Saturday, May 24, 2014


Fight, Dance, Repeat

When Prakash Raj makes a drunken, tearful speech on fatherhood and collapses on a bench, writhing with emotional agony, you make a mental note to check if Sabbir Khan’s Heropanti is the remake of a Tamil or Telugu film. Bingo, it is—Telugu film Parugu. 

And with this garbled plot in the hands of the director of Kambakht Ishq, Tiger Shroff makes his debut, after being groomed, packaged and promoted as the next big thing.  He is good looking with muscled body, soft face, cheeky smile, but this lame film was not the right launch for anyone, and certainly not for a guy who wants to be a six-packed, parkour- trained action hero.  He only gets to fight sideys, not even a proper, shirt-ripping villain.  When he is not fighting, he is mooning over a girl he has just seen once—and no, she is not that gorgeous.

Anyway, to begin with the film establishes a “Jatland” where khaps rule, and the punishment for eloping with a lover, and tarnishing the family’s honour is death.  The Chaudhary’s older daughter Renu (Sandeepa Dhar) runs away on her wedding day. The Chaudhary’s several ferocious relatives and henchmen (who look like they strolled over from an Anurag Kashyap film) have to find her, and they pick up the boyfriend’s college buddies to thrash and question—which includes Bablu (Tiger Shroff). This Bablu (seriously?) has no real name, and a vague one-sentence backstory of chronic rebelliousness. He is, a ‘hero type’ and every time someone accuses him of ‘heropanti’ he says, “Kya karoon, sabkl aati nahin, meri jaati nahin.”  Nobody thought to change this giggle-worthy dialogue, which means Tiger Shroff has nasty twitter posts and memes coming his way.

Bablu and his dumb buddies don’t escape because he has fallen in love with the Chaudhary’s younger daughter Dimpy (Kriti Sanon—cast for her slim waist, obviously); in the first half of the film, he has conversations with her “patli kamar” seen through the bars of a basement window—never mind that when they were pushed into a dark cell, it wasn’t underground. And plenty of dream sequence songs, because Shroff Junior can dance too.

In the second half the whole of Jatland goes to Delhi to search for Renu—along with Bablu and Gang. Also, Dimpy can’t be left behind in case she runs away too, so she has to be taken along.  They move from temple to court to guest houses (as if the eloping couple could not have left town—the idiots, didn’t, that’s another issue).  None of the boys thinks of walking off and going home, if not informing the cops. Whoever heard of voluntary prisoners!

After giving Dimpy lessons in standing up for herself and following her dream (to be Miss Haryana, sigh!) Bablu listens to Chaudhary’s rants about izzat and why recalcitrant daughters should be cut to pieces, and decides Dimpy should be left to her own fate—that is to marry a  particularly nasty guy from the Jat gang. If anybody is thinking DDLJ, they are right.  Tiger Shroff needs another film to prove his talent—maybe he should pick up all the films Ranbir Kapoor drops.


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