Thursday, 10 November 2011

RA.1 (Hindi) - Movie Review

RA.1 Finally!! One of the most hyped and awaited films of 2011 - SRK’s dream film finally arrived and as was expected, going by the RA.1 jokes in circulation during the run up to the film, was beaten blue by critics and public alike. Anubhav Sinha’s Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Armaan Verma and Arjun Rampal starrer RA.1 and here goes the review FINALLY.

Barron Industries – Gaming company and employer to Shekhar Subramanium introduces a new technology wherein objects from the virtual world can create themselves into physical things in the real world using the radio waves present all around us due to all our usage of technological gadgets. In the meanwhile, Shekhar member of the game creation team has to come up with a game, which will save his job and also impress his son – Prateek, who is in the least awe of his father and is a huge gaming freak. Taking cue from Prateek, Shekhar a staunch in good beating the evil always, creates a game wherein the villain is much more powerful than the hero. He creates the villain Random Access Version one or RA.1, symbolic to Ravan – the villain of Ramayan in Hindu mythology just for Prateek but being the good man Shekhar creates the hero – Good one or G. One, symbolic to the hindi term Jeevan meaning life with all the goodness of his heart but with only 0.01% winning possibility against RA.1. Both have a H.A.R.T. which is their strength as well as weakness. G.1 is modelled on Shekhar’s face while RA.1 remains faceless because he has the power to take anybody’s face. The game is launched amongst much fanfare and Prateek is elated and that means Shekhar is happy. Prateek is so excited about the game that he wants to play it right away and starts playing it logging in as Lucifer (his favourite game name), reaching level 2 of 3 levels, with the last level being death of either the protagonist or the antagonist. But Prateek has to leave the game on level 2, as he has to rush back home. The game had shown some malfunctions at the time of programming i.e. there were certain characteristics in RA.1 that got developed on its own without any manual programming. When Prateek leaves the game RA.1 in the game is livid with Lucifer/ Prateek for reaching level 2 and wants him to finish the game and when he leaves RA.1 pledges to come to the real world to kill him. Same night while leaving office when the mainframe does not shut down Shekhar and colleague Wu come to check out the problem. But they are unable to trace the problem but due to all the radio waves in the place the in-game RA.1 comes into the real world from the virtual one with the aim to find Lucifer and kill him. In pursuit of Lucifer, RA.1 kills Wu and then taking his form kills Shekhar for hiding Lucifer. Prateek because of certain symbols associated with RA.1 and Shekhar’s death realises that RA.1 has come into the real world and is in pursuit of him. Though his mother Sonia decides to go back to India, he goes back to Shekhar’s office to get G.1 too into the real world because only G.1 can to an extent combat RA.1. While Prateek is in office trying to create G.1 with the help of Shekhar’s teammate Jeny RA.1 finds out that Prateek is Lucifer and he is in Shekhar’s office. While RA.1 heads to kill Lucifer, Prateek manages to escape and Sonia with Prateek head towards the airport to catch their flight to India. But RA.1 catches up with them and is winning but in the meanwhile Jeny successfully revives G.1 into the real world and he comes to Prateek’s rescue. RA.1 is killed and his H.A.R.T. is captured by G.1. Unwillingly but Sonia is forced to let G.1 travel to India with them and Shekhar’s passport comes to their rescue as G.1 has Shekhar’s face. With RA.1’s H.A.R.T. with him G.1 is sure that RA.1 will come back to them because as per the rules of the game neither RA.1 nor G.1 can die when the H.A.R.T. is not destroyed while being attached to their respective bodies. And its interval! How will RA.1 be revived? Will he trace them to India? Can G.1 with 0.01% of winning chances against RA.1 save Prateek? Can the good Shekhar create a game where the bad wins? That will form the second half of the film!

And the second half was undeniably more gripping and interesting. Coming to the review of the film, May be because I went in with a week of negative reviews about the film I do have some good things to say about the film. Like the story was definitely gripping in the second half (and I am not a gaming enthusiast, infact I hate the gaming types when they play that is). You have to admit the war between the good and the bad is a winner always especially if one is an underdog and this one was written in a pretty realistic way considering the digital age that we live in with artificial intelligence and the sorts. The music was good and the best thing was no inserted songs, all songs justified their presence and my pick would be Dildara. And finally the quality of the VFX and the technical quality of the movie is – Hats off. Well that’s about where the good things end. First of all the initial sequence featuring Priyanka Chopra and Sanjay Dutt was real putt off and bore. Bad way to start a film. Again there was too much Tamil in the film with no subtitles. You would feel so disconnected if you do not understand the jokes. And that is exactly what happened. Again some question remained unanswered – what exactly were the malfunctions happening in the RA.1 programme? How did RA.1 come to India without a passport? A story needs to be closed well with no doubts remaining for the viewer. Especially in an age when cinema is global and we all have good access to world cinema.

Performance wise all actors did justice to their roles but Arjun Rampal rocked as RA.1. Though his screen time was very less, he leaves an impact. You nearly believe that he CANNOT be beaten at any stage. The only complaint is SRK is not Salman Khan. We expect intelligent stuff from you Shah. Some sequences in the film were just not your kind of cinema.

It is a well-made film but far from perfect.

iVerdict: Kudos to the effort. One time watch, may be.
Rating: 2.5/5

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