The emotional impressions of the East combine with the power bloc of modern day heroism, the Superhero prodigies of the West. The result is of a superhuman—a transporter of hopes for millions of people and an idol for everybody, Krrish—India’s response to Captain America and a mishmash of Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. Magnanimity certainly doesn’t harm. Krrish 3 is precisely the story of India’s newly found superhero, yet it is not just Krrish who is the central point of the story, Krrish 3 works for other reasons apart from just Krrish—the innately pure superhero, with a heart of gold—as they say—and a body of steel, as one would suppose.
Krrish series started as a franchise with Koi Mil Gaya (2003, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Rekha), a movie a result of pure imagination over astute scientific observation—popularly influenced by E.T. the Extraterrestrial, or at least believed to be such. With a soulful protagonist in the form of Rohit Mehra (Hrithik Roshan), and a touching story, Rakesh Roshan (Karan Arjun, Krrish Trilogy) built a movie empire based on science fiction, the popular trending of alien life, and the birth of a human with extraordinary powers through Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish (2003). Krrish 3 carries on from where Krrish left, but with a different style and treatment. This time around, Rakesh Roshan presents Krrish 3 as India’s most accomplished VFX and CGI exhibition—assuming the responsibility of creating a gigantic visual spectacle along the lines of Hollywood marvels. Krrish, the movie, was the birth of the superhero Krrish and his fight for humanity, but against a fellow human. On the contrary, Krrish 3 embraces an assembled crew of characters possessing out-worldly strengths and attributes squaring Krrish in a predicament he has never been before—facing off against an ensemble of super villains. Not alone in this unique environment, Krrish—the superhuman—has the omnipresent grace of his father, Rohit, protecting and guiding him—beyond space and time.
Whilst Krrish 3 is a brainchild of the superhero, summer blockbuster concept, the movie remains true to the Indian way of storytelling, which could be bad or good. In this case, it’s a mixture, but in large portions, it’s really good. Perhaps due to the association with Diwali—a Diwali bonanza, as they say—Krrish 3 is more of a dramatization of a superhero holding the popular premise of saving the world from ulterior forces. Following the archetypal formula of super protagonist vs. super antagonist, Rakesh Roshan’s brilliant execution of this formulaic, well-structured template movie turns it from a mere model to entertaining cinema, and his sublime treatment differentiates Krrish 3 from other movies trapped in the state called structure syndrome. True to Bollywood oddities, Krrish 3 mixes quirky Hindi movie plots and the Hollywood superhero muscles borrowing some clichéd plotlines from yesteryear Bollywood movies, and scenes and designs from the Hollywood outings of Avengers, X-Men, and Transformers. It holds its own though, big time, despite being a concept that Hollywood seems to fantasize about, almost every summer.
Several themes run across the screen—duty, honor, loyalty, love, dedication, and the concept of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam—what could loosely be translated as Universal Humanhood, if I may. Prominently, the legendary maxim of resident Uncle, Ben Parker, from Spiderman becomes the logline for this superhero outing: with great power, comes great responsibility. Krrish 3, in its absolute essence, is the actualization of that one masterful quote.
The selling point of the movie is, without any reservation, the visual graphics. Taking a segment in time to talk about them, the CGI and the visual FX, Krrish 3 is by far India’s best dive into the unknown waters of visual effects—particularly at such a grand scale. In comparison to Hollywood standards, the effects seem trivial at times, but excluding those moments, few and far in between, the team of Krrish 3 has meticulously created unbelievable imageries and enhanced the graphics—presenting India’s first superhero science fiction movie, especially on the pedestal Krrish 3 finds itself, as a visually bombastic superhuman action drama. To clear the air, there may not be a parallel between Gravity (2o13) and Krrish 3, but neither is there a parallel to Krrish 3 in Bollywood, or any movie to come out of India. The VFX is international quality—transcendental. For the film industry, especially with Bollywood going the Hollywood way, for good or bad, Krrish 3 has opened the gate.
