Friday, November 10, 2017

Heropanti (2014) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 88
Movie Name/Year: Heropanti (2014)
Tagline: None
Genre: Action, Romance
Length: 137 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Producer: Siraj Kasmani, Rakesh Madhotra, Sajid Nadiadwala, Sameer A. Shaikh
Director: Sabir Khan
Writer: Sanjeev Dutta
Actors: Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon, Parth Akerkar, Anuradha Chandan, Karan Chhabra, Sandeepa Dhar, Sunil Grover, Priyamvada Kant, Sugandha Mishra, Prakash Raj, Howard Rosemeyer, K.C. Shankar, Dev Sharma, Devanshu Sharma, Shireesh Sharma, Samar Jai Singh, Vikram Singh, Jatin Suri, Raashul Tandon, Arun Verma, Karuna Verma
Stunts: Anal Arasu, Gn Murugan

Blurb from Netflix: Goons kidnap Bablu after he helps his friend run away with a powerful man’s daughter. While he’s held captive, he falls for the girl’s younger sister.

Selina’s Point of View:
Whenever I watch a Bollywood film from this era, I wonder if the entire genre was just really enthralled with late 80s, or early 90s, American films. There are so many aspects of this film that remind me of various movies I saw in my childhood.

The whole feel of the film, including that music video during the credits, was very early 90s action-romance. If it was in English, I’d have guessed it was made in 1992.

That said, there were some good things about Heropanti and some not-so-great things.

I have to start with a technical issue I had.

There was a sound problem, early in the film. At first, I thought it might be the way my TV was handling the type of music used for the fight scenes. I paused the film and tested my speakers against other similar music. It all came out fine. I then asked a few people to load up the film to the appropriate time stamp and they all had the same issue.

I don’t think it was done as an artistic choice. Around the 15-minute mark, there’s some music that sounds like it’s being played off of a worn-out VHS tape. The sound skips a little and gets fuzzy, the way it tends to do when you listen to something with harsh bass on bad headphones.

I reported it to Netflix.

I also didn’t like the positioning of some of the musical numbers. A couple of times it seemed to come absolutely out of nowhere, but I think that may be an issue I have with the entire genre… so I don’t hold it against this particular film.

On a good note, there were some visually stunning scenes, the acting was decent, and I found myself liking characters I wouldn’t normally like. The antagonist even managed to pull at my heartstrings a little and, considering some of the heinous things he was threatening, that’s a bit of a feat.

Despite the length of the film, which was significant, I did manage to enjoy it. It didn’t even feel all that long. If you’re a fan of Bollywood, give it a shot.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ll admit that I wasn’t entirely thrilled to watch this movie today. My mood wasn’t ideal, to be honest. I do really try to keep an open mind even when I’m feeling meh. Surprisingly, however, this film won me over, anyway.

Somewhere along the line I forgot I was even reading subtitles – that’s a sign that a foreign film has hooked me. We’re not even going to talk about the tears towards the end – these were not the feels you were looking for. I have allergies, ok?! Fine. It was emotional.

This movie was a bit like they threw an action martial arts flick in a blender with the story of Romeo and Juliet. It worked in the oddest and yet most satisfying way.

When I say action movie – we’re talking some seriously crazy-good fight sequences. There were chase scenes and parkour…the works! There was a lack of explosions, but I don’t think anything that drastic would have been remotely called for so it wasn’t missed.

This film was the debut for the lead, Tiger Shroff (Baaghi, The Flying Jatt, Munna Michael). It’s said that he trained for three whole years to prepare for this role, and I believe it. He performed all his own stunts, and let me tell you that some of them had my jaw on the floor.

Some of the dialogue was a little cheesy, but that’s something I’ve come to expect from Bollywood movies of this nature. I’m not quite sure what the snow theme is all about – there was a similar sequence in the movie Krrish (2006) that I’d previously reviewed. I’m not sure if it’s something with thematic symbolism or a cultural thing, or if someone just thought it looked cool. It was a little odd in the middle of the movie, but hey – overall, it worked.

What it boils down to is that this film is a solid offering in the Bollywood genre with a heartfelt story, some comedic elements, romance, and a heavy dose of action well worth the nearly two and a half hours of view-time.

Speech Available: Hindi
Subtitles Available: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 32%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.4/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

P.S.  Music video during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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