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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

REVIEW OF NEW INDIAN SCI FI MOVIE - RA.ONE!

Something that Sci Fi fans from India and the rest of the world will enjoy! 
 
I just heard about this new superhero movie today, which led me on a small odyssey across the Web. The new sci fi movie titled RA.One boasts the biggest film budget for any action movie from India to date. I actually like this one. The action seems crisp and the special effects take it up a notch. I know what a standard sci fi made-for-tv movie looks like. The SyFy Cable Channel is notoriously known for producing garbage like "giant alligator vs monster shark". And RA.One is definitely a cut above that group of flicks.

This movie stars prominent actor Shah Rukh Khan [shown with his electrifying superhero costume on the left] and it appears that he's a geeky dad [a software designer] who creates an all-powerful video game villain called RA.One to impress his wife and son. He also creates a good character called G-One. But the villain soon invades the real world and starts killing people, including Shah himself....

Of course good triumphs over evil in this Indian flick, but the story is heartwarming and its the sort of thing you can respect even if you are from a different culture.

This trailer below isn't in English. But after you watch the clips, I'll explain the movie plot to you:



Now check out this review from Hollywood Reporter Online about this Bollywood flick:

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- Original Article by Kirk Honeycutt on 10/26/2011, modified by DSNG Artist on 11/01/2011 -


Featuring Honk Kong styled martial arts, CG animation and videogame pyrotechnics, RA.ONE is a groundbreaking movie with tons of entertainment for young kids and kids at heart. It rolled out this past weekend - the Diwali weekend, the biggest Indian holiday, known in the Western World as the "Festival of Lights".

Starring Shah Rukh Khan and directed by Anubhav Sinha, the sci fi film features stunts and even some music numbers. And its beating heart lies in a commonplace story of a family and most especially a father and son who really don’t understand one another. And the movie proves that actor Shah - who is  known as SRK to his billions of fans - really does believe in family values and the power of cinema.

SRK plays the role of a "lame dad", who is a video game developer and he is married to a beautiful lady. His adoring Punjabi wife is Sonia (played by Kareena Kapoor, herself a major star) and they have a young son together named Prateek (Armaan Verma).
Prateek doesn't believe in his nerdy dad, who goes by the name of Shekhar. And the geeky father Shekhar keeps trying to impress his soon with Michael Jackson impersonations and other efforts that fail woefully.

In desperation, the nerdy dad accedes to his son’s request — to create a videogame villain “who only wins,” a complete badass that cannot be defeated by any player. This evil game sprite is...
dubbed by Shekhar’s design team as Random Access One [or Ra.One, for short]. The created digital superhero who will attempt to defeat this super-villain, with little odds for success, is named Good One - G.One - and is shaped in the image of his creator, Shekhar.
(The explanation passes quickly but Ra.One is a loose play upon Raavan, the demon king in Hindu mythology, and G.One comes close to the Hindi word jeevan or life).

In an elaborate lengthy sequence, the computer lab that produces this video game runs amok as the villain RA.One becomes sentient and ultimately escapes the virtual video world to roam among men and unleash his devastation. He not only kills Shekhar’s Chinese colleague Akaashi (Hong Kong-born martial artist Tom Wu) but confronts and kills Shekhar himself.

This is the film’s emotional turning point. Shekhar’s sudden widow and son must now confront all they miss in their late husband and father but also deal with his virtual replacement; since the son and Shekhar’s computer team realize that the only way to combat Ra.One is by freeing G.One from the video game realm as well. So Shekhar’s self-designed, lookalike warrior — Actor SRK minus the bad wig — moves into the real world to protect his family. Now G.One is targeted by Ra.One... and the freed superhero must track down and figure out the villain’s latest guise, which include the late co-worker Akaashi to a number of other assumed identities. (Ra.One is mostly played by Arjun Rampal, another well-known Bollywood actor).

Major sequences include a demolition-derby chase through London city-center streets and an airport parking lot brawl to a runaway train in Mumbai that causes major CG destruction to the Victoria Terminus; and a final confrontation between the two virtual warriors in a world that moves increasingly into videogame terrain. Fittingly, Prateek teams up with his late dad’s "super alter-ego" in this final duel.

Music numbers are nothing you would expect in the Terminator or Matrix films — both quoted from liberally — but the insertion of songs are quite common in a Bollywood film. However, here they actually suit story and character purposes, even at one point poignantly expressing the grief of a wife and son over the death of the father.
The acting pushes emotions as one would expect from a movie based on a fictional videogame that will most certainly become a real one. Some critics will claim that the young son, Prateek, delivers the most realistic and effecting performance. Yet Kareena Kapoor is gorgeous and beguiling, as the loving wife who later grieves for her loss; while Rampal makes a splendid villain.

During the credit roll at the end of the movie, the film makes a point of showing behind-the-scenes clips of the stunts and effects, driving home two impressive points. One is that Shah Rukh Khan [SRK] did his own stunts in this 25-million-dollar sci fi action movie. And secondly, this movie also proves hat India can compete in the big leagues of stunts and Special-FX. Actor SRK, whose company Red Chilies Entertainment made the film with Eros International, has poured a lot of money into creating his own Mumbai special-effects house and RA.ONE is definitely a calling card to the global film world.

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I don't know too much about Bollywood stars, but there is a prominent Indian actor that I would recommend to Western action movie fans. His name is Aamir Khan and he seems to be a man of many faces - implying that he can act in a variety of roles. He works-out a lot, thus he looks like a foreign action star. Born on March 14 1965, Aamir has been acting since the late 80s and he is a tennis state champion and an Indian voice-over / playback singer. Aamir started his own production studio in 2001 and his efforts have been met with commercial success. Take a closer look at these pics of Aamir from the Web and you'll be able to see the connections thta I've made:

 
    



First Image- Aamir Khan as a fighter like Boyka [Scott Adkins] in Undisputed 3
Second Image - Aamir Khan as the new James Bond 007 / the sly evil alter-ego to Daniel Craig
Third Image - Aamir Khan as a stand-in for Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai

More Sci Fi articles in this blog: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/p/sci-fi-articles.html

Explore the DSNG Sci Fi Series [articles and cool art]: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/p/dsng-blog-articles.html

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