Shahrukh’s ‘RA.One’: Run of poor luck

It also looks like everyone is in a tearing hurry to get the project over and done with

Poor Shahrukh Khan. His dream project RA.One has been in the news for all the wrong reasons from Day 1. They quietly shot a Mumbai schedule and a long and very costly London schedule and returned home only to find that the Endhiran/Robot storm had exploded, boasting VFX equivalent to top-notch Hollywood productions with Oscar-winning technical talent doing a great job. Determined to see the competition for themselves, SRK and director Anubhav Sinha gave the hardworking crew a day off and quietly went to watch the Rajinikanth’s blockbuster. Their worst fears were confirmed – not only was Endhiran a superior technical product but also, several sequences were similar to their own film. It was time to frantically re-script.

The shoot wore on and expenses mounted, but SRK was determined that RA.One be the best superhero film to come out of India yet and definitely the most advanced. The shoot finally ended, or so we thought. In a move smacking of desperation producer Shahrukh in all his wisdom decided to add cameos by Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra. It was back to yet another shooting schedule.

Finally, everything done, it was time for post-production and a mad rush to make the Diwali release deadline. Thousands of crewmembers tirelessly worked hundreds of thousands of man-hours to make this happen. Sinha and composers Vishal-Shekhar decided that they needed a lush orchestral score to suit the film and this was available only in Prague. By now SRK was inured to the money spent in a deluge on the film and he merely shrugged his shoulders and let them get on with it. After all, his much-publicised musical collaboration with Akon for Chammak Challo had gone awry thanks to the track being leaked online. Though the production said that the leaked version was only a scratch track, the released final single didn’t sound much different to the leaked track to untrained ears.

Music would be RA.One’s bane further down the line. A grand music release was planned for Monday. Trouble is, the entire album leaked over the Internet two days in advance, making the grand release rather pointless. Things couldn’t get any worse surely, but they did. The release event was supposed to stream live over the Internet. Thanks to some inept management, the so-called live event streamed two hours late. In these days of instant gratification and omnipresent social media, this was a shocker and a crushing disappointment to millions of SRK fans across the globe.

It also looks like everyone is in a tearing hurry to get the project over and done with, leading to a general decline in original thought. The new poster that was released is clearly inspired by the Batman Begins poster. And, the childbirth sequence shown in the Dildara song owes a debt to a German television advert. Let’s hope that the film itself rocks and people turn out in large numbers to watch it. Else, that’s a lot of money down the tube.