Krrish 3 (2013)

Forgive me for indulging in what’s become one of the more tiresome clichés of 2013, but I will now complain about how Krrish 3 is more of a Superman movie than Man of Steel was.

And yet, it’s true all the same. 2013 may come to be known as the year when the old icons of heroism in fiction were brought down and corrupted for mass-market consumption, while newer heroes stepped up to stand for the ideals that they no longer would, or could. One by one this summer, Superman, Captain Kirk, and the Lone Ranger, beloved role models of previous generations, found themselves stripped of their idealism, and reduced to violent, thoughtless, decidedly unheroic versions of themselves. Meanwhile, brand new, or at least more recent franchises emerged as their surprise successors: Pacific Rim, The Fast & The Furious, even Iron Man (not a new character by any means, but one who was relatively obscure until his film debut in 2008) all came forth full of the youthful idealism and sense of fun that we used to get from Superman (and company).

But as much as all that can be said for the aforementioned summer films, it’s even more true of this late entry, the Indian superhero blockbuster Krrish 3. And who better to infuse a modern superhero film with a sense of childlike naiveté than Bollywood, an industry with what seems like an almost universally childlike feel to their films? Krrish 3 is the third entry in the oddly-named franchise (there is no Krrish 2) that started with Koi… Mil Gaya, a film most easily described as “the Indian E.T.”, except in this version, Elliot is a mentally handicapped adult named Rohit. The second film, Krrish, completely switched genres, omitting the cute little alien and revolving around Rohit’s son, Krishna, who inherited superpowers from his father that were given to him by said alien. Donning a black coat and broken mask, he becomes basically Indian Superman (Indian Golden Age Superman at first, but leveling up to Indian Silver Age Superman by the end of this film), right down to marrying a smokin’ hot journalist (Priyanka Chopra).

Krrish 3 (2013)

The film is Bollywood to the core, which should tell you up front whether or not it’s for you. For my part, I love Bollywood in all its over-the-top glory, and not in that condescending “oh, you wacky foreigners” way people love Psy. I simply enjoy bombast in my entertainment. I’m a “go big or go home” kinda guy. What can I say? I guess I just have this weird need for my entertainment to be, you know, entertaining. And Bollywood knows how to entertain, with their 3-hour musical comedy drama action horror sci-fi fantasy extravaganzas. It’s amazing how well the average Bollywood movie seems to hold together in light of their “everything but the kitchen sink” approach, but somehow they usually manage to keep everything from feeling incongruous, and even when they don’t, you’re usually having too much fun to care.

In retrospect, it’s amazing that Bollywood superhero movies aren’t more common, because the genre suits their style perfectly. The outrageous “fuck physics” gusto perfectly fits the camp grandiosity of comic books, and their tendency towards “gosh gee” moralizing and innocence (which comes off as surprisingly genuine for something that’s likely censorship-driven) is almost identical to the tone of Silver Age Superman stories.

And a Silver Age Superman story this is, right down to the core. At less than a quarter of the budget, Krrish 3 satisfies in ways Man of Steel utterly failed to do, by capturing that idealistic “Superman” feel that the actual Superman movie completely missed or glossed over. It zigs at every point Man of Steel zagged. The final battle between Krrish and his nemesis is so similar in staging to Superman vs. Zod, you’d be forgiven for thinking they must have somehow ripped it off (even though they would’ve been making this before Man of Steel even came out). The only real difference? Krrish actually shows concern for the civilians imperiled by the wayside, stopping to smash falling debris that’s about to crush them, and at one point letting the villain wail on him while he focuses on holding up a falling building to save an abandoned baby below.

Call it cheesy if you want, but that old fashioned spirit is what gives this film the charm that Man of Steel tried and failed to capture. There’s an early scene in which Krrish is moved almost to tears by the courage of a little boy who nearly died trying to help a stuck pigeon, which kicks off the movie’s running theme of “anyone who does good for others is Krrish (i.e. a hero)” and pretty much sums up everything this movie does right. Its wide-eyed optimism may be too sugary sweet for some, but for me, this is everything I want out of a good superhero story. Add to that the fact that the effects and action sequences are genuinely exciting and well-staged, and you have basically a perfect superhero movie. If it plays anywhere near you, don’t miss it. At the very least, it’ll give you something to do until Thor: The Dark World comes out in a few days.

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  • MichaelANovelli

    I’ve created a monster…

    • Jay_Bay

      *cue up some Skillet*

      • MichaelANovelli

        Que?

        • Jay_Bay

          Nevermind

    • When I left you, I was but the learner, now I AM THE MASTER!!

      • MichaelANovelli

        Yeah. You’ve got a title belt…in the LIGHTWEIGHT Division! Burn!

