Shah Rukh Khan the su­per­hero

the reign­ing su­per­star of bol­ly­wood tries his hand at play­ing su­per­hero.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By SHARMILLA GANE­SAN en­ter­tain­ment@thes­

s UPERHEROES are a dime a dozen these days – it seems like ev­ery time you blink, there’s an­other cos­tumed hero grac­ing the screens of our cine­mas. But when the King of Bol­ly­wood dons a fu­tur­is­tic cos­tume to play a su­per­hero, au­di­ences can’t help but sit up and take no­tice.

Of course, the re­lease of any Shah Rukh Khan movie is usu­ally a pretty big deal, but his lat­est ven­ture, Ra.One, has kept his fans sali­vat­ing for its re­lease. Last seen on screen in last year’s My Name Is Khan, this is Shah Rukh’s first foray into the su­per­hero genre, and the buzz sur­round­ing the film be­gan right from the pro­duc­tion stage.

Touted to have one of the big­gest bud­gets for an In­dian film ever – ru­mours place the num­ber at around 1.5 bil­lion ru­pees (RM96mil) – the film boasts some of the best tal­ents money can buy. Star­ring along­side Shah Rukh is Ka­reena Kapoor, one of the top actresses in Bol­ly­wood to­day, and Ar­jun Ram­pal, who has won crit­i­cal ac­claim for his per­for­mances in films like Raa­jneeti and Rock On!.

The crew brings to­gether ex­perts from all over the world. Helm­ing the flick is Anub­hav Sinha, best known for di­rect­ing styl- ish ac­tion-thrillers like Dus and Cash, while Ni­cola Pecorini, who worked on Fear And Loathing In Las Ve­gas and The Imag­i­nar­ium Of Doc­tor Par­nas­sus, is di­rec­tor of photography. Martin Walsh, who won an Academy Award for his work in Chicago, is edit­ing, and Re­sul Pookutty, Os­car win­ner for Best Sound Mix­ing, is work­ing on sound ef­fects.

De­spite all the hype, how­ever, plot de­tails have been kept tightly un­der wraps, height­en­ing the an­tic­i­pa­tion of just what ex­actly the King Khan has up his sleeve. What has been re­vealed is that Shah Rukh will be play­ing Shekhar Subra­ma­nium, a South In­dian video game de­signer who is as un­cool as can be, at least in his son Pra­teek’s (Ar­maan Verma) eyes. Caught be­tween her nerdy but love­able hus­band and her whiz-kid of a son is the techno­pho­bic So­nia (Ka­reena), who hopes that the two men in her life will some­how find com­mon ground.

Just when fa­ther and son seem to be at a dead­lock, Shekhar de­signs a video game like no other, one that soon takes over their lives. And be­fore they know it, the game that was meant to be played with, starts play­ing with them.

At the heart of all the sci-fi ac­tion is G.One (“The Good One”), the su­per­hero char­ac­ter also played by Shah Rukh. Made of elec­tric­ity

and pro­grammed to pro­tect, G.One has the abil­ity to fly, un­der­stand dif­fer­ent lan­guages and con­trol prob­a­bil­ity.

But, of course, ev­ery hero has to face off against a vil­lain, and that vil­lain is the tit­u­lar Ra.One. Played by Ar­jun, this has been the most closely-guarded se­cret of the film, with even the char­ac­ter’s look only be­ing re­leased very re­cently. Very lit­tle in­for­ma­tion has been shared about Ra.One, ex­cept for the fact that there is go­ing to be one in­cred­i­ble show­down be­tween him and G.One!

In an ar­ti­cle in the Mum­bai Mir­ror, Anub­hav shared that com­ing up with the con­cept of G.One was no mean feat, as there was no pre­ex­ist­ing char­ac­ter to base it on. He and Shah Rukh ap­par­ently spent months go­ing through video clips, dig­i­tal art por­tals and comic books to find in­spi­ra­tion.

“Shah Rukh was very clued in to this world,” ex­plained Anub­hav.

Pro­duced by Eros In­ter­na­tional and Shah Rukh’s own Red Chill­ies In­ter­na­tional, Ra.One fea­tures some of the best vis­ual ef­fects seen in In­dian films. Fol­low­ing the fan­tas­tic re­sponse to the trailer, the de­ci­sion was made to re­lease the movie in 3D as well (avail­able in Malaysia in se­lected cine­mas). In a re­cent in­ter­view with The Eco­nomic

Times, Shah Rukh said he in­tended for Ra.One to be the kind of block­buster that can go be­yond In­dia.

“Movie-watch­ing has be­come an ev­ery­day thing. But (to me), it was im­por­tant to cre­ate an event. (I wanted) to make it as cool and as in­ter­na­tional as pos­si­ble. I thought Ra.One, the su­per­hero, would be a genre that can cre­ate that,” he said.

The early buzz seems to be in Ra.One’s favour. Songs from its sound­track, com­posed by Vishal and Shekhar (the duo be­hind hits like Om Shanti Om and Dostana), are al­ready mak­ing waves. The big­gest hit so far has been

Cham­mak Ch­halo, a catchy dance num­ber that has R&B/hip-hop star Akon pro­vid­ing the vo­cals and even gamely singing in Hindi. And if all goes well, we may be see­ing more of G.One; Shah Rukh re­vealed in The Eco­nomic Times ar­ti­cle that he had al­ways thought of the char­ac­ter be­ing able to carry a fran­chise of movies.

“One of the strange thoughts I had, is that we could name each film af­ter a new vil­lain,” he said.

shah Rukh Khan and Ka­reena Kapoor star in as a nerdy video game de­signer and his wife.

Bol­ly­wood su­per­hero: Shah rukh Khan and Ka­reena Kapoor (pic left) in the glitzy dance num­ber cham­mak ch­halo from the sci-fi ac­tion movie ra.One.

dis­trib­uted lo­cally by Lo­tus Five Star AV, will open in lo­cal cine­mas on Oct 26.

Ra.One, Shah Rukh Khan and di­rec­tor Anub­hav Sinha spent months go­ing through video clips, dig­i­tal art por­tals and comic books to come up with G.One, who can fly, un­der­stand dif­fer­ent lan­guages and con­trol prob­a­bil­ity.

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