Synopsis – A boy and a girl find themselves stuck in a whirlpool of such intense love that they would do anything, go to any extent and face all odds for the one they love.
My Take – From the 1st trailer of this remake of a 1983 film, it was quite evident how this film was going to be – Melodramatic, predictable, and filled with cheesy Bollywood cliches, in other words it had ‘a Salman Khan film’ written all over it!! While the earlier released Subhash Ghai film launched Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Seshadri to stardom, it remains to be seen if this ‘Star Kids’, the son of Aditya Pancholi-Zarina Wahab & daughter of Suniel Shetty have what it requires to be leading stars in upcoming years. While the star parents themselves never capitulated to success (Suniel Shetty arguably tasted some success), Its no doubt they must be ecstatic for their kids who are backed by of one of the biggest super stars of our times Salman Khan! Frankly, I have not seen much of the original except for a couple of scenes during its re runs on TV, from what I could gather, it was a a true blue Bollywood masala entertainer. A huge trend at the time (a trend successfully followed by only Salman Khan till now), but haven’t 32 years passed already? Like did we really need a remake of that particular film! Sure the film has all the ingredients for a masala entertainer, like there is romance, comedy, action, and emotions all over the place. Unfortunately the only things which work in this film are the performances & music! Yes, the film is entertaining in bits & pieces, I have to give it to director Nikhil Advani for making an entertaining 1st half, yet the film is letdown by its problematic script post interval! Nikhil Advani’s remake produced by Ghai and Salman Khan suggests that we still can’t string together a half-decent action scene.
We’re still stuck with fathers slapping their daughters, and the recipients of those slaps forgiving the perpetrators too easily. And we still have young lovers in the heat of passion kissing each other on the eyelids. Moreover one wishes the 2nd half didn’t drag as much, and whats with a new villain added at the end for no effect? The film does work as a masala entertainer but only if you are into that kind of films. The story follows Sooraj (Sooraj Pancholi), a hoodlum with a heart, who beats up people for a living but is generous with the money he’s paid for doing that. He meets the IG’s daughter Radha (Athiya Shetty) at a club, and does what male leads in Bollywood are supposed to: dance with her, teach her a small lesson in manners and beat up her ex. They part ways, but are thrown together when he’s sent to kidnap her, by his adopted father, a gangster named Pasha (played by Sooraj’s real-life father, Aditya Pancholi). Though Sooraj initially convinces Radha that he’s a police escort send for her safety as there’s a threat to her life, she eventually finds out what he does. But they’re in love, so she decides to stick with him. However, her father (Tigmanshu Dhulia) is understandably opposed to their union. So Sooraj decides to turn himself in, just as his criminal mentor and father figure Pasha escapes the police’s clutches. Things get really weird thereafter. Sooraj goes to prison, Radha to Paris. Her supportive cop brother Dheeraj (Sharad Kelkar) invents a fiance – his college junior Ranvijay Shekhawatat (Vivan Bhatena) to appease their father & buy Radha and Sooraj some time. Unfortunately Dheeraj’s wife (Anita Hassanandani) finds Ranvijay & brings him home, without knowing the fact he is a criminal himself in debt with Pasha, & is willing to to do anything to get rid of the debt. As expected, Pasha employs him to kill Sooraj, who has been released from jail and has opened a gym, and so on. Despite the decent engagement, It’s unlikely anyone in this day and age could have made a totally convincing film with material like this, but the film is dragged down further by pedestrian writing and patchy direction. The film has a fair first-hour, but a boring second. Advani & Umesh Bist‘s Adapted Screenplay doesn’t engage. While the story begins with a slight pinch of energy, the second-hour is devoid of any entertainment whatsoever! Ghai may no longer be relevant to today’s film-making scene, but there was one thing he was undeniably good at—spotting talent in young actors and taking a chance on them. It’s what made the original and so many of his other films exciting for audiences at the time. Salman Khan is playing that role now days (arguably). Yes, I think the debutantes were quite awesome! Sooraj Pancholi & Athiya Shetty deliver confidently in their debut performances.
Sooraj’s a good dancer, is soulful and has a fairly handy way with dialogue, his action scenes, his raw intensity, were first rate. With right director he is sure to do wonders. Athiya proves she is not only beautiful, but can act well too! Athiya emotes naturally in the emotional bits. She is the more consistent of the two, though. Tigmanshu Dhulia looks unkempt, & totally miscast. His acting is remarkably stilted and, sometimes, almost wooden. Aditiya Pancholi is alright. While the supporting cast is likable, the antagonists Vivan Bhaten & Chetan Hansraj are annoying. Director Nikhil Advani seems to have kept an occasional tight control on his actors, but otherwise makes zilch effort to be a cut above the routine violent love stories we have seen in the last 15 years. His songs are badly placed (and edited), confused accounts of part lip-sync, ridiculous in their concepts, a sad thing as the music is actually quite awesome. On the whole, ‘Hero‘ may seem like a perfect launch pad but is let down by a ‘been there done that’ kind of lazy script. Despite a huge productions, terrific music & two debutantes who ooze commitment, director Nikhil Advani (D-Day, Delhi Safari, Patiala House, Chandni Chowk to China, Salaam-E-Ishq, Kal Ho Naa Ho & next week’s Katti Batti) fails to deliver. Advani‘s Direction is below the mark. A lazy remake, that stands on a faulty script. The film doesn’t emerge a winner & that’s all because of the weak writing! If you are into typical masala love story or a die hard Salman Khan fan, give this film a watch to support the newcomers, otherwise just watch it when it makes its world television premiere.
Director – Nikhil Advani
Rated – U
Run Time – 145 minutes