Krrish, Rakesh Roshan's sequel to his Close Encounters of the Third Kind/E.T/Spider-man rip-off, Koi Mil Gayaa, is being advertised as Indian cinema's first superhero tale. It is good start for the genre and gives us a superhero easy to root for. But one wishes it gave us more of its superhero and less of its romantic hero.
The film initially reminds us of Tarzan more than anything else. As Hrithik saves Priyanka by flying from tree to tree, enters her camp at night or amazes her by summoning the birds by cooing to them, they might as well have been named Tarzan and Jane. The romance is perfunctory and its only the comedy element, where Priyanka is made to think Hrithik is a ghost, that keeps the film afloat.
I'm not sure there's been another superhero tale where the superhero enters the picture so late! Sure we see that Krishna has superpowers but Krrish makes an appearance well into the second half only. While we do catch glimpses of Krishna's special abilities in the first half, romance plays the bigger part there. So action lovers have to wait.
As a superhero story, Krrish does the job and the basic ingredients that go into any superhero story have been done well. The reason behind Krrish having super powers, the necessity of it being a secret identity, the origins of the mask (and why it is rather incomplete), the presence of a villain with grand plans - the movie gets its basics right. The only problem is that the bad guy isn't powerful enough to make a strong enough villain for a superhero. Naseer's plans may be megalomaniacal but he isn't. So the film lacks that grand, final showdown.
If Koi Mil Gayaa was a showcase for Hrithik the actor, Krrish is a showcase for Hrithik the stud. As he runs in slo-mo with his muscles rippling and his hair flying behind him, he seems to be modelling for an ad rather than acting in a film. As the camera lingers over his body in the sleeveless, low-cut vests, it almost feels like softcore porn for women! He overdoes the "I'm-so-good-and-innocent" schtick at a couple of places but looks the part as the superhero. Priyanka tries hard to be funny but is no natural. She is more believable when she is serious but is given little to do in the second half. The actress playing her friend and Archana Puran Singh, who plays her boss, take top honors in the overacting department.
One of the advantages of Krrish making a late appearance is that the special effects don't feel overdone. Rakesh Roshan hasn't been overambitious and so whats on screen is good. Hrithik's biggest power is being able to jump over long distances and those have been handled well since they look quite smooth. Since he is superstrong, his fights are pretty one-sided but enough visual tricks have been used to keep them interesting.