Friday, June 30, 2006

Krrish: Old Wine in New Costume

Krrish is an inordinately long film. The action sequences which were billed as the USP of the film are not very remarkable considering the fact that we have seen some or the other version of them in Hollywood films like the Matrix and Spiderman/Batman films.

Rakesh Roshan, the director and Hrithik's father, himself a not so unsuccessful actor has over the years given very different films while rest of the hindi film industry chases formulas like mirages in the desert. This film is also very different from the current experimentation formula films we get to see. However, this hides the fact that Krrish is merely a fall back to that genre of revenge films which Bombay specialised in years ago in the late 1970's and I think through its entire existence in terms of the son growing up to take revenge for the wronged father. What Roshan (Senior Roshan) does well is hide the fact that it is a revenge drama and the father (Hrithik from Koi Mil Gaya) is actually till alive.

Despite the length and my impatience, the drama is well played out and there is a moment of interest when we have Naseeruddin Shah playing the role of a scientist who wants to conquer the world, yes, even us Indians have this variety of imagination when we speak world scale even if just in rhetoric and movies.

Hrithik Roshan as the precocious superhuman Krrish plays along his character which doesnt really say much. Krrish is a film held together by weak, very weak strings that includes star charisma, some decent locations and a smart director. The first half of the film is a collosal waste of time, resources and audience attention. The editor could have snipped off atleast 40 minutes of the first half without losing any build up the director intended to.

The film was released to defeat Superman to the theatre's, which was definately a very astute buisness move on part of Roshan Senior. As I mentioned the action sequences or Krrish's superhuman capabilities have been seen in big budget hollywood films. It is normally believed that public memory is rather short and the makers of this film hoped that it is short and so this release before Superman hits the threatres. Else it would have been a case of nauseating deja vu, which is the only consistent feeling left in most Hindi films. The feeling of I have seen that, I know where that comes from, is this all the imagination our film frat is capable of?

The songs of this film are intrusive and so dull. This is in remarkable contrast with the director's earlier films, who gets his brother Rajesh Roshan to score his music, which have great music, melodious and trite but good by hindi film standards. Maybe it is time Rajesh Roshan was passed over. The song and dance routine an integral part of the hindi film process is a unfortunate neglect in this. Hrithik Roshan is in my opinion a great dancer, but the dances do nothing to exploit his skills. Is his father deliberately underplaying his dancing skills to play up his dramatic and action potential?

This film is a sequel to Koi Mil Gaya, a film I didnt watch but over all it doesnt feel forced or unnecassary. Rakesh Roshan's production company Filmkraft, has a enviable record of giving big box office films without playing by the forumula of the times, but importantly, Roshan plays by the formula of the older times. While the world was making love stories, he gave us Karan Arjun which had rebirth and revenge as its central themes.

Filmkraft's films always begin with the letter K, its some kind of superstition. If I am not wrong the first film was Kaamchor and then in chronological order Khudgurz, Khoon Bhari Maang, Kala bazar, King Uncle, Kishan kanhiya, Khel, Karan Arjun, Koyla, Kaho na...Pyaar Hai, Koi Mil gaya...and now Krrish.

There were press reports about how Krrish would be the first Asian (amazing!) Superhero. Now, I think this is superbly ridiculous, to actually claim such a thing and to even discuss it. I mean two things here, first the Asian bit and the Superhero bit. Someone should actually inform the arrogant film makers in Bombay that our films are only rarely watched in the rest of Asia and Hong Kong produces enough super heros with amazing technical and cinematic flair than a Krrish. In fact Hollywood started reflecting/aping/copying the Hong Kong action influence by the 1980's. This Asian bit sounds so disgusting for us Indians, considering that our eyes and noses pointed straight to the west and white man's land!

Second, Superhero, phew. Should I begin with Hanuman, the son of wind, the devotee and fan of Lord Rama?

Coming Next : The American Pastoral and the Circle of Life


Abhigyan said...

haven't seen Kkrish...But I also sort of think that it cannot be a great movie, as I am well aware of the capabilities of Rakesh Roshan. Even Koi Mil Gaya worked because of Hritik and the novelty value, not for any great movie-making or story-telling.

As for Asian superhero, I think that's just a marketing gimmick. The true superheroes in Asia come out of Japan (ask any kid about Beyblades, and Poekmon before that). Otherwise there are always the Marvel of Spiderman, X-Men, and what not...

xanjukta said...

Methinks..there's a problem with Superhero films and storytelling.. if it is an action hero film then it should have no story... is saw Superman returms with my brother yesterday, it tried the sensitive storytelling bit, what with his son being born, tragic-comic love with Lois, lois's husband etc... needless to say we slept for half an hour or so through the film, woke up groggy as the soud levels increased and shamefacedly asked each other what happened. As we figured that both of us fell asleep, we laughed conspiratorily. missing that film was no harm done.. i'm sure the same goes for Krrish...
And bollywood has other superheroes too...all the kitschy films where the hero survives umpteen beatings, come back to life from a coma as the mother yells and beats his chest, saying "beta, tu aise nahi mar sakta...tujhe abhi to apne baap ki, behen ki, etc ki beijjatee ka badla lena hai"