Bhavesh Joshi Superhero movie review: Harshvardhan Kapoor is sincere, film is intriguing
Bhavesh Joshi Superhero
Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Priyanshu Painyuli, Nishikant Kamat
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Be it Krrish or A Flying Jatt, a strong sense of personal loss has never been the hallmark of the Hindi superhero films. They never came out of the shadow of their western counterparts. Their villains were caricatures and their crusades were designed to mostly impress children, their core viewers. On that account, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is indeed the right step in terms of a mature presentation and setting the agenda right.
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Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is darker than any other Hindi superhero film you have seen. It’s earnest and deals with the idea of vigilante justice in its raw form. The transformation of a common person into a warrior has been captured with sincerity. You root for Bhavesh Joshi while watching him from a distance. He hasn’t done anything substantial yet to impact your life, but he appears genuinely concerned.
What begins as a discussion about DC being better than Marvel turns into a personal challenge for three Mumbai friends. Bhavesh Joshi (Priyanshu Painyuli) and Sikander Khanna (Harshvardhan Kapoor) believe that the struggle for a better society starts with them. Their own conducts should be honest at any cost. Rajat (Ashish Verma) is a neutral spectator whose sympathies are with the other two. In a way, he represents the audiences and it is apt that he plays an aspiring graphic novel writer in the film.
Bhavesh and Sikander launch Insaaf TV, a digital platform, where they put up their anti-corruption videos. These videos are mostly about stopping people from urinating on the road or cutting the trees until they encounter a powerful water mafia.
This changes their lives and makes them understand the futility -- and the need -- of their war and its methods. Now is the time to take a leap of faith, but will they be able to do it?
The director, Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan, Lootera, Trapped), has used a politically charged and unstable time as the backdrop of Bhavesh Joshi Superhero. He understands the importance of independent social media and the emergence of responsible youth. More than the roads, this fight takes place on the internet. First, it awakens the conscience of the viewers and then it compels them to take a stand in the real world.
Actually, this is where it becomes an Indian superhero film. The sense of community and the welfare of the local people is high on its priority. The world can be saved later.
It talks about small things like jumping the red light or bribing for the passport. Thankfully, it doesn’t decide to deliver long sermons and conveys its ideas through everyday conversations. Probably Motwane wants to put the onus on the common people for all their miseries and its solutions.
Things escalate quickly in order to provide pace to the screenplay. This unsettles the actors initially. They don’t find the right emotional trajectory, but Motwane manages it with some well choreographed action scenes. Assisted by a thrilling background score and gliding camera, you want to whistle for the Insaaf-Man when he appears for the first time.
Unfortunately, he gets back to his cocoon just when you wanted him to go full throttle. This might have made him look human, but it stops the natural progression of a vigilante hero.
Then there are characters that appear more comic than menacing. They don’t help much in making the steely resolve of Bhavesh Joshi visible. Harshvardhan’s perplexed expressions add to the confusion.
The one thing which works in Harshvardhan’s favour is the thought of not giving him any weapons or gadgets. His casual attitude establishes his immediate connect with the audience. His limitations are projected as his strengths, but that works both ways. Harshvardhan generates more sympathy than empathy.
Also, the film stretches for no apparent reason. A shorter version could have been a better prelude to more films in the franchise. The over-the-top villainy further dampens the spirit of a realistic superhero film.
But all said and done, Motwane breaks into new territories with his innovative take on superhero films. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero has its heart in the right place and its tone is totally indigenous. Harshvardhan Kapoor has come up with an honest performance. At 155-minute, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero has a lot to offer.
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