When we look at the Krrish franchise from a commercial perspective, Indian audiences have been very dodgy of superhero and fantasy movies. It is a stunning statement that Koi Mil Gaya was the first ever fantasy, science fiction movie to become a blockbuster in India. Even so, Koi Mil Gaya wasn’t exactly a full-blown techno movie; it was a drama, a retelling of a story of one special boy. Three years later, when the first superhero of India was born, Rakesh Roshan didn’t project Krrish as a complete superhero movie. Romance and family drama, with impressive stunts—and a protagonist with superhuman powers—seemed to be the spine of the movie. When arriving to the third episode of the trilogy, Krrish 3 comes to its own—putting a mask of a techno marvel and appearing as a complete superhero flick with stunning visuals and sequences, where the technology has overtaken the dramaturgies of the earlier two films in the trilogy. Not without a balance, though—so would Rakesh Roshan suggest. The melodrama finds itself drifting throughout the movie. Rakesh Roshan cracks this intelligent line to treat this experience as a manifestation of supernatural powers, with the Indian spices of drama alive and flowering the on screen daring of one Krrish—thereby striking a crucially needed balance.
Hrithik Roshan as Rohit Mehra delivers a genuine and natural performance. The use of the adjective startling would be an understatement for the performance is filled with innocence, accuracy, and spontaneity. As he did a decade ago, Hrithik Roshan chameleons himself into the genius who forgot to grow up channeling a physical look and mannerism that would prompt anybody to forget that the actor playing Rohit and Krrish is the same. It was inspiring. To much disappointment, conversely, Hrithik doesn’t have the same power as Krishna or Krrish. The acrobatics, stunts, and Hrithik’s look as Krrish cannot be faulted, but Hrithik, as Krishna, is bland and as Krrish is decent. On a side note, the mask doesn’t offer any realistic protection to Krrish’s identity, and since identity protection is of such importance, the scene in which Kaya fails to recognize Krrish as Krishna appears phony and a tad unrealistic. Also, Hrithik as Krishna looks too jacked up and built for any normal person to believe that he isn’t some supermodel or at least, a wrestler. Whilst it suits his superhero alter-ego to the core, but as an ordinary person, that’s too super. Amidst all of this, Krrish’s main job is the action part, the super action—where he is very impressive.
Hrithik’s leading lady; however, with all due respect, couldn’t have been a more irritating outfit. From her dressing style, gestures, to her dialects, Priyanka Chopra appeared as some teenage music icon over a wife and a journalist that she was playing in the movie. It was only after the interval, when Priyanka Chopra didn’t have much to do except shed tears, did she cease to become irksome. Kangna Ranaut was decent, but her face carried an awkwardness that was difficult to decode. Nothing special, but with a stronger role and a far more accomplished act than Priyanka Chopra, Kangna gave a very functional performance.
The least of the stars amongst the actors, bare minimum, yet the actor who delivered a powerful and unnerving performance as Kaal, Vivek Oberoi—a cold, restrained, and sadistic performance by a man curtailed by time and fate. Almost at the level of previous great villains of Hindi cinema, Vivek Oberoi was Kaal and not the other way around. Prodigious—from his look, his dialogs, his facial expressions, and his demeanor as the unworldly sadist—Vivek Oberoi was on his game.
Fused into the theme of Universal Humanhood, Krrish 3 is a pleasurable superhero entertainer with fantastic visuals, a solid plot, and some natural performances. A remarkable step up for Bollywood and despite its flaws and loopholes, Krrish 3 is what people call—a very good commercial movie. A journey worth to the theaters considering the ticket prices, your coffee or soda, and those sandwiches or popcorns, fans of Bollywood should give this movie at least one chance, notwithstanding the comparison to Hollywood. Appreciate it as an Indian superhero science drama, Krrish 3 is a dramatization of an Indian superhero, with brilliant visual effects—some eye sparkling, some decent, but all worth the price—ultimately shaping up as a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
By the way, Sonia Mehra’s (Rekha) exclusion from the movie and her mysterious death was rather sad. But since we are in a killing spree—Nisha (Preity Zinta) died in between of Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish, while Sonia in between Krrish and Krrish 3—here’s hoping Priya Mehra (Priyanka Chopra) “dies” in between Krrish 3 and Krrish 4! Had to lay that down…