Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months, it’s unlikely you’ve missed the “Ra.One” juggernaut. This superhero film has been everywhere, peering out at you from hoardings, blaring on the television, on your can of soda and pretty much in your face. It’s been non-stop marketing, persistent selling of a product you’ve been told that you have to watch.
That is how “Ra.One” the movie comes across as well. This is less of a movie and more of a product that is tailor-made to audiences looking for a Diwali movie. So everything, including the product placements, the songs, the dialogues and the story are all positioned to touch the right chords.
Unfortunately, movie-making involves a lot more than just good product placements and marketing. It needs heart, and in spite of the sci-fi theme and hi-tech technology, “Ra.One” doesn’t have heart.
Shah Rukh Khan plays Shekhar Subramaniam, a mild-mannered video game developer who hopes to build a better relationship with his son Pratik, who thinks his dad isn’t “cool enough”. When he develops a complicated video game with an “unbeatable” villain named Ra One, Subramaniam gains his son’s respect. What he doesn’t know is that Ra One has suddenly come alive, and can function as an evil villain out of virtual reality. How and why this happens, we are never told.