Bollywood’s biggest Diwali release is the third instalment of the lucrative ‘ET’-meets-‘Superman’ superhero franchise.
After a voiceover recapping the events of the original (‘Koi... Mil Gaya’) and its sequel (‘Krissh’), we once again hook up with the black leather clad masked hero Krrish (Hrithik Roshan), who prevents a superjumbo from crashing into Mumbai airport by using his buff body as the landing gear. In his daily life Krrish is Krishna, an ex-security guard married to journalist Priya (Priyanka Chopra). When a deadly virus starts wiping out the population of India, Krrish must defeat the evil Kaal (Vivek Oberoi), who manufactured the outbreak to sell the antidote for billions of dollars, and his team of mutants.
There is much to enjoy in this unapologetic attempt to create a unique Indian superhero flick. It’s a masala mix of almost every Hollywood superhero blockbuster (‘Iron Man’, ‘Spiderman’, ‘The Incredibles’, ‘X-Men’, we could go on) suitably ‘Indianised’ for its intended audience. The plot references the holy Hindu text of the Mahabharata to explain the existence of mutants, and it even throws in a ‘love never dies’ reincarnation reference.
The usual bolly-oddities remain: it’s too long, the dialogue is cheesy, it’s stuffed with product placements and the three ditties are disposable. That said, the performances are suitably earnest, there’s never a dull moment and the action pieces are mind-blowing. To date, with the exception of a few superhero films, Hollywood studios have been unable to penetrate the massive Indian box-office. Bollywood has hit back with its own singing and dancing ‘Man of Steel’. To quote the baddie Kaal: ‘I like it!’.