4 July 2006 | The_Mighty_Warrior
A critique of the criticisms
I have been lurking on this section for some time now, with a few raised eyebrows at some of the comments that have been passed here. I think some are just wholly unjustified and inaccurate.
I have seen Krrish twice now. It is an unabashed popcorn entertainer. You're typical Hollywood special effects summer blockbuster, only that it has a unique Indian soul and the quintessential Bollywood elements. It is an accomplished blend of Indian popular storytelling , western technology and Asian action and it's historic success in India, proves how successful this fusion is.
Surprisingly, unlike most Hollywood film, where technology and action takes precedence, here special effects are minimally and virtuously(often seamlessly) used and most of the emphasis is on the emotional journey of the protagonist, who is reborn as the superhero, only towards the end, shifting to sci-fi action and concluding in a mesmerising ground-air-sea helicopter chase sequence, supported by an awesome and adrenaline-pumping background score.
Now I am going to deal with the common issues made against Krissh:
1. Action and special effects do not compare to Hollywood standards.
You really do need to define what Hollywood standards are. I have seen many big budget Hollywood special effects extravaganzas and the quality of special effects are variable; they range from good to bad; from shot to shot and from film to film.
Krrish is nothing below "Hollywood standards" It has effects work that is on par or better than some Hollywood films, and less than some. What matters most, is do they work on their own terms, and given that masses of people, including international critics have appreciated them, means an emphatic yes.
2. The techniques, effects and stunts are borrowed and/or plagiarised from Hollywood and Asian films; such as Crouching Tiger, House of flying daggers,Paycheck, Matrix.
First of all, it would make sense that special effects techniques have been repeated from Hollywood, because the special effects supervisors - are from Hollywood.
It would make sense that the stunts and martial arts have been repeated from Asian films, because the stunt choreographer - is from Hong Kong.
Secondly, techniques are invented to be reused. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
A filmmaker has at his utility an entire tool-kit of established techniques. It is how he uses them to actualise his vision that creates originality. In that respect, Rakesh Roshan is not a hack, because while he borrows techniques, he tailors them to his unique vision and lends them an originality of their own.
The stunts and action scenes have been designed according to Krrish's character and his own quirks, abilities and idiosyncrasies.
In particular, the final ground-air-sea helicopter chase sequence and the shot where Krrish uses the fountain jet to catapult him(awesome shot) into the air has never been done before. The anime-inspired fight sequence on the island is another spark of creativity. The initial sequence of him running to catch the glider is another very original sequence. Ditto for the Circus fire scene.
3. Krrish is a mundane love story, comedy and drama for most of the film. Not enough superhero elements.
When I watched Krrish the first time, I too echoed the same sentiments. I wanted to see more action scenes and superhero elements, not the usual run of the mill romantic comedy. I was disappointed. Then when I watched it the second time, this time without expecting a superhero film, I realised it's not suppose to be a superhero film; it is the beginning of a superhero
4. Krrish is a hybrid of other superheros films and copies plot elements.
Superhero films are quite a predictable genre and share many similarities. They are the classic tale of good vs evil, where the hero is super-good and the villain is super-evil(often a megalomaniac with designs to take over the world) and the film builds to the final face-off, where good will invariably triumph. Superman follows the exactly the same story arc; so does Batman; so does Spiderman; and yes, so does Krrish.
Another similarity is that the superhero-ego will often be incognito and not reveal their true identity, except to a select few. You see this in Superman; Spiderman and Batman; so, you also see it in Krrish. Again, because the superhero is mysterious, they become the talk of the world and the the press become obsessed with them and in unveiling their identity. You see this in Superman; Spiderman and Batman; so you see it in Krrish.
Krrish is as original and unoriginal as any superhero film. If you can accept that Superman is not a copy of Spiderman and Spiderman is not a copy of Batman. Then you should be able to accept that Krrish is not a copy of either of them and stands as an original work.
5. Krrish is just the usual Bollywood potboiler, with songs and dances, comedy, melodrama and colours.
So are 99.9% of Bollywood films. This is the unique Bollywood identity and film-making heritage and make no mistake about it, Krrish is an all-out Bollywood film, made for mass consumption by Bollywood fans.
Krrish is a very commendable and well-made film, an all out-entertainer, with plenty of cool action and special effects, but with it's heart in it's story of Krishna becoming Krrish(played admirably by Hrithik Roshan) It's also a historic milestone in Indian film-making, and will be to Indian cinema, what Superman was to American cinema. Expect the sequel to even bigger.
An impressive and world-class entry by Bollywood to the fantastic world of sci-fi and fantasy. I look forward to more such films from Bollywood. In fact, as I write , another Bollywood director is in the preproduction phase of a big budget futuristic sci-fi romance set in 2050 India, and not an ordinary love story, it's the love story between a robot and a human!