Saturday, June 24, 2006 11:46 IST
By Santa Banta News Network
by Subhash K Jha

Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, Naseeruddin Shah
Directed by Rakesh Roshan
Rating: ***

Is it a bird, it is a plane? No it's Hrithik Roshan!!!

It's not enough to say that Hrithik is one of the best actors of the country.

Extroardinary is the word for the measured manner in which he glides through the air to the beat of Rajesh Roshan's rather-vapid songs...or cuts through the breeze to the stunning special effects created with a verve so- far unknown to Indian cinema.

Krissh takes us into the world of masked fantasy where the stakes are incredibly high as the F-X-generated leaps that the super-hero takes as he tries to save the world from the clutches of a megalomaniacal villain with a glint in his eyes that can only belong to Naseeruddin Shah.

Though there's sense of slackening in earlier portions of the lengthy narrative, the last lap of this luscious voyage into comic-book fantasy is undertaken in a spirit of complete conviction and credibility.

You can't miss the sign-posts. We've seen so many Bollywood heroes doing heart-in-the-mouth stunts. But never in an Indian film have we seen a hero look so elegant and relaxed as he glides over water and mountains to vanquish the power-crazy villain.

Though the scripting in the first-half reveals signs of formulistic fatigue (scenes where the village-bred Hrithik tries to spook the globe-trotting journalist Priyanka Chopra are straight out of a Joy Mukherjee-Asha Parekh musical from the 1960s) the second half revs up proceeds to an exceeding high precipitating the kind of action and thrills that have so far been alien to Hindi cinema.

The scripting in the second-half specially the portions that show Krissh's father (Hrithik doing a double role) and the villain reading the future to see their own impending deaths, are masterstrokes of plotting invention.

Quaintly Rakesh Roshan mixes old formulistic conventions with sights and sounds never seen before. The synthesis is not just inviting but also enticing in ways that re-define the cult of kitch and escapism in our cinema.

It's not enough to get technicians from abroad to do the action. Other Hindi films have tried it before. But none with the super-sonic élan of Hrithik Roshan. Proving once again to be the master of the cinematic frame Hrithik glides across the frames in strides that replicate the measured might of a panther .

Make no mistake, Krissh belongs to Hrithik Roshan. He again displays his skills at dancing, fighting emoting and just being comfortable with the camera without once letting the sweat of the toil trickle into the frames. Here's an actor who stubbornly re-defines the concept of screen heroism with every performance.

In Krissh Hrithik is required to make the transition from a simpleton in the village with super-powers to a masked crusader in Bangkok. He brings to the film's fantasy element a kind of innocence underlined by a subtle swagger that furnishes the duality of the masked character the musk of masculinity and vulnerability. His initial romantic sequences in a designer-dhoti with Priyanka Chopra are endearing. The two make a believable pair. However Priyanka is unnaturally subdued, the fire doused by the overall dynamics of the goings-on.

Hrithik's scenes with his screen-grandmom Rekha exude warmth, though it's hard to accept Rekha as a grand-mom.

Naseeruddin Shah as Hrithik's opponent is so cool you wish there was more of him. Priyanka Chopra's character represents the reluctant forces of cut-throat ambition that threaten all the heroic innocence of the supernaturally blessed hero.

We've seen it before in Superman, Batman and King Kong. But our Krissh has something extra-special those films didn't.
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