“Leveraging his ability to withstand pain, a young man trains to follow in the footsteps of his martial-arts hero in this high-action, meta comedy.” It is an action comedy and a good one at that, but not exactly as the description says through “high-action, meta comedy”.
The characters include the protagonist – Surya (young: Sartaaj Kakkar, adult: Abhimanyu Dasani) – who is born with congenital insensitivity to pain, his childhood friend / love – Supri (young: Riva Arora, adult: Radhika Madan), his grandfather (Mahesh Manjrekar), his father (Jimit Trivedi), Karate Mani, and Mani’s twin brother and the villain of the story – Jimmy. Performance of the cast is noteworthy and Gulshan Devaiah, playing Mani and Jimmy, steals the show.
The references to classic (especially action) movies, the self-aware breaking of fourth wall (especially when after a scene, Surya explains it’s too much and we are shown that something else is happening), the background music “from the good-old days” injected skilfully and more, result in absurd yet effective comedy. The beautifully choreographed fight scenes add on to the appeal by way of believable and enjoyable action sequences. The movie is certainly packed with elements that would satisfy your need for some action and make you laugh at the same time. It does not suffer from the lack of certain pieces, rather from the crowded packaging of the existing elements, some of which seem unfitting and even unnecessary at times.
Two examples of the crowded elements would be the overuse of slow motion in action sequences which could have been enjoyed even more without the slow motion, and the side-stories that do not strengthen the main plot of the movie. But then again, the main story of the movie is not strong itself. It does not shed light on the domestic oppression of women through Supri’s storyline; doesn’t say how serious of an issue it is, and doesn’t make use of it as a comical element through dark humour directed at the nonsensical nature of it either. It simply glances. We do not see the effects of isolation (to some extent) for years growing up on Surya, apart from him seeming like a man-child at times. Surya and Supri’s chemistry could have been presented in a more wholesome manner as well. Some may also add Surya’s hatred towards chain-snatchers not being rooted to the list here, but I believe that it is part of the satirical tone. Then, perhaps, so is the overused slow-motion!
This is a movie depending not on the story to appeal to the viewers, but on being a homage to the classics, the satire of absurdities & clichés – both of others and of itself – for humour and the action based on martial arts. It is a “fun to watch” movie that I’d recommend for when you want some light-hearted action-comedy to relax.