Director: Sabbir Khan
Cast: Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon, Prakash Raj, Vikram Singh
Boy looks at girl. Boy falls for girl. Girls father growls. Boy scowls. Girl howls. And Im left sobbing into my popcorn.
As you can see, Ive had quite a time at Heropanti, which presents a couple of gormless debutants Jackies son Tiger as the hero and Sanon as the heroine in a story that is objectionable at so many levels that I gave up counting.
Its set in Jatland. Yes, thats what they call it in the film. Which gives them the excuse to present its women as goongi gudiyas and its men as patriarchal bullies. The plot seems ripe to expose the evils of the Khap and its pernicious ways: not allowing women to choose their partners, while giving the men of the family, and every passerby, a free hand to beat and humiliate them, and as a parting shot, to kill them.
But the way Heropanti does it, giving full play to the father (Prakash Raj) and his cohorts, as they punch hapless brides and grooms to pulp, it seems like a championing of the Khap cause. Every time a girl was slapped, or yanked around by the hair, the people sitting alongside me tittered.
Bablu (Tiger) and Dimpy (Sanon) tread the tired paths Bollywood has ordained for young lovers for the past 25 years: hes the dulha and has to make off with his dulhaniya, but not before the mandatory song-and-dance and rona-dhona. Tiger has a fine set of ripped muscles which he shows off in shirtless scenes. He does a good job of wiping blood off his chin, and holding off goons. He can do action, sure. But you are also required to say your lines and romance your girl: did no one think of those crucial things
Raj keeps forgetting hes meant to be a Jat, and slipping into his real voice. He gets to make emotional speeches and shed tears too: we share his feelings, because hes the only real actor in this enterprise.
Is this all they can think of in the name of a fresh love story