Krrish – The Indian Superhero

Superman destroyed Metropolis last year, The Dark Knight rose again after his bout with The Joker and Iron Man fought Aldritch Killian using his entire arsenal. However, on Diwali 2013, an unlikely hero from India rose to the challenge of defeating his worst enemy yet. And with Krrish 3, the most unlikely of film franchises got its latest instalment.

It was only a matter of time until Bollywood came out with its own superhero what with the films being insanely popular currently. However, we need some explanation here. Because, you see, Krrish 3 is the only superhero movie that sort of fits the western mold of what we’re used to from a superhero movie. So there were two movies before this that were kind of out there. And the two movies before served as the half-hour in all western movies that tells the origin. So let’s get into it.

Who is this Krrish anyways?

Krrish is really Krishna Mehra, mild-mannered guy who grew up in the mountains and now lives in Mumbai with his small family. He is the offspring of a man who got a genius intellect by an alien and he now fights against evil, no matter how small.

Arguably the coolest thing about Krrish is his very unusual costume. Whereas western superheroes sort of stopped having creative costumes a few decades ago, falling back to having costumes inspired by the heroes of ages past, Krrish knocks it out of the park with his waist-cape-like trenchcoat and the rather concealing mask that has a really cool shape.

A badass hero for India

A badass hero for India

Beyond being a cool-looking hero, Krrish is also a social activist of sorts, handing out metal shreds on leather straps to people who got into trouble by trying to do good and had to be saved by our hero.

All in all: Krrish is pretty awesome.

Koi… Mil Gaya – Or: Three and a half hours of Agony

We couldn’t finish watching this one. While the title translates to “I… Found Someone”, we found nothing but a drab story, crappy effects, silly songs and Hrthik Roshan in one of his more acting-intensive roles. The problem is, while Roshan is a fantastic dancer – no, seriously, check it out in the video below – he’s not that awesome an actor. He can do a decent larger-than-life, masculine hero or villain, but when it comes to more substance, he seems to struggle.

Wait, you don’t know what Hrithik Roshan looks like. Imagine 1.82 meters of muscular manliness with a well-coiffed hairdo and green-brown eyes. In fact, don’t imagine that, have a picture.

This is a 40 year-old man

This is a 40 year-old man

Now, on to the dancing video, before we get back to our analysis of why Koi… Mil Gaya was such a horrible film:

Thus, the role of Rohit Mehra was quite the challenge for him. You see, Rohit has the body of a grown man and the mind of a second-grader. Not exactly hero-material and thus the first movie doesn’t actually feature the hero we know as Krrish. In fact, it’s still one more movie until our favourite Indian hero dons his mask. In fact, it begins like a typical movie that sees a young man pitted against the rest of an unforgiving world. The obvious love interest is annoyed by his pranks and the question of why there needs to be a love interest for a very hunky boy is also never answered, because… aliens. Yup, there are aliens from outer space in this one.

This Is Totally What a Slightly Handicapped Genius Looks Like.

This Is Totally What a Slightly Handicapped Genius Looks Like… Nevermind the Muscles.

So the aliens land and because they have two thumbs on each hand – just like Hrithik Roshan has two thumbs on one hand – the half-witted Rohit Mehra and the alien named Jadoo become friends. This happens about two hours into the movie and that’s also where we had enough. It was that bad. Uninspired songs, the story is so very slow, and Roshan sucks as Rohit Mehra. Funnily enough, this movie was a huge success in India.

But from what we gather, the movie went on like so: Jadoo gives Rohit superpowers to fight back against the bullies and doesn’t cause much damage. Jadoo leaves for his home planet, because he probably got bored with the story and had to ask his agent how he as a respectable space alien ended up in this movie, but Rohit is supersmart all of a sudden while maintaining his childish innocence.

Blargh.

Krrish – Or: Wait, There’s a Sequel?

For some completely weird reason, the movie got a sequel. Well, it’s understandable from a perspective of success. But where the Roshans – Hrithik’s father Rakesh writes and directs the Krrish-movies – could have just told us the further adventures of naïve Rohit and his derping around the world, they went off into a completely different direction.

The New Direction: Superhero Adventures!

The New Direction: Superhero Adventures!

So Rohit has a son. That man is known as Krishna. Sadly, Rohit gets killed when Krishna is still a child – and his wife Sonia subsequently dies from a broken heart. So Krishna is brought up by his grandmother in a secluded mountain village – not the worst idea considering he can run faster than a horse and climb the face of a rock like a monkey.

