Almost Super: Koi… Mil Gaya
Almost Super: Koi… Mil Gaya 2003
This was one of the first foreign titles that I had heard of to add to my big superhero movie list as it is the first movie in the Bollywood Krrish trilogy where Krrish and Krrish 3 are both clearly superhero movies, but even early on I had heard that this had very little to do with superheroes at all. But over at Cinefessions they are holding an annual Summer Screams Challenge that I decided to join in this year, and as part of that challenge there are weekly themes. The theme this week happens to be foreign sci-fi & horror films with a bonus if you watch an entire trilogy. So I thought this would be the perfect time to finally watch and review this Krrish trilogy. I’m not entirely well versed in Bollywood films, but I have seen a couple so I knew roughly what to expect: long run times and random musical interludes. I wasn’t entirely expecting the whole Flowers for Algernon subplot that took up the entire first third of an almost three hour movie. But even with that in mind, this was still a generally enjoyable film that fell into a few cliched traps along the way.
While this film starts out with the stereotypical down and out scientist who makes a huge discovery about life on other planets but is ignored by the credible scientists. Not only that, but the film goes a step further by having the aliens visit him and cause a car accident that kills him and injures his wife and their unborn son. Cut to several years later and we find out that the son has a brain injury that makes him developmentally disabled and cut to several more years later where he is basically a fully grown man, or technically a young adult, with the mind of somewhere around an 11 year old and struggling in a standard school where he doesn’t quite fit in with the physically younger kids. What helps this section of the film is the lead actor Hrithik Roshan who plays Rohit as a very likable character. He gets the right amount of innocence and mischievousness where is isn’t as annoying as Dennis the Menace.
Where the early part of the film struggles, at least for a more Eastern audience is the introduction of the love interest. While the initial meet cute misunderstanding moment and reconciliation is fine, what’s somewhat troubling is when Nisha becomes more of a full fledged love interest where she is the same physical age as Rohit, but he’s still the mental age of an 11 year old which feels really awkward and kind of creepy. That said, the film plays it as being cute and romantic despite their courtship being frequently troubled by the local jock slash bully Raj. He’s the cliched rich kid with his gang of cronies and just plain doesn’t like Rohit probably just because he’s different and will take every opportunity to rub it in his face.
After the first hour, the film takes a turn when the aliens show up and one of them kind of befriends Rohit and Nisha. After a short while, the alien imbues Rohit with the powers including healing his brain damage to give him his adult intelligence. But not only that, he also gets super strength and killer dance moves basically just for comedy sake. At this point, the film turns from this romantic drama about a mentally disabled man into a Disney-esque kid’s slapstick comedy where this cute alien gives the kids powers to win a basketball tournament, but only when it’s sunny out. The last act then shifts once again as Rohit faces off against the police in order to try and return his little alien friend back to his spaceship.
There are so many cliched elements spread throughout this film. There are shades of ET with the little alien, but also Teen Wolf with Rohit and his powers, with a little bit of Flowers for Algernon at the end as Rohit makes the sacrifice of his intelligence for the sake of his alien friend only for the film to cop out and give them a happy ending just because. And since this is a Bollywood film, there are also several musical interludes that are jarring if you’re not used to watching one of these films. A lot of the issues that I have with this film probably come down to a combination of differences in culture as well as just the stack of cliches. But it was overall an enjoyable film. Rohit was a very likable lead both in his child persona as well as his hero persona aside from a brief moment where he became the egotistical jerk when the powers initially go to his head. The alien itself looked great, it was cute, it was pretty much all done with practical effects, and it worked. The humor landed for me, it’s just that the story went everywhere and too many places that I had seen before. I’m very curious to now see how it ties into the Krrish films, if at all really. And in case you’re wondering, Koi… Mil Gaya means I’ve found… someone which does have a nice double meaning with the love story between Rohit and Nisha as well as the alien story. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.