Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ra.Onestein or The Modern Franken.One

So I saw Ra.One.

The Ramayana had a flying monkey, a bad man with ten heads, monkeys building bridges, a flying machine, an illusory deer and a pair of slippers on the throne of Ayodhaya.  It’s a pretty hard act to top.  This “live blog”/ankhon dekha haal of a supposed modern adaptation skips along on its own time (yes I know the running time is 156 minutes!) because that’s how long it felt.  

9:00 pm: Good Lord, I am living with rays, frequencies, kikikirans! PARANOIA ALERT! OK a nice lady scientist just told me it’s digital data flying around.

9:05 pm:  Nice Lady Scientist Jenny (Shahana Goswami) is trying to beam in a picture without a computer, puncturing the real-virtual interface and so on at a presentation.  Old firangs in audience astonished/aghast at pure Indian brilliance.

9:20 pm: A superdude called Lucifer (Shahrukh Khan) is flying around. A desi girl in Red (Priyanka Chopra) is all Go Lucifer Go!

9:25 pm: Random insert from Hong Kong film of  Iski Lee, Uski Lee, Sabki Lee.  Lady relatives of Bruce Lee, I presume.

9: 35 pm: BIG DADDY vs LUCIFER is on.  Actually its Khalnayak-Sanjay Dutt (doing a tapori accent for the nth time) vs the Lucifer Mobile.

9: 40 pm: Sanjay Dutt has a BIG gun. Promised myself no dick jokes.

9:45 pm: Desi Girl in Red is falling through the time-space continuum. The Khalnayak may have been castrated, he is speaking in a girl voice.

9:46 pm: It’s the teacher speaking. D’oh! it’s all a dream. Boy dreaming it needs to see a shrink if this constitutes his classroom fantasies. 

10:00 pm: Prateek the Boy’s father is a Shekhar Subramanian (Sharukh Khan), resident of London Town. Antithesis of superhero. Eats thair shaadam and says Aiyo! Has curly hair. It’s all like Mehmood wore pant shirt but kept the nariyal paaniwala accent. Seriously people we are willing to train you so you have a proper Tamil Accent!

10:10 pm:  Shekhar also Sexless Tamil Man. Meets Busty Blonde Girl.  Doesn’t want to see her tits, just her keys. We are like that only.

10:15 pm: Is that a Sam Pitroda look alike as a tech honcho? Was this movie thought up in the 90s?

10:20 pm: Sexless Tamil Man all sexy at home. Because the wife Sonia looks like Kareena K.

10:25 pm: Feminist Sonia has a day job converting swear words relating to the female anatomy to its male version. Sonia, they already EXIST, we will email you a few!

10:26 pm: Sexless Tamil Man eating curd and noodles.

10:30 pm: Pleasant thoughts on my part of setting up a Curd with EverythingTM range ranging from mild to teeth tingling sourTM  bottled curd. Anytime anywhere your sushi/steak/Aussie pie/pizza etc. can be improved with a dash of our special curd! As Shekhar’s fingers rhythmically  mash mash also plan to rebrand Tamil cuisine. All Finger FoodsTM, Lick Them FingersTM – it’s all finger licking good!

11:00 pm In the meantime Prateek has been insolent, Shekhar  has done a Michael Jackson impersonation, there is a sexy teacher song, a video game was played – man, this kid seems a wee bit obsessed with villains, he might grow up to be a serial killer.  Blame it on the Sonia genes.

11:05 pm:  Sexless Tamil Man has Chinese colleague called Akashi. Insert Jackie Chan Jokes – only Chinese person us Indians know.

11:10 pm:  The Game is Afoot.  Shekhar, Jenny, Akashi making video game for Prateek. Send the insufferable child to Boot Camp instead!

11:15 pm: Bad Thing: Ra.One, Good Thing: G.One. There is a Hertz Amplifying Resonance Transmitter (HART). Yay for Science!

11:20 pm:  The game has a blue heart, a red heart and an Anti-Heart Gun (to kill exes, to inoculate against romance?).  You kill and be killed. It’s all in a lab that looks like Ajit the Loin-Hearted’s Den preserved in Liquid Oxygen.

11:25 pm: Dad and son meet the only English goon who speaks in Hindi. Sexless Tamil Man is also a coward and runs away. Resolves to make superhero game with badmash superstrong invincible villain to make up to villain fixated son.

11:30 pm: A little later the Pitroda look alike is presenting the Ra.One game in a shiny suit with satin lapels like a small town boxing promoter. 

11:35 pm: Launch party song with nary an AIYO in it. Apparently video games are launched with booty shake dances. Sonia I have no desire to see the colour of your panties. 

11:40 pm: I fear for the sanity of this film.

11:45 pm: Franken.One is showing signs of life.

11:50 pm: What the fuck. I hear the word Lucifer being bandied. Why is there a Lucifer in this homage to our beloved dear epic?!

11:55 pm: Game On! Boy Prateek as Lucifer faces off against Franken.One oops Ra.One but leaves midway. Ra.One is a J Lopez Level Diva who swears revenge for being so spurned.

