Saturday, October 22, 2011

Qualms about Ra.One and Shahrukh's chasing a hit

Hello all! I’ve been working for a while on this post and the Don one you can expect soon, but I’ve been so busy (classes/midterms, taking over full time at the student paper and looking for a job) that it is just now materializing.

Well, last week (almost two weeks ago) I did my blog for the paper — which, incidentally, is doing amazingly well; my post on Rockstar’s soundtrack generated as much traffic in a week as this blog does in a good month — about Ra.One and its hype. I ended up going somewhere with it that I didn’t intend to go, namely talking about superheroes vs. heroes in Bollywood. But thinking about the Ra.One hype made me think of something else.

Is anyone else worried about Shahrukh in all of this? The man seems to be running himself ragged with promoting this film (not to mention the money riding on this film). All we get from him via Twitter these days is exhaustion and pain in his knee. That’s not good.

And as young as I’ve always thought SRK looks, every photo I’ve seen of him at an event lately looks terrible. He looks exhausted, disinterested and, well, old. His onscreen charm and his offscreen persona seem to be increasingly at odds.
This is the happiest picture (via AFP) I've seen of SRK at recent events, and it's pathetic.

And as much as I love SRK, his hit-chasing doesn’t sit well with me. When he said earlier this year that his dream “is to make that one Indian film that the world will watch even if it is in Hindi,” a red flag went up with me. That shouldn’t be an ambition. Quality filmmaking is an ambition. World-conquering hits should be a byproduct of a good film (like 3 Idiots).

That’s what worries me about Ra.One. I’m so excited for it that it almost can’t live up to my expectations, and I’m afraid that it’s trying so hard that there’s almost no way it can turn out well. That’s kind of what happened with My Name is Khan. It tried so hard that it sort of forgot to make a solid film. Sure, it still did well and I still liked parts of it, but it wasn’t what it could have been on the whole (and unlike some, I’m a Karan Johar fan that says that).

Even with my qualms, I’m going to see Ra.One on opening day — much to my excitement and sheer joy it’s showing here in my college town, so I don’t have to drive two hours each way to see it on opening day. I have to review it more professionally first for the newspaper, but expect the more fangirly nonsense (and perhaps more spoilery stuff, though it will be marked) to show up here on Wednesday.

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