Movie Review: Ra.One

SRK as G.One in Ra.One
So I finally caved and watched Ra.One.  By the time SRK movies hit the US legally on DVD I'm reluctant to watch because I've waded for months through the hype (and listened to Chammak Challo on repeat on my running playlist for some time).  But despite some ridiculously long and completely unbelievable action sequences (running upright along the side of a train, scaling entire skyscrapers in a single leap) it was actually pretty cute.  Yes, I'm still freaked out by the sight of SRK with baby blue eyes (they're more electric blue, actually) and the video game premise doesn't exactly do it for me, but the chance to see छम्मक छल्लो translated in subtitles as "Sizzling Siren" is certainly worth the price of a Netflix subscription.

Arjun Rampal as Ra.One
I think we've found the perfect vehicle for Arjun Rampal- when he peels himself off a billboard of a male model and takes shape as the villan Ra.One (pronounced रावण) he's long on looks and short on dialogue, a perfect combination.  SRK does a believable G.One (pronounced जीवन) although you can always count on SRK to go overboard on the SRK-playing-SRK humor in the beginning of the film, then back off and end up just being funny.  There's lots of beautiful metaphors about hearts and evil casting shadows, and there's the traditional ten-headed Ravana who still has to be defeated even with crazy special effects, but for all its talk of angels this is a solidly Hindu movie:  SRK gets to be the superhero who reincarnates (over and over again).  

Kareena Kapoor 
And yes, Kareena "sizzles" while spending most of the duration of the movie being rescued (that's the problem when you've got a superhero and an antihero who are both men).  New twist on Chammak Challo- she's actually possessed by a demonic Ra.One while dancing, which takes sizzling to a whole different level.  While I believe she does all her own dance moves, there were clearly a whole lotta stunt men helping out with this movie, because I can't believe SRK personally flipped his body around and off buildings in fifteen minute increments every half hour of the film.  Ra.One is total fluffy entertainment, lots of action sequences, and completely untaxing on the intellect.  But it does have some of the best editing I've ever seen in a Bollywood movie- the plot makes sense and moves forward.  Simultaneously.  Hats off to the script writer and film editor!