Bhavesh Joshi Super Hero Hindi Movie Review
Is Bhavesh Joshi trying to be like Kick-Ass the movie? Is he meant to be the superhero every young person wants to be or is he a spin off of 'the angry young man against the world' Amitabh Bachchan movies we loved in the 70s?
From saving trees from being chopped off to discovering how politicians are siphoning off the city's water supplies to resell the water for a price, a young out of work Bhavesh Joshi and his paper-bag mask reach everywhere. Priyanshu Painyuli who plays Bhavesh Joshi is such a wonderful find. He's a fine actor and looks the part of a young lad, intense about doing the right thing. Anyone who grew up reading Indrajal comics will tell you about homegrown heroes like Bahadur. Of course the film has clever lines like, 'We're DC not Marvel. We're cooler.' Harshvardhan Kapoor is the quintessential 'Engineer who hates the cubicle coding life who is happy to leave to go to America because nothing can go right here' lad. He sits at their favourite pub making 'how we protest marched' into a pick-up line. Ashish Verma plays Rajat, the third friend who is the voice of reason, the nerd who writes 'graphic novel' about Insaaf-Man. The backstory of how the friends met is good fun. And you think the movie is going to be good.
You want to understand why the film suddenly borrows from all kinds of shows and movies and becomes generic underdog superhero: the need to learn martial arts from a 'Chinese' person, the need to add Fast and Furious style nitrous oxide (chop shops in Bombay would facepalm at that because they'd add Liqui Moly Speed Tec Benzene is legal and cheaper), the need to use a video camera (what is this, the 80s?) instead of smartphones that upload videos directly because it was so cool in movies like Son of Rambow.
What made me sigh into my coffee was the Korean style fights where baddies just keep coming at the hero their weapons raised, and then you realise you need to sigh many more times because the filmmakers have chipped away at the magic trying to make a superhero movie. Without giving away the plot, let me ask you computer engineers out there. How do you suddenly know how to repaint motorbikes? Drive one (when he drives a car mostly)? How can you re-jig the motorbike? How is it that the office in Atlanta doesn't care if the team lead has not reported and connect with the Bombay boss? And why does he do a Peter Parker staring at Mary Jane?
Harshvardhan Kapoor is boring. And his petulant, 'Teach me!' is hysterical. Thankfully you are distracted by the underrated talent of Nishikant Kamat (His ears are spectacularly cinematic too.). He makes a great villain. It's just that when people are already in power, they don't need such a scheme that involves so much Semtex to get contracts issued in their favor. You realise you have blown off everything in the coffee cup with your sighs.
The film is too long (155 minutes) to get to this point. There are some good parts (the idea that Bhavesh Joshi is out there) and many pathetic ones. It cancels out what could have been a great straight to Netflix or Amazon show.