The dreary weather did little to dampen the spirits of hundreds of fans of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan who waited outside the TIFF Bell Light Box on Wednesday evening. They chanted his name through chattering teeth with numb fingers on their cellphone cameras, waiting for Mr. Khan to step onto the red carpet for the North American premiere of his latest film, RA.One.
When Mr. Khan – who has been called Bollywood’s Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise rolled into one – showed up, an hour late, the crowd went wild. In a black suit and skinny black tie, he signed autographs and took photographs with fans, leaving a few overwhelmed with tears.
RA.One is Bollywood’s most expensive spectacle yet. Although its $20-million budget is paltry compared to Hollywood superhero movies, RA.One is being touted as a legacy project for Mr. Khan – a Bollywood powerbroker – in setting new technical standards for South Asian film.
The title refers to the video game ultra-villain created by a mild-mannered game developer (Mr. Khan) who is trying to bond with his son, Prateik. Trouble comes when RA.One steps into the real world in search of his ultimate enemy, Lucifer – Prateik’s screen handle. Coming to the rescue is another computer entity turned real, G.One, also played by Mr. Khan.
This being a Bollywood movie, there is a little something for everyone – comedy, action, drama, and of course the song-and-dance number, including the infectious tune Chammak Challo, sung by Akon.
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