Sunday, November 7, 2010

No action replay, please.

The emptiness, fluffiness, unbelievable-ness and thoughtless-ness with which a movie can be made becomes visible to the audience. You cannot hide it. Even the lightest and most humorous of movies need solid gravity to succeed. They need at least one solid anchor to pull them off!

Unfortunately, if the quality of the movie "Action Replayy" is anything to go by, I would request the director Vipul Shah that "No action replay now, please!"

This movie has seriously dented the image (at least in my mind) of the much-applauded director. And in this fiasco of a wannabe blockbuster, the biggest losers are those who are actually not at fault - the actors. And the audience!

One enters the movie theatre with high expectations as the promos seen on TV are excellent, the cast is solid, and the director is a proven one. Yet, one of life's surprises is sprung when we find that even all these do not add up together the way they should.

First, the hapless cast!
Akshay Kumar - the great Akshay Kumar - Wasted totally!
Aishwarya Rai - the most beautiful Ash - Wasted!
Om Puri - one of the most versatile - Wasted totally!
Kirron Kher - proven with Om Shaanti Om - Wasted!
Neha Dhupia - a reasonably good artist - Why used at all?
Ranvijay Singh - a good actor used as a villain - Not used enough
Rajpal Yadav - an excellent artist - Used well
Aditya Roy Kapoor - used very well but sadly the movie fails him

I was completely, totally disappointed with the director as such a fantastic lineup of actors can fail only if the following 3 things fail together
  • The director's overall vision for the film
  • The tight storyline that should grip the viewer throughout
  • Real, solid humour and punches that are not affected or artificially induced
I think Vipul Shah was desperate to get a hit. In that desperation he got several good individual elements together, but then even the best chef cannot produce the best cake in the world with the best ingredients until and unless they are cooked in a fixed, firm and clear order. That's what's missing completely in this movie.

My great moments of frustration with this movie
  1. The director should always remember that a movie of such a theme will be loved primarily not for its 1970s images and the science-of-time-travel, but for genuine moments of happiness and laughter it can induce. The failure of "Action Replayy" is very fundamental - it fails to make us laugh. And that's a big failure.
  2. I am very sad that my favourite - and the indisputably amazing - Akki was totally wasted in the movie. The amount of time devoted to depict him as a buffoon should have been balanced adequately by the display of his macho-man style, aggression, solid sense of humour and positive persona. The balance was badly skewed. It does not work this way with Akki's audience, Mr Director! Even the senior Akshay (Bunty's father) was shown horribly aged, wrinkled and sullen.
  3. Ash is beautiful, as ever. But her age is now showing. And her tomboy role was slightly artificial (which somehow was explained away by the sad story of her father's passing away etc. etc.) But no... it just did not work the way it was supposed to!
  4. The sartorial perfection to depict the 1970s created a wonderful support for the movie to build itself on, but there was nothing firm at all. The whole story was, well, just not executed with a firm hand that's so needed in such movies, and is so possible with actors of this class and calibre.
  5. The punches of Om Puri and Kirron Kher are completely artificial and totally unbelievable. {Even if you want to laugh for the sake of the atrociously priced Rs 170 ticket per person, you are unable to.} The relationship shown is absolutely stupid. No woman living in a rented home will hijack the landlord's car to her workplace everyday. It's simply unbelievable! Well, I agree that humour arises from things unbelievable but this was not even humorous.
  6. The placement of the very funny "Zor ka jhatka" song is wrong. It's atrociously placed right in the beginning of the movie, when neither it has picked up steam nor enthusiasm. The whole song (a wonderful song) is thrown down the gutter. In my opinion, the song should have been placed either right before the "Madhyaantar" or after it. By the way, smart of them to use the word "Madhyaantar"!
    (I would recommend everyone to watch this song on YouTube for sure.. it's hilarous - here's the link
  7. Sadly, in the end, when everything is sorted out in the movie, and the couple are happy-happy, and the young Bunty too has agreed to marry happily, we have the same "Zor ka jhatka" in the closing credits.. and that's completely incongruous at that point. It creates a mental confusion.
  8. Why does Aditya's (Bunty's) hairstyle keep changing again and again throughout the movie? It's a distraction, and a killer of continuity. Bad idea. Similarly, it is unbelievable to see how Bunty is able to make friends with anyone he wants to, in a flash (no mother in the 1970s will accept a young boy with her daughter in her kitchen, late in the evening, especially when the young boy has just entered the plot!). I think some college scenes and background developed around that could have saved the movie's plot from going totally "base-less".
  9. Why was Neha Dhupia in the movie? If anyone finds an answer, email me please.
  10. Credit must be given where it's due. Full marks to Vipul Shah for keeping the movie almost free of double-entendres and expletives (unlike the Golmaal series which is full of words that can put you to shame if watching with family - and the director Rohit Shetty can be heard reprimanding artists on the sets of Comedy Circus (where he's a judge) for similar racy usage.. talk of hypocrisy in Bollywood!).
  11. Unfortunately for Pritam, his good work will not shine as much as it should due to the movie's performance. In film music, it's like the Union Cabinet - they swim together, or they sink together (at least that's what they taught us in Civics theory, though that's hardly what we see nowadays despite the biggest of scams!).
  12. The only two things that audience are likely to remember - "Awaaz Neeche" (a great Akshay-brand dialogue, which also fails to sustain the movie), and Raghubir Yadav's "Saara kaam main hi kyon karoon?" And the only move worth remembering is the "Zor ka jhatka" hand+torso jerk. That's cool!
This movie may hit Akshay's image as a successful versatile actor.

