An Action Hero

Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Jaideep Ahlawat

Written & Directed by Anirudh Iyer

Rating: *** ½

There is something delectably different about this mass entertainer. It is neatly plotted and to-the-point. It avoids the bullshit element in mass entertainment. The eponymous Action Hero Ayushmann Khurrana has no family or girlfriend waiting for him after the shooting.

Where does Maadhav come from? Why does he have a British passport(why not a Canadian passport?) if not to escape swiftly after he accidently kills a Haryanvi goon? The slayed goon(menacingly played by Sumit Singh)is well connected.It can’t get any better than Jaideep Ahlaway, can it?

In London, Ahlawat’s Bhoora Solanki is shown to be ruthless in his pursuit of justice for his brother.And yet he lets Maanav slip out of his hands, not once but repeatedly.
A secret fan, perhaps? The breathless plot allows no room for back-story speculation. It is all done in the spirit of a super-heist, without the ransom. The film is enjoyable most of the way except for some major diversions. The subplot about a restaurateur Sai(Neeraj Madhav) doesn’t fit in.It’s the kind of character that pops up in a long-running television serial. Also the entire track about the dreaded international don(modelled on you-know-who) is so out of its depth it feels more like an afterthought than an organic part of the plot.

That said, there is plenty to enjoy in An Action Hero. Both Khurrana and Ahlawat are in revved-up form. They play against each most effectively, almost like a on-the-run Tom and a persistent Jerry . The plot should have focused on them.

The comments on media trial and the demonization of Bollywood are hilarious.This is a clever intelligent film that sometimes trips over in self-admiration but manages to stay afloat most of the way.