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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ra.One - the Movie Review

This review was written two weeks before the movie released. Yes, I hadn't seen the movie before writing this review. (Yes, Thank God!!)J

Ra.One is a hit; but you already knew that.

But what remains to be seen if it can block the other busters and overtake Salman’s triplets- Bodyguard, Dabangg, Ready, or as a long shot, would it able to outperform the Robot and the Idiots?

And Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) the businessman, is leaving no stone unturned to make the pre release of the movie as interesting as possible. Starting with the well publicized tie up with international singer Akon to sing his first Hindi song, then the unexpected(?) leak of the same song Chammak Challo’, to one of the most business savvy movie decisions of all times – having a cameo of the original Robo, Rajnikant (thereby expanding the appeal of the movie to a whole new demographic), Ra.One is definitely hitting all the right notes.

Also, what SRK’s been doing on the marketing side is simply amazing – besides the regular TV promos and ads, the Ra.One - You Tube collaboration is truly an Indian first and will soon become something like an industry standard.

So what’s working for the movie, you ask? Well :

  • A good Diwali movie - The movie, a visual effects extravaganza, is releasing in the long Diwali weekend, one of the prime movie going seasons of the year. Also it’s coming across as one that’s got everything that a Diwali movie would need – one of our hugest stars SRK, a sexy heroine in Bebo, bebo… the jhatkas n the matkas of Bebo, bebo… some very cool songs and an overall good vibe about the movie. So this Diwali, if ur buddies n family say, “Guys, Lets go catch some movie”, which movie do u think they’d watch? J

  • An SRK Diwali - The most encouraging news about the movie is that the only thing standing against SRK this Diwali is just the villain in the movie. Its SRK all the way this Diwali, with literally no other movie worth speaking pitted against the Ra.One machine. Sure there are the Rascals, there’s Himesh with a haircut, then a Zayed starrer (with SRK doin a cameo btw) and a bunch of other such small fries. It’s an SRK Diwali this year folks and it’s almost sure to improve Ra.One’s prospects.

  • The well oiled SRK marketing mix – Unlike other Indian movies where the promotions start rolling about six-eight weeks before the release, R.O’s first TV ad was played ten months back during the World Cup semi finals in Jan this year. Adding an extra few levels of punch onto the regular forms of promotions on tv, print etc, what sets the R.O marketing on fire is the huge emphasis on the digital space. Twitter, Google Plus, You Tube, gaming are all been exploited by SRK to sell the film. Also brands that he does not endorse like Western Union, McDonalds, Ducati, VW etc are also associating themselves with SRK on this one, in addition to the ones he's already endorsing. And a killer move on the part of the SRK is bringing the demi god Rajni to play a cameo in the pic, thereby improving his chances of abnormal cash flows from down south, Mind it!

  • And get this – R.O is already on track to recover 80% of its costs (160 Crs) even before it gets released from cable, home theatre etc, so that weird sound you hear near Bandra is actually SRK laughing all the way to the bank. Also, the superhero property that SRK is sitting on is extremely lucrative as there are always other means to monetize it – so don’t be surprised if you’ll soon hear about sequels, toys, cartoons, games, merchandise ….

So besides a natural calamity, what could prevent R.O from outsmarting the Idiots?

  • Well, even though SRK’s dil hai Hindustani, he is still an NRI darling. While that did help some of his movies like ‘My name is Khan’, which bombed in the rustic hinterlands of India but was a bonafide bonanza internationally, SRK’s appeal in Bharat is shades lower than the other two Khans. Sure, people here will also see R.O in droves but SRK’s NRI tag may not exactly take it to the territory of the Salman. And that is a big issue as Bharat, as proved by Sallu bhai, Singam and Force, is today the bigger box office. Also SRK’s urban focused marketing may not help this cause. It’s the single screens that can take R.O to another level of the stratosphere.

  • The movie word.of.mouth - While the movie would do amazing business in the Diwali weekend, it’s gonna be the movie’s strength that can sustain its collections in the weeks to come. If the movie falters here, sure it’ll still make many a moolah but would still remain under the shadow of Phunsukh Wangdu.

And as for my movie review for which you came here, well, with the recent phenomenal successes of movies like Bodyguard, Ready etc.., does it even matter what a review tells u…. J

Go for it – it’s definitely an Indian first and sign of the bigger things to come from Bollywood.

And let’s see if it can turn out into India’s biggest hit ever.



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  1. Hey Raj, nice points you mentioned in your post.. Most movies now-a-days recover their cost through other means like tv rights.. And thats one of the main reason the quality is deteriorating.. Sad !!

    As far as Ra.One is concerned, SRK got his marketing mix spot on !! Now he is as good as Aamir Khan in terms of marketing their movies.. Ra.One will make money and is already a hit.. there no denying that.. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether it will stand up to the other Khans...

  2. Hey Binu, I so agree man.. the quality is definitely deteriorating.. yup man, lets see if SRK can own Diwali like Salman owns Eid or like Aamir does X Mas :)

    Thnx fr droppin by Binu. do drop by more often :)

  3. Hmm I am jsut wary of SRK, I somehow have lost interest in watching this guy, in his last few moviews or i shud say in the last few years all the movies seem to be same and acting too .. all similar scenes in different movies have almsot exactly same Expressions...

