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Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019

Hero review: Sooraj, Athiya don't impress in this bad remake

The attempt to launch star kids Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty as the newest Bollywood stars falls by the wayside as director Nikhil Advani fails to recreate the magic of Subhas Ghai's Hero. This '90s plot just doesn't work today.

movie-reviews Updated: Sep 13, 2015 22:03 IST
Rohit Vats
Rohit Vats
Hindustan Times
Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty in Hero trailer
Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty in Hero trailer( )

Film: Hero
Cast: Sooraj Pancholi, Athiya Shetty, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aditya Pancholi, Sharad Kelkar, Chetan Hansraj
Director: Nikhil Advani
Rating: 1.5/5

Radha: Jo pyaar karte hain wo darte nahin. Jo darte hain wo pyaar karte nahin.
IG Mathur: Beta, itna zaleel karne ki kya zaroorat thi!

Director Nikhil Advani's Hero revives the famous dialogue from Subhash Ghai's Hero (1983) at a crucial juncture in the film and IG Shrikant Mathur (Tigmanshu Dhulia) responds to it in the next shot. The expression on Dhulia's face immediately reminds us of his iconic Gangs Of Wasseypur dialogue, "Beta humko tumhare lachchan theek nahi lag rahe hain. Tum se na ho payega." And, you, in all probability, would agree with him.

After a carefully planned media campaign, Sooraj Pancholi (Sooraj Kaushik) and Athiya Shetty (Radha Mathur) are finally here, in a story that's still stuck in the '90s. Radha is your regular Hindi film heroine who doesn't care for the repercussions of her actions because her father is the Inspector General of Police in Mumbai. Such a heroine creates the scope for a 'hero' who will tame, test and love her, in that order. Isn't this what Hindi film writers have been doing for years?

Hero is all Salman Khan: Nikhil Advani on Sooraj Pancholi film

So, the two meet, sparks fly, songs happen and now the father of the girl is after the boy's life. Of course, they have eloped by now. But, the poor guy's problems just don't end here. Sooraj's godfather and jailed politician Pasha (Aditya Pancholi) has sworn to track the lovebirds down without knowing that our man has already earned more enemies than the expressions on his face. It turns into a multi-cornered battle from here on and the audience soon stops caring for any of the involved parties.

It's a film that has been made to establish Sooraj Pancholi as the quintessential Bollywood hero. See how he makes his 'grand' entry: As usual somebody says, "Sooraj ko pata chalega toh teri khair nahi." Cut to a heavily-tattooed Sooraj Pancholi (the most prominent being the one bearing his own name) doing push-ups. By then everybody has anticipated the next scene. But, no, there has to be a dialogue. Thus an 'about to be beaten' Chetan Hansraj says, "Hero ki tarah entry maarta hai, apne aap ko hero samajhta hai kya?" Such untimely ironies, I tell you. And this guy had to meet a girl with a 'pouty selfie' obsession, no?

Salman Khan: The godfather of Sooraj Pancholi and more

Radha likes to party at off-market places. How else would she get to know the 'dance ka legend' who would set her free from her misery (read current boyfriend)? And don't sneer when she says thanks and he covers her with his jacket. She is his girl now. Wait, did I hear clichés? Come on, that's a Bollywood tradition. Every filmmaker has to follow these norms.

You remember those '90s flicks where actors such as Ajay Devgn and Suniel Shetty created a 'macho' image by ignoring the heroine's advances. Recall how they always put forward their 'crafted' uneasiness about the class difference. Nikhil Advani has re-packaged the same ingredients in Sooraj Kaushik's love story: Ameer ladki, sadak-chaap ladka, ladki ka villain baap, ladke ka self-righteousness and kahani me ek unwanted twist.

Here's a prominent politician whose lawyer talks so loud about their criminal conspiracy inside the prison that even people from other jails could give their testimonies against them. But then who cares about such petty things when we have to deal with bigger issues like working out semi-naked in snow and dodging bullets on a bike. Yes, the IG is at the loggerheads with Pasha, but nobody in this film has any regard for logic. Otherwise the constables would have informed the IG about Pasha's plans. See another example: A group of commandos with best of weapons have surrounded the couple on a bike. A helicopter is also trailing them. Radha's brother IPS Dheeraj Mathur (Sharad Kelkar) is commanding this operation, but she is still under the impression that these people can harm her and, thus, she decides to tag along with her kidnapper. And you thought we wouldn't make any film on the Stockholm syndrome after Highway!

Watch: Sooraj, Athiya in Hero trailer

Though I am trying my best to reveal only what has been shown in the trailers, here's a spoiler alert. IG Mathur's daughter confesses her love for a goon in the court and Mathur looks bewildered. So, you guys don't talk at home, especially before appearing in the court. But then why do you keep staring at the 'my daddy strongest' drawing? And what happened to the doting father of the previous scene?

Whenever the director is not busy with showing Pancholi junior's rippling muscles, he is cracking 'darling you're right, but I want your body tight' kind of jokes. Let's not go into the details. This won't fetch us anything. The bad guys kill four-five insignificant people, but give the protagonists enough screen time to recover from their grief. Why are they so considerate when they keep shouting 'jaldi karo'? But, these things are insignificant in front of a surreal scene when Sooraj Pancholi does a Mithun Chakraborty. You'll have to watch it to believe it.

Now, you have one more reason to watch Hero.

From Anita Hassanandani's over enthusiastic 'bhabhi' to Suresh Menon's 'BBM', Hero features many shallow characters. Radha and Sooraj are no exceptions.

Aditya Pancholi has a dialogue in the film which goes like, "Khota hai par apna hai." This sums up the idea behind presenting Sooraj Pancholi as 'the' hero. Yes, I know, I said that in the beginning as well. Then who's the real hero of this 131-minute film? Salman Khan. Why? Haven't you heard his soulful number 'main hoon hero' yet?

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Read: Jackie Shroff will never watch Sooraj-Athiya's Hero for free

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First Published: Sep 11, 2015 11:03 IST