Posted: 03 May 2011 at 9:33am | IP Logged
WILL RA.ONE BRING GLORY TO SRK? [02 May 2011]
Mega budget films are obviously a big gamble. Big player Shah Rukh
Khan's Ra.One is out with its promotions. We check the trade pulse to
see how excited they are about it
With Ra.One being slated to reach close to 150 crore and don 2 at 90
crore by the time of their release, soon there will be approximately 200
crore riding on SRK this year.
Vajir Singh, Editor, Box Office, makes a point when he says, "It is
just a perception that Ra.One is the costliest movie in the history of
Indian cinema but Shah Rukh hasn't mentioned anything of that sort on
record. Going by the look of the film and the amount of time that has
gone into its making; it seems to be the costliest film for both SRK and
the industry. I am nobody to comment on audience's behalf and I don't
know what their response to both these films has been so far. But as far
as trade people are concerned, I can vouch for the fact that they are
excited about both Don 2 and Ra.One," and further explains, "Also there
are two big reasons behind it – one being that SRK would be coming back
on screen about a year and a half after My Name Is Khan and the second
and most important reason being that Ra.One is his first Sci-fi film
wherein he is playing a superhero for the first time.
Also he is not
releasing his film on a Friday; it's slated to release on October 26,
which is a Wednesday so the film would get 5-day long weekend in its
first week itself and ample opportunity to recover its cost. More new
multiplexes are slated to open before Diwali so that would add to the
business of these two films. And Ra.One being a solo release will help.
In trade, people are very sure that it would break all the previous
However, the first two teasers of Ra.One that released in March have
attracted mixed responses, with a newspaper claiming that it is a rip
off of Iron Man and Robot? "I know that it has been compared to Iron Man
and even Robot but when Iron Man was released, it was compared to
Batman," defends Vajir and adds, "See comparisons are bound to happen.
But the best thing is that Ra.One is being compared to the best films of
I agree that Ra.One has the train fighting sequence which
even Robot had but what makes the difference is the way its being shot
and treated. The treatment makes a huge difference. Also he gave the
film an international touch by bringing Akon on board."
Points taken but after Robot having set the new and probably the highest
benchmarks in the arena of special effects, the fact that Ra.One will
have to surpass it and the audiences' expectations cannot be ignored.
This in fact is being seen as the biggest challenge for SRK's next baby.
"That's true. The only competition or rather comparison that it will
have to face is from Robot which had a similar theme and was made on a
gigantic budget and the special effects were of top notch quality,"
observes veteran trade analyst and critic Amod Mehra and further adds,
"We have only seen a 20-second teaser so far and once the proper promo
or trailer goes on air, we would come to know how hot the film is
looking. The teasers that are on air currently only depicts that it's
another version of Robot."
Ra.One has been in the making for a while and also one cannot deny the
fact that Ra.One and Don 2 are probably the first two films to have
started their promotions about seven to eight months prior to their
. They say anything in excess is poison and too much of hammering
on the audience's minds might even kill their curiosity and enthusiasm
about these two films. However Vajir Singh differs when he explains,
"See the promotion of Ra.One has already started and SRK has already
released the TV promos but in case of Don 2, only his look has been
revealed so far. No promo of Don 2 has come out yet.
Also Don is a brand in itself. But Ra.One is not a brand yet. Shah Rukh
has tried to make a different film and has ventured into a different
genre and territory. So he is playing smart by slowly injecting his film
into the audience's mind.
See it's very difficult yet important to
inform the audience that it would be a totally different cinema that
they would witness. It's very difficult to convey all that in just three
months. So he first released the 5-second promo and then a 20-second
promo of the film and is slowly letting the audience know what the film
is all about. It's an absolutely right marketing strategy. He has not
made the film just for the multiplex audience so he's just ensuring that
he's getting the right kind of response from both the class and the
Being a smart businessman and marketing person that he is, SRK first
tried to gauge audience's response and reaction to his look that he
released in January, and then he declared that he is not playing the
title role Ra.One but G.One and that title role which is that of a
villain is being played by Arjun Rampal. And now after about three
months, he released the teasers of the film. After a couple of months he
might reveal Arjun's look which has been kept a big secret and a couple
of months before the film's release he would come out with his romantic
angle with Kareena to capture the family audience because the film is
slated to release in Diwali."
However, the matter of concern is that all big films that have been
postponed to release in the latter half of the year due to the World Cup
and ongoing IPL could also cause a big threat to Ra.One and Don 2's box
office prospects. But Amod Mehra analyses, "If we talk about
competition, Salman's Ready will come in June and Bodyguard in August;
much before SRK's films would hit the screens. Akshay Kumar's films are
anyways not doing well and Hrithik Roshan only has one film, Zindagi Na
Milegi Dobara coming this year. And most importantly Aamir doesn't have
any film this year. Hence SRK will get an open ground to play. So
everybody is eyeing SRK's films."
But Mehra doesn't rule out the fact that only promos cannot decide the
fate of the film.
"How good the special effects are, how beautifully and
smartly the romantic angle has been captured and most importantly how
strong the villain is, will decide the fate of this film. Unfortunately,
the villain in Ra.One is a rather tame one. So the biggest challenge it
has is to surpass the audience's expectations and show something more
and different than Robot. And if Ra.One succeeds then we would get to
see a lot more films being made on the same lines. Even Krrish 3 has
been kept on hold because they want to see what Ra.One has to offer to
I am sure Roshans would want to surpass Ra.One. Eventually
such films would only get bigger and bigger with time. So this is very
good for the industry as well as very frightening," he expresses his
However, there is something that might work against the film is SRK's
age. "Absolutely! Age is not on SRK's side.
He is on the wrong side of
40s," echoes Mehra and further explains, "If you see either in Hollywood
or Bollywood, whenever an actor has played a superhero, he has been at
the right side of 40s. Superhero has to be young. Also SRK's image has
been that of a romantic hero and not that of an action hero. I have my
reservations about Shah Rukh playing a super hero at this stage but then
it would depend how good the script is and how good the film has
finally turned out to be. Sometimes you may not be successful playing a
particular character but if the script is good and if it's an author
backed role, then it might just work in your favour."
And then with Shah Rukh Khan, anything is possible. He might just strike back with a bang!
*By Hiten J. Trivedi