  • Thomas Stockel

    You raise an excellent point regarding the problems with Man of Steel. When you watch a movie like Thor the writers and director had no problem balancing wonder with grit, drama and humor. I know that movie was not for everyone but I found the characters to be likeable and the tone enjoyable.
    But Man of Steel is so dark, so dour! They even dulled the colors of his costume, as if they were embarrassed he was wearing one.

    • Jay_Bay

      Yep…..all of this review and all this post.

  • iliketorantandrave

    The only argument I agree against man of steel is how he killed zod. Oh, and even the silver age superman killed. But it’s “okay” because those comics were “cheesy.” Good luck getting a superman movie with lame jokes like iron man. I understand people disliking the movie, but I’m also entitled to like it. And let’s not forget, the reeve movies were far from perfect. The animated series is about the only one that has done justice to the character. Supes in MOS, was more superman like than smallville. Clark was a total fubar in the tv show.
    I disliked Lois and Clark. 90% romance, 10% action. And please don’t say Superman Returns was better. Bastard son? Stalker? Sending luthor’s henchmen in space on a giant rock?
    Superman the movie- selfish for turning back time to save lois
    SII- selfish for giving up powers to be with lois. Not walking away from a fight in a bar. Possibly killing zod. (Forgiven).
    SIII- saving Richard pryor’s character and leaving everyone else for dead. (Forgiven).
    SIV- kills nuclear man. (Forgiven because it was corny).
    He isn’t perfect in the comics. He shouldn’t be expected to pull out a silver age answer to solve a problem.
    “Thank goodness Doctor Blight created this phantom zone gun for me.”

    • Cristiona

      “…but I’m also entitled to like it.”

      Who said you weren’t? You can like whatever you want. No need to be so defensive about it.

    • I find it hard to believe that you “agree the argument”, since you spend practically this entire comment arguing that Superman kills all the time. I’ve heard this argument before, that Superman’s no killing code is bull because of all the cosmic supervillains and evil gods he’s destroyed or helped destroy. Yes, the fact that the comics tend to gloss over the moral implications of Superman & company ganging up on the Anti-monitor or Imperiex to destroy them is a bit of hair splitting. The general idea is the victim is question is just so far removed from or beyond humanity that we’re not really supposed to think of them as people, rather forces of nature, or incarnations of evil itself. If Superman ever managed to kill, say Darkseid, I doubt there’d be a big “but Superman doesn’t kill” debate, because Darkseid is literally the God of Evil. Yes, it’s an arbitrary line, but it’s one readers instinctively roll with. In the context of the story this person is not representative of an actual person, but rather of a concept, evil itself. Therefore it is okay to do whatever the fuck to them.

      As for your oh so clever summaries of Superman media:
      Goddamn it, I can’t believe you’re making me defend Smallville, but even that show occasionally kind’ve got Superman, if only because in 10 seasons you eventually get SOMETHING right almost by default. At least Clark rescued people more frequently there.
      Lois and Clark was cheesy but fun, and had a charm MOS lacked. Just because it focused on an area of the mythology you don’t particularly like isn’t a mark against it. Plus it had a really underrated Lex Luthor performance.
      And yes, Superman Returns WAS better. I’ll take a lack of visceral action and a vaguely soap opera-esque subplot over dull, joyless brooding and mindless violence any day thank you. Best live action Lex Luthor ever, BTW. (and the henchman thing was an oversight, it happens)
      So Superman’s selfish for saving someone he cares about? Yes, I know the theory that he undid all the rescuing of everyone else with his time travel trick, but in the context of the movie that’s clearly not what we’re to understand had happened. Stop nitpicking and concentrate on what the film’s trying to be.
      Won’t argue with you there. Superman II’s an overrated, poorly written piece of shit.
      Superman III, eh, been a while since I’ve seen that one.
      Superman IV, not that we need really acknowledge that one, but Nuclear Man was a barely sentient artificially created monster, I doubt the writer’s meant for us to think of him as a person.

      And I’m not asking for a Silver Age solution. I’m asking for Superman not to snap a dude’s neck as an afterthought. I’m asking he actually behave as a role model and inspiration instead of just having Jor-El monologue about him being one. I’m asking for some fucking consistency if nothing else.

  • Alexa

    I think what I liked most about this guy is that his suit is black. It really shows that black does not have to equal “serious and gritty”. A color should not define how a superhero should act, just like how many seem to believe that a person who wears bright colors they must be clueless or naive. I’m sorry but that is just the dumbest logic ever…

    • It’s a nice contrast. Years of media reinforcement have trained us to expect certain behaviors from certain appearances, so it’s always fun when a character acts contrary to what his appearance would suggest.

      • Alexa

        Yeah really. I mean sure I don’t mind it always, but when it comes to movies like MoS and shows like Arrow basically shying away from any hint of bright colors for fear they won’t be taken seriously, makes me roll my eyes. Really I’ve tried to watch Arrow, and it is beyond excruciating, with the irony being the more it takes itself seriously the less I do.

    • crk123

      Do you really think Rakesh Roshan put that much thought into the costume design? They just went with what looks “cool”.

