Heropanti (2014)

heropanti

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This attempt at launching a new star is a fun and wild ride revolving around love and having the attitude of a hero and that star’s name is Tiger Shroff.

When Mr. Chaudhary, the patriarch of the most powerful family in Jat Land village, attempts to betroth his eldest daughter Renu to a man she absolutely dislikes, she reunites with her true love Rakesh, and the two escape and eventually elope. Upon hearing the news, Chaudhary flies into a rage, accusing Rakesh of misleading her and starts a search party to find her. However, he has learned three of Rakesh’s friends may know their whereabouts and decide to kidnap them.

The three friends are Karan, Chachi, and Bablu, the latter who is known for being a hero, thanks to his skills in gymnastics and martial arts. They are taken along with Kiki, a vising Jat from London. Chaudhary and his family vow to keep them there until Renu and Rakesh are found. Bablu has had dreams of a woman he saw one day and longs to find her again. Little does Bablu soon learn that the very girl he is looking for is Dimpy, the younger daughter of Chaudhary. When these two finally meet, chaos is likely to ensue and things are destined to go from bad to worse for the young hero.

This Bollywood romance-action-comedy from director Sabbir Khan is the film debut of Tiger Shroff, a second generation actor who is a martial artist, holding a 5th-degree black belt in taekwondo. Also proficient in gymnastics, this film is his attempt to launch a new Bollywood action star and it succeeds. The reason is because where in most action films, the hero sports a rugged look and tough demeanor, Shroff’s Bablu is a baby-faced, sometimes cocky, type whose only weakness is a mystery woman whom he laid eyes on and has not forgotten her.

Kriti Sanon plays the young Dimpy, who has long aspirations but is forced to stay afloat due to the power of her family, who control her every move. She comes off as aspiring, but then she comes off as arrogant when it comes to Bablu because she blames him for knowing where her sister is. However, she eventually sees him and slowly falls for him. This leads into not one, but two fantasy musical numbers that proves true love can overcome the authority.

Prakash Raj is perhaps the most conflicted of the characters as the patriarch Chaudhary, who must deal with the aftermath of his older daughter’s betrayal and perhaps, his younger daughter’s aspirations. However, it seems like while at times, he holds the power, his brothers serve as the enforcers. However, just when you thought Chaudhary may be the main villain of the film, that honor goes to Rajjo, played by Vikram Singh. The actor plays Rajjo as an arrogant bully who also pines for Dimpy and intends to marry her at all costs so he can be onboard to the powerful family. Trained in boxing, Singh’s skills truly helped especially in the final fight that puts him and Shroff all for the love of Dimpy.

Speaking of action, the film allows Shroff to shine in three action scenes in its 137-minute running time. They include his introduction action scene, a scene where he saves Dimpy at a construction site from some thugs, and his climactic fight against Singh. There are bits of slow-motion that looks to be overdone and some of Shroff’s moves look at times repetitive, but there are hints of Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins-like moves incorporated into the choreography, all in the effort to launch Shroff as a new star.

In the end, Heropanti is a worthy film debut for Tiger Shroff. The babyfaced, smart-alecky, martial arts action hero works brilliantly considering the film’s central theme and while there are only three major action set pieces, they work out quite well here and the comic relief and the romance angle are tolerable enough to make this one Bollywood movie worth checking out.

WFG RATING: B+

UTV Motion Pictures presents a Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment production. Director: Sabbir Khan. Producer: Sajid Nadiadwala. Writer: Sanjeev Dutta. Cinematography: Hari Vendantam. Editing: Manan Sagar.

Cast: Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon, Prakash Raj, Vikram Singh, Anuradha Chandan, Karan Chhabra, Raashul Tandon, Dev Sharma, Sandeepa Dhar, Parth Akerkar, K.C. Shankar, Sugandha Mishra, Samar Jai Singh, Arun Verma, Jatin Suri.

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