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Film Review: 'Krrish 3'

Opened: 1 November 2013
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi, Kangana Ranaut, Arif Zakaria, Rajpal Yadav, Naseerudin Shah and Mohnish Behl
Director: Rakesh Roshan
Producer: Filmkraft/Rakesh Roshan
Rating★★★

It’s okay to dream big and it’s fine to be ambitious too. With Krrish 3, the Roshans seem to have done just that. They’ve broken the mould, dared to think outside the box and push the envelope with their sci fi extravanganza. Which is why it’s such a darned shame that a huge chunk of the film is not just inspired, but heavily lifted from successful Hollywood films that have already hit the marquee. Still. Credit where it’s due. Krrish 3 is sufficiently ‘Indianised’ for desi audiences, and mixes up just the right ingredients for what can be safely classified as an adequate family/festive entertainer.

Krrish/Krishna Mehra (Hrithik Roshan) now lives with wife Priya, a journalist (Priyanka Chopra), and his genius scientist father (also played by Hrithik). While Krishna has no trouble with his responsibilities as his alter ego superhero Krrish, he seems to struggle with holding down a stable job in his normal day to day life, simply because his superhero duties seem to take up so much of his time. His father meanwhile, is busy completing his research on a device that will bring life to dead tissues by the use of solar energy.

Hrithik and Priyanka in Krrish 3

At the same time, on the other side of the world, a deadly epidemic is manifesting in poverty stricken Namibia. It comes to light that the virus that's claiming the lives of thousands of innocent people is in fact the brain child of Kaal (Vivek Oberoi), a handicapped evil genius who possesses telekinetic powers. Kaal is also responsible for meddling with nature and creating a number of ‘maanvars’ (a hybrid of humans and animals) who aid him in his quest to hold the world at ransom and his one tracked agenda to find out the reason behind his disability.

It is when he unleashes this virus on an unsuspecting Mumbai with his most loyal aide Kaya (Kangana Ranaut), and his world collides with Krrish’s, that a life changing secret is unveiled – a secret so big that it could alter both the protagonist's and antagonist's lives forever.

I have to lay out the cards on the table here. Krrish 3 isn’t half as bad as I thought I was going to be. I went with very limited expectations, especially because the trailers were ineffective, the music atrocious, and simply because I was afraid to see director Roshan make a complete fool out of both himself and his talented son.

Kangana turns out to be quite the scene stealer in the film

But all that speculation was put to rest once I finally caught what is undoubtedly one of Indian cinema's costliest films. Make no mistake. Yes, Krrish 3 is incredibly corny and yes some scenes are cringe worthy, but the effects are nearly on par with recent Hollywood films – the scene where Krrish rescues a malfunctioning plane particularly stood out, even if a fair bit of it is inspired by Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. And it is these action sequences, and not the silly drama, that hold your interest.

What was already apparent in the trailers is it’s not just the scenes that the Roshans have lifted. The characters too, be it the shape shifting Kaya (X-Men’s Mystique), the mutant with the destructive tongue (X-Men’s Toad), or the mutant who moves at super speed (Flash), to name a few, they've all been inspired by Marvel/DC comic characters.

But what’s particularly heartening, is that despite the very obvious plagiarism, Roshan has still managed to ensure that the film caters to Bollywood audiences – so it’s replete with songs, cheesy lines, drama, family values and even preachy lessons. And this is where it scores. The fact that it strikes a balance — a film that is foreign on the outside but 'desi' at heart. A word of caution though. Even though the film is predominantly aimed at kids, some of the scenes which depict the suffering in Namibia and Mumbai are highly disturbing and not at all suitable for children under 12.

Vivek finally gets his due

The performances in the film are a mixed bag. Hrithik is dependable and was born to don the Krrish mask. He overdoes it as Rohit Mehra though and needed to be kept in check. He was far more convincing as the same character in 2003’s Koi… Mil Gaya. Vivek Oberoi seems to be finally getting his due. He could have easily been overshadowed by Hrithik here, but he holds his own. He’s menacing and cold blooded and makes for a memorable villain. Priyanka Chopra as the simpering damsel in distress is adequate enough but should have been given more to do. She looks pretty though. In contrast, her Fashion co star Kangana has a lot more to do and does a pretty good job of it too, making the most of her layered character, looking gorgeous besides.

I’m going with three stars for Krrish 3. It’s corny to the core and a blatant rip off of quite a few superhero films, but has its heart in the right place and the Roshans should be lauded for sheer ambition if nothing else. Watch it with an open mind and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

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