      • Alexa

        Well I didn’t think they had some weird agenda to subvert expectations of how the color of a superheroes outfit influences their attitude. But still its nice that a color of an outfit is just that, a color of an outfit, nothing more.

  • Cristiona

    I have no comment on the movie as I know nothing about it, but I’d just like to say: that mask is pretty badass.

  • tedzey71

    I understand wanting Superhero movies to reflect more of the tone of Bollywood movies… but as it is comparing “Man of Steel” to a bollywood movie just because they both feature superheroes seems unbalanced. May as well compare “Heavy Traffic” to “Snow White” because they’re both cartoons.

    • It’s a little more too it than that. Krrish wears its Superman influence on its sleeve. Krrish’s powers are virtually identical (he lacks only the vision powers), he’s solar-powered and has an alien element to his origin, he grew up isolated on a farm, married a hot journalist, and is a straitlaced role model to children. The point was that Krrish is borrowing from the exact same source material, but did more justice to it as a mere homage than did the official adaptation.

  • Monophylos

    I haven’t seen this movie but damn I want to. I only learned about it yesterday thanks to its French-subtitled trailer and what it reminded me of was Endhiran, a Tamil sci-fi movie about a cyborg gone rogue that was just about the most entertaining thing I’ve seen in years.

  • NavinIndia

    Indian film makers need to get out of their perception that special effects equates great movies. Krrish 3 is a really good example of extremely bad movie making with absolutely no script connect. Talk to the man on the street.

    • MichaelANovelli

      At least they’re fun and don’t take themselves too seriously. ^_^

  • crk123

    The funny thing is that Indian reviewers are blasting Krrish for being a sub-standard remake of “Man of Steel” and X-Men.

    I hated this movie, it was pretty bad IMO and the first one was way better.

  • yourefunny

    We get it already. You hated MOS. God help you when Batman vs Superman comes to theaters. I’ll never understand anyone who defends smallville. Japanese super heroes who kill on a weekly basis to defend japan are more inspiring than emo clark.

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      No, not really. More inspiring are heroes, who stop criminals and yet don’t have to kill them.

      And Smallville: Well, at least after Season 2 it got watchable, was interesting, even had funny dialogue and amusing lines in it.

      • starofjustice

        Sorry but that kinda gets into that age-old debate of how heroic it is that Batman stopped the Joker…until the Joker escaped next week and murdered a dozen more people, and Lex Luthor’s lawyers got him out on a technicality and he built a NEW giant robot and did ANOTHER billion in property damage until Superman smashed it up. I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other, but if we’re gonna bring that kinda thing up…

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          Well – to be sure, that Joker would not kill anyone again EVER you have four options:
          a) Kill him
          b) implant a chip, that prevents him from being that person again
          c) put him in a dark, dark, far, far, far away place,
          d) put him into a koma.

          Gruesome? Yeah – but those are the four options, that would make SURE that he does not kill anyone ever again.

          Therapy? Tried that – result was: Harley Quinn

          • starofjustice

            Yeah, but I was trying to make the point that just putting him in jail again and again isn’t very heroic if you actually try to compare the merits of that versus sentai-type superheroes who do kill their adversaries. And if we’re going to say it’s more inspiring to stop the bad guy and send him to jail without killing him, yet try to find some way to prevent him from doing evil stuff again as soon as the writers run out of ideas and decide to bring him back, well…you called those alternatives “gruesome” yourself, and I’m pretty sure they did a list on Cracked claiming what assholes superheroes are using examples like those.

            You’re caught coming and going if you want to argue the morality of fictional heroes’ methods.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Yeah, however, I called “killing” gruesome, too. Because once you started to see “killing” as an option, the question is: Where do you stop?
            Do you really just kill the Joker?
            If so – what about Poison Ivy? After all, she killed people, too.

            What about Harvey “Two Face” Dent, who takes the law in his own hands and believes, that the only “justice” is a coin-flip? You could argue: “Well, he is right”… but have fun, when you are in the hands of this guy and the coin decides, that you die.

            Yeah, but what about the “chip in head” option? We could “reprogram” Joker to be a useful member of society. People would not be killed by him, right?
            On the other hand: Do you just start and end your “brainwashing programme” with the Joker or the rogues gallery of the DC universe respectively?
            Or do you do that with other villains and villainesses, too? If so, then question: Who is the one, who decides, which villain, which villainess gets brainwashed, and who just stays in prison?

            What if those persons themselves become corrupted?

            I know – this is just a silly comic-book, however: No, I don’t see killing as an option.

  • yuuup

    Is this coming from the same guy who doesn’t understand japan, samurai or wolverine?

  • shaw

    Thor: I kill the bad guys and it’s okay.

  • ypu

    japanese heroes kill the bad guys because the culture over there does not consider it wrong or evil. they are inspiring because what they lack in strength they make up in courage.