True Review

True Review: Bang Bang!

True Review: Bang Bang!

by Niharika Puri October 2 2014, 7:13 pm Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins, 10 secs

Director: Siddharth Anand

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Danny Denzongpa, Pawan Malhotra, Jaaved Jaffrey

Rating: 2 stars

The official Knight and Day remake hits the screens on Gandhi Jayanti with a bang. Unfortunately, instead of soaring in gravity-defying highs like the leading man, the Bang you hear is of an ambitious venture crashing into infantile territory, whilst taking the audience’s expectations with it. What must have sparked the reclusive/exclusive Hrithik Roshan to take on a film that could not even have looked good on paper?

While certain set pieces are retained from the original film, the rest of the plot is ‘chutneyfied’ to throw in a bit of family melodrama where the Kohinoor diamond replaces the Zephyr as the MacGuffin (aka the object of pursuit). Here, Hrithik Roshan’s Rajveer is a dashing, daring diamond thief, sweeping up to nick the gem which is coveted by villain and pizza lover, Omar Zafar (Danny Denzongpa). Rajveer makes his entry walking down a rain-slicked street, bouncing the diamond in his hand as if it were a nickel.

To show how cautious he is, the aforementioned stone is kept hidden inside what looks like a monochromatic Rubik’s Cube, which Rajveer proudly displays during a very public exchange of diamond-for-cash at a dhaba in Shimla.

When the deal goes sour, Rajveer leaps over rooftops, which draws little attention from local residents (perhaps accustomed to the sound of hefty monkeys thundering up corrugated roofs daily). By the time the chase ensues, heroine Harleen Sahni (Katrina Kaif) has been introduced as the woefully single bank receptionist, living with a grandmother who knows no boundaries. Harleen cannot take a quiet shower without having ‘Dadi’ walk into the bathroom for a little chit-chat (was bolting the door not an option?). For some reason, the elderly lady seems mighty pleased that someone has stolen the Kohinoor.

Since a lonesome Harleen and a reckless Rajveer have been established, you can be assured that they meet a few scenes down. Unfortunately, the meet-cute is so dreadfully contrived that it merits a facepalm or several. First, some context: Rajveer has leapt down a sizeable number of storeys to escape the pursuing henchmen after the failed transaction. He escapes without too many scratches and a limp. Then, he hobbles down the road, sees Harleen sitting alone in a café and instead of worrying about the baddies, enters to strike a conversation with her. Insert the mandatory love song, where the hero dances like a dream, his limp forgotten. The miraculous regenerative powers can either be attributed to his love at first sight or the possibility that he is Wolverine’s distant cousin.

Boy and girl part only to meet again. This time, the hero is finally wounded (though, the recovery is effortless yet again). “Mujhe doctor ki nahi, ek kiss ki zaroorat hai,” he says to Harleen. Real classy.

After falling in love with a man who has drugged her and put her in potential danger, Harleen sings a love ditty. When the song ends, she is standing on her table at the bank and belting out the song chorus. It looks terrible. After some intense action sans witnesses (in a country where a crowd gathers in no time), the fleeing duo stop by at a popular pizza franchise’s outlet to buy pizza, squabbling in the queue.

Rajveer (to the man at the counter): “We can’t decide between thin crust and cheese crust.”
Man at counter: “Sir, try the pan pizza.”

Throw in references to a mosquito repellant brand and an aerated beverage (with the tagline), which will conclude the first half of the film. The inanities are only on the rise post-interval, where Harleen gets sillier and the stunning Ms. Kaif shriller. Unlike Knight and Day where Cameron Diaz’s hapless June toughens into a determined badass, Harleen remains a dead-weight for Rajveer, a damsel in perpetual need of rescuing. Rajveer turns up quite promptly too. Did he inject a tracking device on her when she was unconscious?

Bang Bang! was a film that appeared slick and difficult to dislike. Unfortunately, the film delivers neither on its promise of high-octane action nor on the director’s claim that the film would surpass its Hollywood counterfoil. The flyboarding and water skiing sequences feature Hrithik Roshan in top form and are the most impressive. Beyond that, the action is sleek but generic. On a positive note, the film is expensively mounted and Prague looks gorgeous.

However, it is almost painful to come away dissatisfied in a film where the leading man braved surgery and physical limitations to execute stunts without doubles. If only, if only the film had lived up to the buzz. Bang Bang! is for the Hrithik fans, who will be pleased to see him in his element. There is little to involve the rest, who would do better to watch Knight and Day instead.

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