When I saw the trailer of ‘An Action Hero’, all I could gather from it, was a film that will try to break the stereotype of Ayushman Khurana’s socially responsible cinema and Jaideep Ahlawat would be a bonus. But oh boy was I surprised! The unique mix of wit, style, intelligence, and entertainment this film packs while being self-aware is so refreshing and an absolute delight to watch.
The opening scene introduces us to the ‘action hero’ in both his on screen and off-screen element. His well chiselled abs glaring in your face as he makes entry into a storm of fans, his choreographed walk and talk with the media, his off-screen arrogance and a perfectly delivered on screen action sequence establishes the brat and the star that Ayushman as Manav is. 15 mins into the film, this star finds himself responsible for an unintended murder. How Maanav chooses to deal with this rather absurd situation is where the film takes off, and the craziness only keeps escalating from here on.
Jaideep Ahlawat as Bhoora Solanki is the antagonist here and the driving force to Maanav’s self-discovery of his heroism beyond films. On the surface it is a simple cat and mouse chase between these two but the humour lies in how neither of them are in control of their actions or fate. Driven by ego, revenge, survival, and stupidity, these two men who are supposed to be on opposite sides, end up walking together into one mess after another.
Ayushmann Khurana gives it his all as Maanav, he looks the part and plays it with utmost conviction. The only challenge for him his to stand next to someone as powerful as Jaideep Ahlawat, who is a masterclass in acting even when he is simply reacting with one-liners or even no dialogues in some scenes. Nevertheless, their chemistry is thoroughly entertaining.
The writing is top-notch. It has a spunk and sass to it that comes very close to Sriram Raghavan’s style of films. My favourite thing about the film has to be its dialogues. There is so much satire and pun intended and all of it lands! Especially the raw sarcasm that comes out of the true-blue Haryanvi characters.
The spoof on media that keeps happening in the background is exaggerated but a hilarious interruption. Also, there are so many clever comments on social, political and entertainment industry that come and go swiftly before anyone can take offence. The action sequences are also skillfully choreographed and engagingly shot. The bizarre yet pulp fiction vibe of the film stays on point from start to end, and despite all this, it delivers an unexpected climax.
All in all, a movie like this is rare. An action-comedy thriller, which does not stick to any format or formulas, stays intelligent and promises to entertain while holding all the moods together.
Going with 4.5 out of 5.