    But dabang was great .. It was a simple movie and did so well .. and this one so much money has been spent .. so the comparison shud not be there :)

    lets see when it comesto UK

    Thanks for sharing ..

  4. Looks like you are taking tips from SRK corp - raking in the moolah before the movie release:-) in ur case a blog post....

    As a corporation doing marketing I think Raone is doing a great job but am very pessimistic about the actual quality of the movie but then with the recent superhits realized 'quality of movie' is the last priority anyways.......

  5. As u said, bringing in Rajini is the master stroke SRK has played til now. Sure, it will make money. But vil it leave a mark like 3Idiots or Robot, needs to be seen...:-)

  6. a movie review that asks does a review matter - now that's a first :)

    so how many have hit 'Like'? just wondering are people really following your orders?

  7. pls remove word verification for comments R-a-j

  8. nice points and waiting to watch it :)

  9. Though I was in love with SRK at a point of time and still admire him for reasons known best to me, I have had it uptil here *points to neck* with the saga that is Ra.One.
    I'm not sure I even want to go watch it in a theatre now.

  10. i am not really waiting for it-SRK was a big disappointment in his last two flicks as was Sallu in his last three...and yes, you are right, do the reviews really matter?
    our kids are gonna laugh at us, and ask how could we make such movies blockbusters?

  11. Hello brother - Main Kahaan hoon? Which world is this man? Robots, 3 Idiots and Salman trilogy?? I thought Mungaru Male was the highest grosser of all times. Your review does not even speak about it? Stay away from Ganesh fans dude.. :(

    And will Ra.One even come close to the collections of Jogayya? Thats the big question.

  12. You've summarized the entire scenario rather well, I must say. I for one, am not particularly looking forward to Ra.One. Never really liked Shah Rukh, and now the poor guy seems to look so tired all the time. For me, it would take something much better to outshine Phunsukh Wangdu. But who knows, I just might be proven wrong!

  13. Nice writeup! My take: Superhero movies have not done well in our country..so I don't have much hopes in Ra1. Point to be noted is that all the Superheros of hollywood had first gained popularity through comic strips before being made into movies.

  14. Hey Bikramjit, so agree wid u man.. yap Dabangg ws a great movie.. me loved it to bits, esp the dialogues.. thnx fr droppin by man :)

    Hey Sowmya..long time, eh? Hope allz well .. yup, just takin a page out of SRK's book n marketin the blogpost with this post.. u said it - not sure if quality nowadays matter.. its just tryin 2 gt as many ppl to see the movie in the first week.. lets wait n watch :)

  15. Hey Kanthu, u said it - Rajni ws a masterstroke..lets see if it cuts the deal fr SRK.. thnx fr droppin by Kanthu.. do drop by more often :)

    Hey Sujatha, nt many 'Likes' actually...n I dnt really think I'm the kind who can gv orders.. ppl usually rightly put me to place..:) well actually, I guess the word verification thingie came as a default settin.. lemme see if i cn take it off - but I am wary of spam msgs like insurance messages n stuff.. thnx fr droppin by Sujatha :)

  16. Thnx Josh, yup, lets see if I get tickets fr the same.. happy viewing man.. n thnx fr droppin by :)

    Hey Pri, u bring an interestin point as I knw a growing number of ppl who decided nt to watch the movie purely becos of the in ur face advertising.. interesting phenomenon actually.. n another interestin bit is tht Santosh Pandit's movie is a huge hit.. incredible tht even abysmally bad pdts hit bullseye too.. thnx fr droppin by Pri :)

  17. Hahaha Suruchi, yup, I really cant remember the last time I saw an SRK movie tht I really liked to bits.. Yup, today every next movie is a blockbuster.. I'm really curious if R.O will becum the biggest, n if it doesnt, I really wanna knw y.. will b an interestin case cos nowadays content is nt really King n fr every other aspect, R.O is doin quite well.. just wanna see if SRK hits the jack pot n if not, wud b interestin to find out y not :)

  18. Hey V dada, yup u're right man, Mungaru Male n Jogayya r phenomenally profitable ventures n they score extremely high if one takes a Return on Investment.. but in terms of absolute grosses, the robot n the idiots r ahead in the the 200Cr + region, though their RoI will b any day lesser thn the Golden star Ganesh's golden bumper hit :)

  19. Hey Sumitra, u said it - lets see hw it turns out - as I was sayin, I'm just curious as to to see how the movie will fare with all the high decibel marketing - I ws laughin to mself whn I sw SRK endorse a Coke ad just some time back - the guy is really pullin all the strings fr a blockbuster :) Yap, the idiots was a fabulous piece of filmaking.. thnx fr droppin by Sumitra :)

  20. Hey Gautam, interesting point there.. yup, except Krish, no super hero movie worked or hv been made.. thr r some talks nw tht India is now open to the super hero genre due to the successes of Spiderman (dubbed versions too).. but my opinion is the same as urs tht superhero movies hv nor really worked here n yup, in the west, ppl were already used to the comics before the big screen..lets see what happens here with R.O.. thnx fr droppin by Gautam.. do drop by more often :)