WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you recall, romantic movies during the ’90s used to showcase these classic elements: a dramatic entry of the hero with a kickass action sequence, followed by the entry of the heroine (who becomes a damsel in distress) with her bimbotic clique, hero saves the heroine from the bad guys and thereafter she’s in love with him. This is basically what happens in this modern remake of Subhash Ghai‘s 1983 film Hero.
Sooraj (Sooraj Pancholi) is a big built, kind-hearted man who fights for those who have been wronged. He is also related to Pasha (Aditya Pancholi) who loved his mother… as a sister, and is a murder convict who wants to harm Inspector General Mathur (Tigmanshu Dhulia) because that’s what you do to the man who puts you in jail for a crime you’ve committed.
Pasha asks Sooraj to kidnap Mathur’s daughter Radha (Athiya Shetty) and take her far away till February 18th. Coincidentally, Sooraj had met Radha at a club the night before, showed his dancing prowess, and saved her from her crazy ex-boyfriend. And being the over smart woman that she is, she agrees to go with Sooraj and his friends who disguise themselves as policemen, sent by her doting father to save her from some bad people after she correlates the bar fight with his chances of being a policeman *catches some breath*. Yes, it’s a long story cut short by poor editing. So yeah, thus begins their love story:
Well, the rest is as predictable as it can get. No thrills, no chills. Pancholi Jr. looks like a dodo (exactly because they’re extinct) when he shares screen space with actors like Dhulia, Pancholi Sr. and even Vivaan Bhatena. Athiya should be thankful for Sooraj because he makes her acting skills look polished AF! Sorry, but #toughlove.
Everything is old school except the locations, use of cell phones and the lead heroine’s outfits – UNTIL, mind you, until she is parted from her man. Because then she has to look like an abla naari, and you can only look that part when you’re in a salwar kurta, sans jewelry and makeup. In order to watch her Hero come alive after a mishap, she promises God that she will be a good person and give up “bad habits” like eating meat (because bad things are banned in India #meatban).
This movie is what happens when you confuse the namak with cheeni – hence Hum Aapke Hain Koun‘s gaajar ka halwa. Despite the namak, the only time the movie managed to touch the core of my being (during the two and a half hours) was when Radha’s brother asked her if she would write a “suicide note” if she didn’t get Sooraj. Like, okay!
Each time I watch a Nikhil Advani movie, I’m forced to keep in mind that he is the same guy who made Kal Ho Na Ho and D-Day. Dhulia plays his role of a reputed police officer effortlessly; Aditya is an aged character continuation of himself in Yes Boss; Sharad Kelkar and Anita Hassanandani are impressive in their respective Bhaiya-Bhabhi roles. It’s the supporting cast that makes the movie bearable.
Here’s just a special and obligatory line for the Salman Khan fans. He finally appears on the screen and puts an end to the torture (and the careers) that he invested in!