With ‘An Action Hero’, Ayushmann Khurrana has broken his shackles, stepped out of his comfort zone. He depicts a perfect character of an actor famous for his action roles but is vulnerable and has his own sensibilities for the parts he plays and the persona that he carries. An Action Hero is a smartly crafted action entertainer that thrills and tickles equally. The core of the plot hints to films like Shah Rukh Khan starrer FAN where an obsessive fan turns rogue.
Ayushmann Khurrana is introduced as Maanav, a reigning action hero, amid shooting a climax scene of a film. He delivers a perfect shot and heads for a meet-n-greet with Vicky Solanki (Sumit Singh), brother of a local politician Bhoora (Jaideep Ahlawat), waiting for a long time. However, just as he steps closer to Vicky, his manager-friend Roshan (Harsh Chhaya), takes him to his newly acquired Mustang. An overwhelmed Maanav (forgetting Vicky) sets out for a spin, followed by the enraged Vicky Solanki. They come head-to-head and get into a quarrel, which results in Vicky getting killed. Maanav, flees from the spot and reaches London. On the other hand, Vicky’s brother Bhoora sets out to avenge his brother’s death. He finds out Maanav’s whereabouts and lands in London too. From here on the story takes interesting twists and turns, a game of one-upmanship with wholesome dose of chases, gun fights, media sarcasm, et al. Maanav come out victorious in the end but how things turn to his favour and the people involved in the narrative makes an interesting watch.
Post films like Andhadhun and Anek, An Action Hero sets Ayushmann Khurrana’s filmography to make him a complete package. An Action Hero also sets itself apart from usual action films for its witty lines that are interesting as well as entertaining. It also makes a sly sarcasm on the six-pack-abs trend and comments on what it takes to be a good actor. Surprisingly and thankfully, there is technically no ‘female lead’ to thwart the momentum established from the beginning. The perfect characterisation, pace, and intelligent plot make it a tangy entertainer that showcases the fickleness of fame and futility of swollen egos of the lead characters.
Director Anirudh Iyer
Debutant writer-director Anirudh Iyer (earlier first AD, ‘Zero’) shows maturity with his writing and direction. Anirudh has proved that if a film/narrative/tale is told with a zeal than one doesn’t need other elements to make it interesting. Confident of his craft Anirudh has used Haryanvi to his benefit not just in characterisation but has also linked in a few dialogues for better reasoning. Anirudh with co-writer Neeraj Yadav have used intelligent writing by introducing wicked characters that add to the twist. Be it the hyper-ventilating media or a self-seeking computer wizard (Neeraj Madhav) and the ‘graceful don’ Masood Abraham Katkar (Gautam Joglekar) who is also looking for Maanav to nurse his bruised ego and show to the world that the underworld is not ‘irrelevant’. The writer duo has concocted situations that kick up a storm of satire which lasts for a while.
As mentioned earlier, Ayushmann has stepped out of his comfort zone and has sure worked very hard on his action stunts and expressions. Though he may not be flawless and looks mechanical while performing action scenes body chiselling notwithstanding, it is interesting to see Ayushmann giving it back to Jaideep in well-choreographed action sequences. His parkour stunt is commendable for an actor who plays piano and is handed over a gun.
Kudos to casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s vision to have Jaideep for Bhoora’s role. There couldn’t have been a better choice. Jaideep as Bhoora Solanki, displays fierceness. Bhoora’s character is written very well to add to the thrill element. His scenes with Ayushmann have witty lines and at times turns humourous. Jaideep carries the role without getting overboard and performs to make the character very believable. Jaideep sets up the pace of conflict with perfect performance of a wrestler-turned-politician, fuelled by caste pride. The film belongs to only Ayushmann and Jaideep both.
Akki, the real Khiladi of Bollywood makes a special appearance. His presence itself raises the bar for a topic that is synonym to his personality. Even a word of praise from him for the film’s action hero, though situational, makes a lot of sense.
The music is composed by Tanishk Bagchi, Biddu, Parag Chhabra and Amar Jalal. The background music by Sunny M R plays a very important element. Infact the very first scene sets the tempo and expectations for what follows.
The only song in the narrative, ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’, is not a deterrent too, fits perfectly within the tensed moments of the story. Recreated from the 1980 film Qurbani sung by Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan and was composed by British Indian producer Biddu. The song ‘Jehda Nasha’ was recreated from the 2019 track Nasha which was sung by IP Singh, Amar Jalal, written by Amar Jalal Group and composed by Faridkot, Amar Jalal.
Overall, with perfect characterisation, pace, and intelligent plot makes debutant Anirudh Iyer’s ‘An Action Hero’ an ‘action packed tangy entertainer’ that showcases the fickleness of fame and futility of swollen egos. A must watch.
Movie: An Action Hero
Director: Anirudh Iyer
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jaideep Ahlawat, Harsh Chhaya, Akshay Kumar, Jitender Hooda, Hiten Patel, Neeraj Madhav, Malaika Arora, Nora Fatehi
Duration: 132 Mins