Shah Rukh Khan the superhero
the reigning superstar of bollywood tries his hand at playing superhero.
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 Ra.one 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.