Rocky Handsome review: On Rocky Ground!

Rocky Handsome review: On Rocky Ground!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Thursday 31 March 2016

Movie Title

Rocky Handsome review: On Rocky Ground!


Nishikant Kamat

Star Cast

John Abraham, Shruti Haasan, Nishikant Kamat

The film’s curious title is explained at interval point in the following manner: one half of the split screen is John Abraham as an assassin, the other half has him dolled up in a suit and tie. And the film’s title is divided across both split screens - the assassin gets ‘Rocky’, the desi James Bond look gets ‘Handsome’.

The Goan cops are befuddled at thus curious creature that pops in to fight the drug cartel with passion and displays a penchant for violent action.

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The drug lobby, which also dabbles in human organs (some stomach-churning stuff here), is introduced to us through that good ol’ cinematic trick— a slide show in the police room, featuring each criminal.

So Rocky has a sad back-story, hence his silent musings in the shower and an alarming lack of words spoken. Perhaps they’re trying to show his intense side. But John Abraham gives his woodiest performance ever, with a face devoid of a single expression. It’s a letdown because the actor is capable of much more, as he has proven in some of the more experimental films he’s chosen earlier in his career. Here, he’s expressionless whether he’s slicing a gangster, or making little holes in his body with a knife (as he does often), or reliving his past.

The film, a remake of Korean hit The Man From Nowhere that released in 2010, is full of gratuitous violence in the form of action. Even our hero, doesn’t refrain himself from killing his opponents in new and inventive ways, each more gruesome than the other.

The villains (Nishikant Kamat, Teddy Maurya) are portrayed as deranged and over-the-top, and you have to admit, prove more interesting that the insipid hero. A scene has one of the gangsters shooting a person, and then telling his brother, ‘Let’s have food’ with the blood still fresh on their shirts. In another scene, a villain justifying his organ harvesting business by saying they’re helping people, sends a shiver down your spine. As does the scene where they are making kids pack and deliver drugs.

Director Nishikant Kamat makes films like Dombivali Fast, Mumbai Meri Jaan and Drishyam and then churns out films like Rocky Handsome. It’s puzzling, really, how talented filmmakers often choose to make sub-standard films for whatever reason.

Kamat portrays the story in an old-school fashion with more knife fights than guns, hand-to-hand combats where the hero beats an entire army into pulp, and an item song interspersed with action. There’s a scene when the hero is upset and it suddenly starts raining (this moment is almost comical, when it should be making us emotional). The only action scene that one remembers is the finale round, where our hero gets to kill a villain in a rather innovative manner.

But a film can work only if the viewer is emotionally invested in the character and their journey. That’s the reason Rocky Handsome doesn’t work neither as an emotional drama nor an action flick. This could’ve been a far better film.

Rocky Handsome review verdict: 2 stars

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