Movie Review: Krrish 3 (2013)

Krrish32.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Krrish 3‘s great flaw is not that it’s a derivative mishmash of X-Men, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and Superman. It’s that Krrish 3 is boring. Why does a standard superhero plot — bad guy wants to takeover the world, good guy needs to stop him — need so much exposition?

Krrish 3 starts with a helpful recap of the previous films in the series — Koi… Mil Gaya and Krrish — narrated by Amitabh Bachchan. Rohit (Hrithik Roshan) inherited superpowers from an alien and passed them on to his son, Krishna (also Hrithik Roshan), who moonlights as the superhero, Krrish.

Bachchan’s narration disappears for half-an-hour so that we can see Krrish rescue some folks, only to return unexpectedly to introduce the villains. After that, we don’t hear from Bachchan again.

The primary villain is Professor X, er, Kaal (Vivek Oberoi), a telekinetic quadriplegic who somehow retains the use of both index fingers. Bachchan assures us: “Unbelievable as it is, but it’s true.” As a byproduct of his experiments to cure his paralysis, Kaal creates an army of animal-human hybrids: his “manimals.”

One of the manimals is a chameleon-hybrid shape-shifter named Kaya (Kangana Ranaut). In addition to looking sexy in a strapless latex catsuit, Kaya can pass through walls and possesses super-strength.

Kaya’s storyline is the highlight of the film. Her role in Kaal’s evil scheme requires her to impersonate Krishna’s wife, Priya (Priyanka Chopra). While gathering intel for her boss, Kaya gets to live a life she’s never experienced, one in which she’s a beloved member of a family. This causes her to question her loyalties to her creator, Kaal, who’s always treated her like a tool.

Kaya is a better developed villain than Kaal, whose plans seem scattershot. He spends the first hour of the film infecting countries with a virus, and then charging high prices for the cure in order to fund his paralysis-cure research. The movie is half-over before Krrish and Kaal have anything to do with one another.

After exhausting his animal research, Kaal becomes obsessed with bone marrow. When he says, “I need your bone marrow,” he dramatically emphasizes the tissue as if he were saying “heart” or “brain” or some other vital organ. It’s as if no one told him that a bone marrow transplant is a relatively common, non-lethal procedure. Boy, is he going to be bummed when he finds out.

Kaal’s not intimidating enough to be a super-villain, and he’s not as complex a character as Kaya. He’s about as scary as his henchman, Frogman (Gowhar Khan), who gets way too much screentime for a guy whose only weapon is his tongue.

Krrish/Krishna is kind of a dud, too. There’s a germ of a running gag in which Krishna keeps getting fired from service jobs because of his superhero duties, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Krrish rescues a boy, only to lecture him not to try superhero stunts at home.

That lecture, plus a bunch of speeches about how we’re all like Krrish whenever we do something nice for someone else, make Krrish 3 too self-aware to be truly engrossing. Whenever scenes show a glimmer of emotional truth, the camera zooms soap-opera style into a close-up of a character’s face, just to make sure the audience knows that this is an emotionally significant moment.

The performances by Roshan and Chopra are corny, and Oberoi isn’t villainous enough. Ranaut’s compelling turn as Kaya makes the film bearable.

The musical numbers are also a letdown. About half the audience at my showing headed for a bathroom break as soon as “God Allah Aur Bhagwan” began. “Dil Tu Hi Bataa” is so wacky that it’s almost charming. Why is Ranaut dressed like she’s in the Ice Capades?

But, wait! Isn’t that my boy Sushant Pujari from ABCD bustin’ moves in red sneakers in “Raghupati Raghav”? Maybe Krrish 3 is worth watching after all.

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21 thoughts on “Movie Review: Krrish 3 (2013)

  1. Shah Shahid

    To be fair, I wasn’t all that impressed with its predecessors either. KOI MIL GAYA was unique, solely because of Hrithik Roshan’s amazing performance as a handicapped person, and the fact that the story was very child-centric. Besides being one of the few mainstream family friendly franchises (for real this time) in Bollywood… this doesn’t have much to offer in terms of original storytelling.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      You make a good point about the tone, Shahid. I’m often frustrated that Bollywood doesn’t even bother making movies for kids, but Krrish 3 is really family friendly.

      Reply
      1. Shah Shahid

        That’s why I’ve never had a problem with the mediocre storytelling of this franchise. It’s for kids, so I’m okay with the ‘borrowed elements’ and meh-ness.

        It’s oscar calibre material when compared to the other superhero movie for kids, RA.ONE, which saw booty shaking to lyrics by Akon in a supposed children’s movie. 😐

        Reply
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  3. Nav

    Hi Kathy – Krish, Ra.one and their ilk are totally boring. Have you seen ‘Shahid’? Heard it is g8, sadly not playing in the bay area.

    Reply
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  6. Avinash

    To be fair, this movie was made by a former actor turned director who has pulled stories from movies (what else can you expect). In my view, hollywood super hero movies work by throwing the audience a weird story, by the time you start thinking about the logic, they put some unbelievable graphics, that suits their huge budget, to keep us surprised. But in Bollywood directors turned story writers like to play it safe. The weave a story of facts that is known yet intriguing so that the average person can understand. The story though simple keeps you guessing( am i wrong?). Guessing is good for a superhero movie. Also, Rakesh knew that we won’t be interested in watching good old father of Krrish delivering sentimental dialogues most of the time. He gave him a fair(if not good) part in the movie. I admire Rakesh Roshan for this. On the special effects side, i think a lot of hard work has been done to make it look realistic, it can be easily seen.Though not better than Krissh which was ahead of it’s time in Indian cinema. There was not much publicity as to who was making the special effects before the release of the movie, unlike Ra.One. I went to the movie thinking that it would be total crap. But honestly, I saw some really well-tried if not well-made sequences. From a child’s view, I think it had all the material to qualify for a good inspiring movie. My advice to the movie-goer: Relax and appreciate efforts, this is just a good attempt to start.
    P.S: Ignore my poor English.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      Avinash: don’t apologize for your English. It’s great! I would say that India doesn’t have the same history with fantasy films that the West does, so it’s reasonable to expect Indian superhero plots to be more straightforward than Hollywood fare that has to push the envelope. Despite that, I bet Indian audiences are familiar enough with superhero tropes that they don’t need all the exposition that Roshan provides. (That goes for both adults and kids, who are more intuitive than studio executives give them credit for.) As for the special effects, India has come a long way in recent years. I didn’t find anything to complain about in Krrish 3.

      Reply
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