my 2011 Diwali enjoyable this year.  I have high hopes from him for my 2011 Christmas as well, when he is back in “Don2: The Chase Continues”.  And for all of you who didn’t like him in “RA.One”….he is back with Yash Uncle next Diwali in 2012, romancing Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in possibly another avatar of your favorite Rahul.  Just so that you can all go out and watch that film, like you did for RA.One, come out of the theatres and bash him up, for playing the same old Rahul role again and for not playing something “hatke” like G.One or Kabir Khan.

Like I said…SRK just can’t seem to win these days. 🙂

Categories: Bollywood