Aah, those series of action sequences in the last 30 minutes!
Now that’s what makes Rocky Handsome a paisa vasool affair. Add to that the ‘seeti maar’ interval point and you know that John Abraham has pretty much set this film for the audience that loves to see its hero emerge victorious after bashing up 10-20-30 baddies in a go. Of course, ‘being real’ is in. However, how much have we missed some bone crunching action on screen that gets your adrenalin pumping.
You get that and more in this Nishikant Kamat film.
Talking of the director, he has some signature sequences in the film that leave a distinct ‘Nishikant Kamat’ stamp in the narrative. The man certainly knows how to keep the sequences crisp and interesting when a voiceover comes into action and a series of characters come together in a fast paced (and well edited) montage. He did that in Force as well as Drishyam. Now he does that again twice over in Rocky Handsome. First time he explains the entire crime syndicate in Goa before you are through with a bottle of breezer. The second time he narrates how kids are used to ‘transport good’ in organized crime.
A brilliant masterstroke that comes in here.
This is the reason why you end up wondering what really happened in those first 15 minutes out there. While you expect the film to start with a bang, the chain of events is truly ordinary. Okay, so John Abraham is shown as morose, just as he was in the start of Madras Cafe. Nothing wrong with that. However, you expect the bond between him and the little girl (Diya Chalwad) to have some real good meat out there. None of that happens and what you actually see on screen is a lazy narrative that doesn’t really hold your attention much.
Thankfully, things do perk up once Sharad Kelkar (playing a cop – and doing well in his limited screen time) comes into action and Nishikant gets into the voiceover mode. This is when the film truly begins and (after what seems like a long wait) once the action takes over, you get to see John in full glory. From here till the magnificent interval point where the past of Rocky and the present of Handsome come together, the film gets into the ‘seeti taali’ mode.
Moreover, Nishikant does well – both as the director and the actor (in part of the main baddie) – to keep the flag high for Rocky Handsome in the second half too. The graph only continues to escalate and by the time the brilliant dance/action sequence arrives around the Bombay Rockers number (Teri Toh Yaad Sataaye) where Nora Fatehi shows her moves and Thai actor/action man Kazu Patrick Tang comes face to face with John for the first time ever, it is sheer magic.
The film continues to be on a high from this point on and by this time around, you also get used to the comic villainous act that Nishikant Kamat (who was quite good as an actor in paranormal thriller 404 as well) and Teddy Maurya bring on screen. Yes, it is over the top but in synch with the film as without it, Rocky Handsome risked being too dry.
What keeps you engaged right till the end is the pre-climax and climax fight which is truly brilliant. It can well be said that John truly worked on making his action avtar come different from the rest of his ilk, and it all pays off as well. It is breathtaking to say the least, especially the knife fight where he and Kazu are back again. As for the climax reunion with the girl, one just feels that with a more endearing and more suitable child artist, perhaps Rocky Handsome would have further impressive in the emotional department as well.
However, for those looking at some intense hand-to-hand action and a well told story, which brings some shocking facts on screen around organ stealing and child trafficking racket, Rocky Handsome turns out to be an engaging and entertaining tale.
|Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder|