Direction: Sabbir Khan
Actors: Prakash Raj, Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon
Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon in a romantic scene from Heropanti.
Heropanti is designed to do exactly one thing — make us like Tiger Shroff, and that it does exceedingly well.
The film is a showcase for Tiger’s talents; he is an incredible acrobat who does backflips in dance sequences and effortlessly leaps off walls in action scenes. He is a smooth dancer.
His body seems chiselled out of granite — director Sabbir Khan makes sure Tiger drops his shirt often, so that we have ample time to ponder his abs. In places, the dialogue delivery is off and his startling pink lips are a tad awkward. But he has a very solid screen presence. Can Tiger act? I don’t know. Is he a star? Absolutely.
The rest of this film, however, is comically bad. A remake of 2008 Telugu film Parugu, Heropanti is purposefully loud masala. The screechy pitch is accentuated by ear-shattering background music.
This love story set against a feudal Haryanvi backdrop has no room for subtlety, irony or even a quiet moment.
The disjointed narrative brims with low-IQ high-testosterone men brandishing weapons. The women are puppets who either simper or scream. At one point, Tiger (playing Bablu) instigates the girl he loves, Dimpy (played by Kriti Sanon) to make her own choices.
Which is great, only here empowerment is translated as a night out in a mini-skirt, dancing and drinking. There are a few melodious but clumsily placed songs. As for dialogue, here’s a sampler: One of the many villains, this one about to marry Dimpy, tells Bablu: “Yahan pe hoga tera the end aur wahan pe main karunga uski opening ceremony.” But above all, Tiger stands tall. He earns Heropanti two stars. I am eager to see what he does next.