Since I am upset with the movie itself, there's no time I am wasting writing about the scientist, his charming grand-daughter (why is she in the movie at all?) and the entire science fiction trick borrowed from the famous "Back to the future" series.

Overall, a horrible experience to see a lot of effort go waste. The same movie could have been a blockbuster if executed properly. My nice Saturday evening with full family was wasted. Boo hoo hoo :-(

Better luck next time Vipulbhai. I guess it was just your awfully bad luck.

My rating for the movie (on a 5 star scale)  * *
My rating for how much Akki + Ash were actually used (on a 100 point potential scale)  25


Munish Sharma said...

Dear Sir, I have plans to watch this movie out tomorrow with my friends. But now I am obliged to give it a second thought. Disappointed with Akki's last movie, I was expecting a blast this Diwali from his side. Alas, the jinx continues. And I was just hurt to read that Aishwarya'a age is now showing. I have grown up admiring her and being mesmerized by her beauty. Can't bear that pain, actually.
Another wonderful movie review Sir. I will have to summon up enough courage to still go and watch this movie.

Yours sincerely

Test said...

To each, his own, dear Munish!

ha ha ha.. please feel free to watch the movie. After all, pain and tragedy make life complete.

Shoaib Qureshi said...

Dear Sir,

It was great to read your review on so many aspects of the movie. I enjoyed reading the blog just as much as I enjoy reading Mr. Rajeev Masand's reviews on IBNLive. Since Munish is not taking me with him & with Mr. Masand & you giving bad reviews about the movie, I will probably skip this one. :-)

Shoaib Qureshi

Nupur said...

I absolutely agree on the points 6,7 and 8.

I too was let down by the movie because the high hopes that the trailers induced in my mind :|

I feel the same for Akshay !!! But then this is Bollywood and these people will pick up the rhythm yet again and give us a hit somewhere down the line,may be :)

We can hope :)

Unknown said...

sir pls right something about Obama and american policy

Unknown said...

sir pls right something about Obama and american policy

प्रेम सरोवर said...

Very interesting post,Good Morning Please post your comment on my blog. THanks.

Test said...

Some of the Facebook comments on this blogpost are produced below -

Mayank Bhalodia - Action Replayy is the biggest Load.... Its the Copy of "Back to the Future", Directed by Robert Zemeckis (1985)

Shivansh Mishra - seriously sir boring movie

Rajneesh Jain - you did a good job in reviewing in your style. nice work. i have read 'masand ki pasand ' on friday, he was also in your line but not so harsh. an honest review must be like this one. i have seen 'back to the futre ' and had doubt ever since i heard the vipul shah's venture to make a desi version of tiology. well ..congrates and sorry for the money you wasted.

Vaibhav Puranik - Movie review from you!?!?! Now that's what I could call versatile. Anyhing with Akshay Kumar in it, I stAy away from.

Thanks everyone for commenting!

Harpal singh said...

wowwww.......very interesting post, a fantastic all round review sir.

i enjoy same as reading "jayprakash chokse" article.totally agree with ur post,one very interesting concept got wasted for bollywood.

Harpal singh