“Krrish 3” (2013): Bollywood Superhero?
THE BOTTOM LINE
“I believe in Krrish. I believe we all have the essence of Krrish. Every person who extends a hand to help those in need is indeed Krrish.”
Production and Direction: Rakesh Roshan
Cinematography: S. Tirru
Krrish 3‘s title contains a “3” apparently because it is the third in a series of movies. The first, Koi… Mil Gaya [I… Found Someone], was released in 2003. Since the second is titled Krrish (2006). it is strange that the third movie was not called Krrish 2. However, this is not the only unusual characteristic of Krrish 3 (see below).
This film neatly reviews the back story from the first two movies before presenting its main action. Krrish is the superhero alter-ego of Krishna, who is the third generation of men in his unusual family. In Koi… Mil Gaya, the story begins with his grandparents, Dr. Sanjay and Sonia Mehra, who are involved in a car-crash. Sanjay is killed, but Sonia, who is pregnant, survives, only to die shortly thereafter, during childbirth. Her son, Rohit, is born developmentally disabled. After receiving supernatural abilities from an alien he befriends, Rohit becomes a savant and subsequently marries his best friend, Nisha. Their son, Krishna, is born with the same supernatural abilities as his father. As the superhero Krrish, he uses his powers to help people. He meets and marries Priya, who knows that he is also Krrish.
The action opens in Mumbai, with Krishna (Roshan), his wife Priya (Chopra), and his father Rohit (also Roshan) living a relatively peaceful life. Rohit works as an important government scientist and is close to perfecting a breakthrough technology that uses the sun’s rays to revive dead and dying life. Priya is a TV news reporter. Krishna, however, has difficulty keeping a job due to his frequent, unexplained absences from work due to his superhero activity. On his birthday, Priya tells Krishna that she is pregnant, which leads into the first song segment, “Raghupati Raghav.”
It is up to the movie’s villain, Kaal (Oberoi), to disrupt this idyllic life. Kaal was born paralyzed, although he has the ability to move two of his fingers. He also has psychic powers which allow him to move objects with his mind. Raised by a wealthy adoptive father, he uses his inheritance to build a pharmaceutical corporation. In a mountaintop laboratory, he and scientists in his employ work on a cure for his paralysis. The research involves creating genetic hybrids using his DNA and animal DNA. This work results in the creation of avatars with superhuman abilities who share Kaal’s soul and mind. The avatars’ bone marrow is then used to try to create a cure for Kaal’s paralysis, but none of the experiments has been a success. Nevertheless, Kaal uses the avatars as his henchmen (and hench-women).
Kaal funds his ongoing research by creating and spreading deadly viruses, then selling the antidotes to the affected countries. When Kaal sends his henchmen to Mumbai to cause a viral outbreak there, Rohit synthesizes an antidote — which Krishna, as Krrish, delivers to the city, stopping the virus and saving the day. Baffled as to how Rohit could have found an antidote so quickly, Kaal has a hunch that Rohit and his family know something that could be the key to regaining his physical abilities, which would greatly amplify his psychic powers. He decides to kidnap Rohit and Priya, which brings him into direct conflict with Krishna (and Krrish). A secret is then revealed that results in a fight to the death between Kaal and Krrish.
The lead actors in this film are huge movie stars in India. Moreover, Hrithik Roshan, who plays Krishna/Krrish (as well as Rohit), is the son of director Rakesh Roshan, who is a major Bollywood producer/director.
This movie has been referred to as a “mash-up” (or, less kindly, a “rip-off”) of various Hollywood action and science fiction movies. There are certainly many sequences clearly have been adapted from these films, particularly the Matrix trilogy, the Iron Man series, the X-Men films. and the Batman, Superman and Spiderman series. I prefer to borrow a French term and call this homage. Krrish 3 has its own central story, so one can excuse and even enjoy the adapted scenes from Hollywood blockbusters.
And, yes, the CGI makes certain scenes look more like they were made for a video game than a movie. But this is Bollywood, not Hollywood. One has to judge Bollywood by its own standards. Although homage invites comparison, applying one country’s cinematic standards to another’s films is to commit the proverbial error of “comparing apples with oranges.”
Even so, Krrish 3 is disappointing by Bollywood standards, according to my research. For example, reviewing for the Indian Express, Shubra Gupta calls the dialogue “maudlin” and faults those plot elements that recall the “creaky family entertainers Bollywood used to make.” He likes the “huge technology jumps [that] have made ‘Krrish 3’ the slickest” of Bollywood superhero movies, “special effects-wise.” Yet, Gupta complains, “The rest of it is marred by tackiness.” Commenting on a feature unique to Bollywood movies, Gupta adds that “the dancing has no zing, and the songs are terrible.”
So why should you watch Krrish 3? From my American point-of-view, it is good entertainment that will satisfyingly fill two-and-a-half hours of leisure time. As Rajeev Masand writes for IBN Live, “The film is ambitious but flawed. It is, however, consistently watchable for its terrific lead star who you can’t take your eyes off, even for a moment.” It is also difficult to take your eyes off lead actress Priyanka Chopra and supporting actress Kangana Ranaut, who plays the mutant villain Kaya. The movie also provides film buffs with an opportunity to test their movie knowledge and recognition skills. Do I sense the invention of a new drinking game?FRISCO KID rating:
Film Facts (from IMDB)
- Languages: Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and English (English subtitles available)
- MPAA Rating: not rated (other certificates: Canada: PG (British Columbia); Hong Kong: IIB; Ireland: 12A; Singapore: PG13)
- Runtime: 152 minutes
- Sound Mix: Dolby Digital EX
- Color: Color