Goofy gaming expert, Shekhar Subramaniam (Shah Rukh Khan) wants to be a super hero for his son Prateik (Armaan Verma). But his young son, like all young sons, thinks super villans are more cool. So Shekhar creates the ultimate clash of good against evil by pitting a very powerful anti-hero Ra-One against a seemingly less potent good guy. But can the good guys ever lose?
Rajnikant's Robot may have pre-dated it, but Ra-One does manage to hold despite the larger-than-life quality of Rajni's antics as Chitti. Here, Shah Rukh Khan does the train walk sideways and he does it rather well. And if that is not enough, the two desi sci fi heroes have a split second encounter on the streets of Mumbai, with Rajni saar showing off his flying googles act and SRK replicating it with elan. Twin Rascals!
Ra-One works on several accounts. First because it has some interesting clashes betwen G-One, the good robot(Shah Rukh Khan) and Ra-One, the bad robot, who can take the form of anyone he wants. Secondly, the bond that G-One develops with the family he is supposed to protect, Kareena and her young son Prateik, is warm and winsome. There is also a lot of wit thrown in here and there in the screenplay, specially when the film concentrates on the geeky and loving Subramaniam's family dinners. And finally it is the excellently sung and choreographed Chammak-Challo number which keeps the mercury rising to unprecendented heights.
The film falls back in the emotional quotient. Understandably, robots have no feelings, but remember, even the steely Terminator managed to have a very special relationship with the mom and her messiah son. Also, considering so much money has been poured into the film, the special effects and the hi-tech gadgetry lacks the glitzy feel of Hollywood sci-fi. In some places, it even gets somewhat tacky with all those flying cars hurtling into nowhere and the digital game screen going gaudy in orange.
Small quibbles, actually, since Ra-One is sure to usher in a crackling Diwali at the box office and give the audience paisa vasool entertainment, with fine performances by both Shah Rukh and Kareena. Even young Armaan is efficient. Go have a blast.