Yahoo Movies Review: Heropanti

Rummana Ahmed

Cast: Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon, Prakash Raj

Direction: Sabbir Khan

Rating: **

Sabbir Khan’s ‘Heropanti’ has the most obsolete and predictable premise possible in the history of Bollywood masala filmmaking. Yes, we are used to a staple diet of typical “formula” films but this one reeks of lazy storytelling – clichéd plot, borrowed ideas and shoddy execution. Tiger Shroff’s lacklustre debut adds no spark to the sinking narrative.

A bride goes missing on her wedding day, refusing to be forcefully married to a man she doesn’t love. The father (Prakash Raj) and other trigger-happy uncles are ready to hunt down the absconding couple to restore honour in the Jat family. They quickly kidnap the boy’s friend who they think has helped the two elope. Most of the first half of the film is spent beating up the three boys including our hero Bablu (Tiger Shroff). How can you take a guy who is called Bablu seriously?

I guess, it was intended that Tiger Shroff would make a debut much like Hrithik Roshan – a story crafted to show of his stunts/gymnastics, his fluidity in dancing and his well-sculpted abs. And yes, he does all of that, bending like Keanu Reeves in Matrix-style action sequences and grooving nimbly to Ganesh Acharya, Ahmed Khan and Raju Khan’s choreography – but as an actor, there is just no connect between his actions and his words. He is yet another addition to our band of actors who have a total of one-and-a-half expressions.

It doesn’t help that it is almost impossible to rise above a plot that is reminiscent of a 1970s’ potboiler (not one of the better ones). Peppered with stereotypes – our saree-clad heroine singing against the backdrop of snowcapped mountains, our hero stepping in at the right time to stop a rape, an unnecessary fight scene like the one in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ where our hero takes a beating for no apparent reason…I was exhausted by the interval.

There’s ample show of Kriti Sanon’s well-toned midriff but that’s about it, like most of the films from the 1970s, the women in this film are incapable of making any decision, they need their knight in shining armour to bail them out of their misery.

I had thought that the father-daughter bond and how the dynamics between them played out would provide some reprieve but even that goes down a predictable path.

‘Heropanti’ was a tedious watch. For a film that had nothing new to offer, it was much too long for a patient viewing.

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