11:56 pm: Did no one test the game before Prateek!

12:00 pm: Like in a 80s video arcade or bad horror film there is crackling electricity and portentous music as Shekhar and Akashi try to fix Game Gone Wild.  Game sensibly spits Ra.One out into the real world.

12:05 pm:  Now Akashi is dead and Ra.One looks like Akashi. Is this a metaphor for pan Asian rivalry?

12:10 pm: Ra.One/Akashi searching for Lucifer meets Shekhar. Who is all It’s me who is Lucifer and kapow he is dead too. Sigh, I was hoping they would disappear Prateek.

12:15 pm: Prateek is all Dad has been killed by the Game Ka Villian. Wonder Boy goes to lab with Jenny and finds that Ra.One=Akashi=Looking for Lucifer.

12:20 pm: Now there is a G.One who looks like Shahrukh Khan.

12:25 pm: G.One and Ra.One fight.  With lifted  cars. Pfft, Dharmindar BENT those cars before launching them as missiles.

12:35 pm: Just like that Ra.One is dead. And G.One is travelling to Mumbai as a pierced punk with Sonia and Prateek as their all-purpose bodyguard. The gays LURVE him. Pity the same can’t be said of audience.

12:45 pm: Why are there so many thugs at Mumbai airport? Why is Rajnikant there looking like his wax face might melt/disintegrate anytime leaving an old, bald South Indian actor?

12:50 pm: Several days later Prateek realises G.One looks like automaton Shekhar. Children too much game playing will addle your brains.  

12:55 pm: I think G.One just said Cunt Cunt Cunt Off. That’s how he says Control Off.  

12:56: G.One, Sonia and Prateek are bonding. But no I had Sex with an Automaton for the perverse.

1:05 pm: But look who’s here! Ra.One is in town for the Dusshera party (phew finally an epic nod!). He looks like Arjun Rampal. 10 heads is a LOT simpler than this endless shape shifting.

1:10 pm: Ra.One on Lucifer’s trail. Prateek is an unlikeable devil for sure.

1:15 pm: Briefly Sonia is Ra-One. Seriously.

1:25 pm: Ra-One G.One showdown!

1:26 pm: I think G.One’s crotch is on fire.  Is it matters of the HART or overheated circuitry?

1:35 pm: Ra.One is dead. So is G.One. Or alive. Or back in the game. Or cryogenically preserved for a sequel. Whatever. On the wall it says GAME OVER so it must be all over. 

1:40 pm: A few months later Prateek has revived G.One’s HART.  So not HARTed. I just wanted him G.One Baby G.One.

This movie must appeal to someone but for the life of me I can’t say who will actually like this bewildering mess, including the 15-25 male demographic at which such films are aimed.  The movie veers erratically from kid flick to frat boy humour to masala pichar with item songs (all equally hateful) to homage to superhero/sci-fi flicks churned out by Hollywood.  And like with most superhero movies all the tech wizardy distinctly underwhelms. And Mr. Khan, a reliably bad actor, sends the Ham-O-Meter (that’s the kind of dated American slang this movie likes) way, way off the chart here.   

And this is no updated Ramayana.  It’s more likely the result of an afternoon spent watching numerous DVDs, drinking a whole case of cheap wine until all your brain cells are soaked in alcohol and then making a movie.  Pity they weren’t handing out shots of that cheap wine to us before the film.


  1. Again you bravely go where most audiences fear to! The real hero is surely the person who sat through all of Ra One (as Bollywood Gandu says!) I wasn't sure there was a Ramayana connection beyond the name and the good vs evil theme but I caught a few minutes on TV and felt a migraine coming on so I stopped watching... I fear for your brain, A, the sacrifices you take on so we can read your super amusing reviews! :-) Curd With Everything Range sounds like an awesome plan and I can help you with that list of swear words for Sonia! (And Rajnikanth either had some serious plastic surgery or wasn't even there for the shoot and they just created him in post production, he looked so unreal!)

  2. :-) Got a few FB/non FB requests. My brain - I usually wash out each viewing with an arthouse flick :-) No, it has no connection to the Ramayana - they might have done better if they had instead of relying on American flicks they watched as a kid. "They just created him post-production"- lol, that's EXACTLY how he looked:-)

  3. Hey.. muchos gracias.. Loeeeed reading this. (G) Gone Wild indeed. I agree, a Tam speaking course should definitely be in the offing to Bollywood folks. Makes me cringe thinking of the long line of tam impersonators starting mehmood. But hey he does have a good hindi accent for the proverbial madrasi. Btw, I doubt if it was cheap wine too coz even the crabbiest wine ought to have destroyed bad cells.

    And yes..Cabranet,Syrah, name it, its on me next time we meet :)

  4. Thanks Anukul. I agree, if you are pretending to be a Tam, do it properly instead of being a parody of a parody! Yup we are on for some wine next time - bonus being it will be minus Ra.One!

  5. Muchly amusing. Stand out: the GarmDharm and Rajni references.
    And of course, Thair's nothing like Curd with Everything.

  6. :-) the pun must always be there!