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By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM

Friday, June 23, 2006

Yes, finally, the much-awaited krrish has arrived. Armed with monumental expectations, this sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya is touted to win the hearts of kids from 6 to 60. Most importantly, krrish is expected to rewrite box-office history.

Since the inception of the character during the 1930s, Superman has been fodder for a variety of movies and television series, both live and animated. Though Hindi film heroes have had the qualities of Superman, it's for the first time that a lead man with a mask and robe is about to invade the Hindi screen.

krrish is a crucial release for yet another reason. The Rakesh Roshan-Hrithik Roshan combo has given us back-to-back successes: Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai and Koi... Mil Gaya. Quite naturally then, the expectations from krrish are humungous.

The great news is that krrish more than meets the expectations. The film works, and works big time, due to several reasons. Besides a novel premise for Indian moviegoers, it has Hrithik Roshan enacting a role that fits him like a glove. Mind you, the role of a man with superpowers and a robust personality to match would've fallen flat in inept hands and the best of techno-wizardry would've, hence, been ignored, unobserved and unnoticed.

But one of the major highpoints of krrish is its penultimate 40 minutes. The fight between good and bad, noble versus immoral, virtuous versus corrupt has been depicted in film after film. And if the fight between the two extremes is portrayed in the most convincing fashion, the viewer is bound to carry the film home and most importantly, return to the movieplex to watch the on-screen clash once again.

The collision of righteous [Hrithik] and wicked [Naseer] in krrish and the usage of special effects and thrills takes the film to an altogether different level. It wouldn't be wrong to state that Hindi moviegoers haven't witnessed something like this ever. Also, the re-emergence of Rohit [the lead character of Koi... Mil Gaya] in the story is a master stroke from the writing and execution point of view. It only strengthens the climax and makes the fight utmost convincing.

krrish also reaffirms the fact that Rakesh Roshan has adapted to the changing times well. While most of his contemporaries have slipped into oblivion, Roshan Sr. has moved with the fast-changing times and gathered courage to narrate a tale that's present-day and at the same time, inventive. At the same time, krrish is soaked in Indian emotions [the relationship Hrithik shares with his grandmom Rekha], talks of astrology using computer as a tool and shows the protagonist with superpowers -- a story Indians can absorb very easily. Concurrently, Roshan Sr. relies on dexterously executed special effects to narrate the tale. And the pulsating stunts and thrills only act as sone pe suhaaga.

In a nutshell, krrish is a terrifically exciting and compelling experience. Move over Superman, Batman and Spiderman. krrish, the Indian superhero, has arrived!

Krishna [Hrithik Roshan] is born with magical powers -- a legacy from his father, Rohit Mehra.

Free as a bird, he runs like the wind...
Like an eagle, he soars across rivers and mountain tops...
As a lion, he conquers rugged rocks without fear...

Priya [Priyanka Chopra] comes into his life and becomes his world. When she beckons him to Singapore, he follows her there. Little realizing it is destiny that has summoned him. Having sheltered him from the world, his grandmother Sonia [Rekha] reluctantly gives in to him and lets him follow his heart.

In Singapore, Dr. Siddhant Arya [Naseeruddin Shah], the megalomaniac scientist, is on the verge of changing the future forever. Only one man stands between Dr. Siddharth and his destructive dreams. Only one man has the power to block his ruthless ambitions. krrish.

krrish is essentially three movies rolled into one: It starts off as a love story, changes gears and becomes a traditional superhero story and in the pre-climax, it's the clash between good versus evil. While the first part seems like any other love story, it has its moments. Note Hrithik's introduction and also, Hrithik saving Priyanka from an accident [their first meeting] and you know that there's more to the film than a saccharine-sweet love story.

The first hour, in fact, may give an impression that it's a routine fare, but knowing Roshan Sr.'s style of showing his cards in the second hour, you await the post-interval portions with bated breath. And lo! krrish takes giant strides in this hour. The story actually gathers momentum when Sharat Saxena spills the beans and the film goes into a flashback. From thereon, right till the end titles, it' a different film altogether. And that's its biggest achievement. The team of writers [Sachin Bhowmick, Honey Irani, Robin Bhatt, Akash Khurana and Rakesh Roshan] deserve brownie points for padding the film with pulse-pounding moments.

The film has its share of blemishes too. The pace slackens intermittently in the first hour, primarily because the story doesn't move beyond the romantic scenes. Also, the music [Rajesh Roshan] isn't as mesmerizing as the Roshan brothers' previous works. The songs of krrish are functional, barring the Dil Na Diya track, which is complimented by an energetic picturization.

The action scenes [Tony Ching Siu Tung from Hong Kong and Sham Kaushal] are superb and will be greeted by claps and cheers. Hrithik's stunts in Naseer's den are simply awe-inspiring. Prior to that, the chase portions -- Hrithik chasing Naseer on land, water and air -- is astounding. The special effects [Marc Kolbe and Craig Mumma, both from U.S.A.] are incredible. In fact, the special effects are a pillar of the enterprise. Santosh Thundiyil's cinematography is exceptional. The film bears a stunning look all through. Salim-Sulaiman's background score is of international quality. It only heightens the impact further.

To state that Hrithik is the soul of krrish would be an understatement. If the actor walked away with all noteworthy awards in Koi... Mil Gaya, it's going to be an encore with krrish. You cannot imagine any other actor enacting the role of a gifted child with aplomb. If his mask and robe look is splendid, watch his make up, gait and mannerisms as the aged father and you'd agree, he's one of the finest talents on the Indian screen today. krrish is yet another ground-breaking film in his dazzling repertoire!

Priyanka is the archetypal Hindi film heroine. Not surprising, since everyone in Hrithik's radius is bound to get eclipsed. Rekha is highly effective, especially in the scene after the confrontation, when she narrates the true story to Hrithik. Naseeruddin Shah excels yet again. He plays the cool, calculating and conniving villain to perfection.

The remaining actors -- Sharat Saxena, Puneet Issar, Akash Khurana, Hemant Pandey, Manini Mishra, Kiran Juneja Sippy and Archana Puransingh -- are satisfactory. Preity Zinta is there for one scene.

On the whole, krrish is a winner all the way. At the box-office, the film will rewrite box-office history and emerge one of the biggest hits ever. The film will establish records from Day 1 itself, while the first weekend business will be brilliant and the first week billing should shatter all previous records. A money spinner, krrish is a definite blockbuster!

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