An Action Hero Hindi Movie
Anirudh Iyer's "An Action Hero" is an action-comedy film that argues that nearly everything in showbiz is a case of make-believe. People's perception of a movie star has a lot to do with what the media feeds to them. Media people change their stance on stars for the highest possible ratings. If there is an accusation related to a star, media people present things to the public depending mainly on what's trending at the time.
Director Anirudh and writer Neeraj Yadav convey these high-concept ideas through a high-octane action film with plenty of hilarity. If you fail to understand the nuances in the screenplay, you may view An Action Star as a straightforward revenge thriller. Ayushmann Khurrana plays Maanav, an egotistical action hero. When in Haryana for a shoot, Maanav does something accidental that earns him the enmity of local politician Bhoora Solanki (Jaideep Ahlawat). Maanav flies to London to evade the legal consequences, but Bhoora follows him all the way.
In a realistic film, Bhoora would beat Maanav to a pulp, but this is a fantastical film where the hero on screen becomes a hero off it. There is a fair portion in the second half where you wonder whether the makers are stretching a thin idea, but they perk things up with clever twists and headier concepts.
What's most interesting is how the makers involve crime boss Mehamod Ibrahim in the plot. Ibrahim and Maanav cross paths for an interesting reason, which further justifies the presence of the former in the movie. Therefore, what seems an eye-for-an-eye sort of revenge thriller becomes a game of inflated egos and one-upmanship. Bhoora wants to kill Maanav mainly because he has to uphold his baddie reputation back home. At the same time, Ibrahim wants to use Maanav to satisfy his ego and teach the star a lesson.
There is also a lovely meta touch conveying that everyone, including a raging killer and a dangerous crime boss, is part of the hero's audience. What conveys this subtly is a scene where a fuming Bhoora gets to see Maanav's film on his flight to London.
Even if you view An Action Hero as a pure action film, there is a lot to admire in it. A foot chase with Maanav making his way up to the top of an under-construction building to evade cops, is exciting as it comes amid a plot-changing sequence. Adding to all this razzmatazz is the rat-a-tat dialogue from Neeraj.
If you are to nitpick, you can make some minor reservations with the treatment of the material. The scenes involving a media person, inspired by journalist Arnab Goswami's show Nation Wants to Know, become a bit of a stretch sometimes. An untimely song does not add the same value to the material as all the plotting and dialogues do.
However, performance-wise, An Action Hero is just wonderful. As Bhoora, Jaideep Ahlawat kills even the most random people with the kind of callousness that makes it seem a mundane act for him. Ayushmann Khurrana handles the different layers of his character quite well, and he does not hesitate to ham it up a bit where necessary. Jitender Hooda is a hoot as a police officer, and Akshay Kumar excels in a cameo role like only he can!
The movie also has just about the perfect run time of 130 minutes as well.
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