Whether it was Shah Rukh Khan in Ra.One, Tiger Shroff in The Flying Jatt or even Hrithik Roshan in Krrish, Indian superhero films have been disastrous compared to its American counterparts.
As Rakesh Roshan explains while justifying the relatively low-blow rendition of superheroism, “We can’t afford to make films comparable with the Hollywood superhero films. We’ve neither their budget nor their infrastructure,” he says.
As a Third World country, our movies do provide a mediocre depiction of the superhero concept. They often seem like Uncle Sam’s poor country cousin, especially when there are obvious rip-offs from Hollywood superhero films. For example, Hrithik’s mask in Krrish seemed to be borrowed from Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger.
So will Karan Johar succeed in breathing new life into Indian superhero films by adding a fresh take on the superhero genre through his upcoming film Brahmastra?
While no expenses are being spared when it comes to production, we have very little reason to believe that this Karan Johar film will break the tacky spell on the desi superhero genre. For one, Ranbir Kapoor looks anything but super-heroic. His personality is more apt for the role of a common man.
Truth be told, larger-than-life heroism would suit no Bollywood actor except Salman Khan. But he too wasn’t an impressive superhero in Kick. Secondly, the director of Brahmastra is Ayan Mukerjee, who has mostly made films about nerdy heroes, like Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. This project threatens to lapse into idol worship even before release.
Lastly, Ranbir won’t even be seen in a superhero suit. A superhero film with no costume is like a temple with no idol. You need a suit if you want heroics....