Koreans have the ability to make gritty thrillers with emotional layers without taking the melodramatic route…Rocky Handsome is an official remake of one such Korean thriller “The Man from Nowhere”. Set in Goa, the film is a violent yet emotional thriller that revolves around a man who never had a daughter and a girl who never had a father. They are connected by personal tragedies as they cross their paths in the backdrop of a big merciless drug syndicate that uses small children as pawns to run the show.
So What Works In Favor Of The Film:-
- The official remake remains true to the original story and going by it’s Korean background, it’s a compelling effort from the makers of the film in their attempt to make this one a mainstream offering.
- Brilliantly choreographed action sequences will mesmerize you. The raw hand-to-hand combat is something rarely seen in Hindi mainstream cinema. John’s sequences with the Thai villain are dexterously executed and the fast jump-cuts with close-up of the characters elevates the impact of the scenes. Honestly he looks far better than ‘some feminine looking lanky fellow’ desperately showing his skills in an upcoming movie with a cliché story-line. Even otherwise Aarif Sheikh’s editing makes the narrative crisp and consistently gripping.
- The background score which slightly reminds you of “The Dark Knight Rises” works during the action sequences.
- The grim tone of the film is accentuated by usage of grey palettes and looks a fitting tribute to the original film. Shankar Raman gets the credit for portraying the by-lanes and dark alleys of Goa with panache. For a change the gorgeous beaches are ignored as we get to see a murkier side of the city.
- The usage of colour suits the dark mood of the film which occasionally breaks into unnecessary songs and dances.
- John Abraham has tasted success as a producer with Vicky Donor and Madras Café. His choice of subjects are consciously different and this time around it seems the perfect decision to cast himself as the silent assassin with some secretive past. He sinks his teeth into the tailor-made role which demands to showcase a one-dimensional emotions, with few dialogues and lots of actions.
- The tragic back story of John’s character KabirAhlawat is dealt concisely and is devoid of melodrama.
- The child actress shines in a small albeit weak written role.
And What Doesn’t Work In Favor Of The Film :-
- Sadly the emotional connect between John and the Kid doesn’t come to the fore as effectively as in the Korean version, which was after all it’s USP.
- The emotional twist involving the Thai villain could be seen from miles away.
- The narrative lacks the water tight screenplay which one expects from Nishikant Kamat’s direction, the man who had earlier given us two brilliant films like “Domvibli Fast” (Marathi) and “Mumabi Meri Jaan”.
- Nishikant Kamat has alway exhibited fine skills as an actor in films like “404” and “Hawaa Anedey” but this time his villainous act as Kevin Perriera somehow missed the bus. Teddy Maurya as his psychotic brother hams, and together they somehow remind you of Kevin Peterson’s twin act in “Akayla” but ends up being monotonous after a while.
- The songs score was jarring and the film could have benefited if those Ankit Tiwari inspired songs were cut-off. Also the unnecessary party songs in the club were road blockers.
Overall brilliantly choreographed action sequences shines in an average remake of a Korean classic. One-time watch? Yes, definitely.
Going with a generous 3/5, I would suggest a film with anyone who has an appetite for raw action thrillers within a dark and grim thematic.
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