R.A.One review

Kunal Guha

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Armaan Verma, Shahana Goswami, Tom Wu

Directed by Anubhav Sinha

Rating: Not even One

Science fiction is an oxymoron. And when this genre is sprinkled with moronic humour and logic takes a beating from hell, you know you've punched your tickets for 'R.A.One'. With metallic blue and red costumes right out of Falguni Pathak's wardrobe, this out-of-console experience offers laughs, dances and androids touching humans in more ways than considered socially acceptable. Insert coin to read more.

The film sweeps us into a video game fantasy where anything is possible (with a 175-crore-budget, it better be). Game developer, Shekhar Subramanium (Shahrukh Khan) wants to earn his son, Prateek's (Armaan Verma) love and respect. And the only thing that gives Prateek joy is to see his joystick twiddling to spell doom for the most impossible super-villain ever. So daddy makes a baddie just like that and calls it R.A.One (Arjun Rampal). The game also has a not-so-indestructible superhero called G.One (an emotionally challenged Shahrukh). Please read the box carefully for the 25 permutation-combinations in which R.A.One and G.One can kill each other (something to do with the heart being in the body and not in the pocket or anywhere else during combat).

Anyway, it gets nasty as the characters tear out of the game, 'Terminator 2' style and thanks to some goofy programming, R.A.One is hell-bent on killing Prateek. Naturally, G.One has to do the rescuing and being an android, do it without getting teary-eyed or romantic with Prateek's mum, Sonia (Kareena Kapoor). But who said robots can't ham or chant prophetic life-changing verses coded by its master? No.One!

Humour based on linguistic stereotypes may have worked in 'Zabaan Sambhalke' but now it hardly earns a chuckle. This is assuming the average audience intellect dictates that Tamilians don't always say 'Aiyoo' or pronounce 'keys' as 'kiss'. And even if they do, no amount of laughter track can make this seem funny. No.Fun!

'R.A.One' does what no other Sci-Fi movie has done before: it mocks itself. So, the superhero who is manually stopping trains in one scene, is also burning his crotch or sneezing out metallic wires in another. No respect.

Shahrukh's robotic expressions will remind you of his 'My Name is Khan' role, as he confuses machines with differently-abled humans. Kareena's character covers the entire gamut of expressions but isn't memorable or mentionable enough to be regarded. Arjun Rampal has bagged his dream role: an android with mechanical expressions who allows his body to do the talking. Good job, Arjun Rampal's body!

The VFX award would go for most battle arenas, inspired from many popular games. It wouldn't go for the local train sliding out of CST station like a PowerPoint slide.

It's convenient to say that if you have no expectations from R.A.One, you wouldn't be disappointed. But if you feel so little for the film, why go to watch it at all?

You can reach me at guha.kunal@rocketmail.com or connect with me on Facebook

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Chammak Challo was written in English

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