One fateful day, when Krishna is doing what can best be described as frolicking in the meadows, he sees a person in a parachute crashing into a tree. This turns out to be Priya, the movie’s love interest. Priya’s also a host of a TV show in Singapore and facing declining ratings and a harsh boss, she decides that Krishna and his amazing powers are what will save her career. So she promises the naïve mountain boy love and marriage and Krishna promptly leaves for Singapore, the city his father left to years before and was killed in.

Krishna promises his grandmother to keep his powers secret and so, when he’s faced with a fire in a circus he caused during a musical number, he dons a broken circus mask and puts on a long black coat. This way he can fight for good and keep his promise. All he has to do is keep Priya off his back, seeing as she’s constantly setting him up to show his powers, going as far as to stage a robbery.

The movie’s main antagonist is the wonderfully creepy Doctor Arya. He was the guy who got derpy Rohit Mehra to Singapore to help him build a computer that can see the future. Needless to say, Arya has a lot of evil ideas for this.

What this movie lacks is a challenge. You have a superpowered hero who’s smart, awesome and strong. And there’s nothing for him to punch. In fact, the story would have played out just the same if Krishna had no superpowers at all. So what we’re treated to is basically three hours of Superman getting a kitten out of a tree. But still, we managed to finish it. And it was decent. Nothing too extraordinary, nothing too spectacular, but at least it’s not a giant waste of time.

Krrish 3 – Or: Wait, there’s no Krrish 2?

Fast forward a few years and Krishna and Priya are married. In fact, she’s even pregnant and after having been reunited with his – surprise! – not-dead father, the three of them are a happy little family. Only that Krishna can’t hold a job because the city of Mumbai depends on him day and night.

However, there’s an evil man scheming evil things in his evil lab. He lives here:

To be fair, that is one hell of an evil-villain-lair!

To be fair, that is one hell of an evil-villain-lair!

Yes, that’s the observatory on the Gornergrat. He lives in Switzerland. There’s also another rather weird scene at a Swiss train station that we guess is somewhere in the general area of the Gornergrat. It’s a scene where the evil lackey who has a guilty conscience calls the good scientist and then gets killed for it. There’s even a few hikers in the foreground who probably had no idea what was going on.

Anyway, the evil scientist known as Kaal is bound to a wheelchair and a telepath. You might know this configuration from the X-Men. And totally-not-Xavier has an army of mutants at his disposal, most noticeably – that is to say that she’s the only one with dialogue – Kaya, the chameleon-woman who constantly looks photoshopped. Being the evil scientist he is, Kaal releases a deadly virus into Mumbai’s air. This is an enemy Krrish can’t fight. That’s really cool from a story-perspective. You have a superpowered hero who can do basically anything and there’s an enemy he can’t defeat.

A Very Trustworthy Scientist With a Good Heart... Riiight.

A Very Trustworthy Scientist With a Good Heart… Riiight.

While Krrish clears up traffic, Rohit is working on a cure and after having discovered that the virus has been man-made and is based on human DNA that is almost a perfect match to the Mehra’s DNA and also a match to one of the captured mutants, a rather weird family plot starts to unfold.

Krrish 3 is more of a typical superhero-movie. There’s a good guy, a bad guy and an anti-hero. What makes Krrish 3 somewhat remarkable is that the movie has a female character in it that is more than just window dressing. Typically, women in Bollywood movies are there to be the love interest and dance partners. That’s it. Most of them don’t have a job or any real impact on the plot beyond the damsel in distress. Krrish and Krrish 3’s Priya is a bit of an exception to this rule in Krrish seeing as she is the cause for a lot of the plot and it’s not all “Pursuit of eternal love and romance”. While Kaya the Chameleon has little impact on the story itself, she does have her own character arc and tries to play both the Mehras and Kaal.

A Badass Female Character. This is New for Bollywood.

A Badass Female Character. This is New for Bollywood.

This movie is actually kind of good. Sure, India has a lot to learn when it comes to superhero narrative. Sure, they still have a lot to learn about powerlevels as both Kaal’s and Krrish’s fluctuate wildly during the movie. Sure, they still have a lot to learn about character treatment as well the role of females. But, seriously, Krrish 3 is a fun movie. You have thrilling heroics, a good message, a badass fight.

Oh yeah, Krrish 4 will happen. Hrithik Roshan has confirmed it.

About Dom

Possessing nigh-encyclopaedic knowledge when it comes to comic books and movies, Dom is one of the co-founders of the Uncanny Book-Club. He also enjoys movies, and going to the cinema.

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