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Heropanti 2 review: Tiger Shroff is the good-looking centre of this hodgepodge film

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the villain who must be stopped. From overacting.

April 29, 2022 / 03:04 PM IST
Tiger Shroff plays a programming genius  in 'Heropanti 2', which released in theatres on April 29, 2022. (Screen grab)

Tiger Shroff plays a programming genius in 'Heropanti 2', which released in theatres on April 29, 2022. (Screen grab)

Tiger Shroff looks so much like his still gorgeous, mensch dad must have looked when younger, I find myself watching Heropanti 2 like a fan. Of the older Shroff. Flashes of Jackie make the young Tiger a very good looking man. And yes, he’s really good in the set pieces of action peppered across this otherwise fusion (read hotchpotch) dish called Heropanti 2.

Before we get hit by the action, it’s good to get a few observations out of the way: the hero rides either a bicycle or a Lamborghini. The girl always wears clothes that are barely there. And the villain has endless henchmen and an evil laugh.

Even though Tiger Shroff has a body that young men want, the story this hot bod finds himself in is so shallow, predictable and unoriginal, you feel bad for the lad. Why do the copyright owners of the Hero franchise not use their Lamborghini money on a story? Tiger Shroff is definitely in as good a shape as Tom Cruise. Then why are his Mission Impossible stories so lame?

Mister Laila lives in London, but he wants money from India. Kaiko? Why doesn’t he want to loot the Bank Of England or stage a heist at the Tower and steal the Crown jewels? Because India pays taxes on March 31. How come no one asked one simple question while hearing that narration: Tax money goes to the tax department, why do you need to hack a billion-plus accounts? And if he must get everyone’s money, why wait for March 31? And why stop only at Indian accounts?

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Laila is a magician. He literally leaves a woman hanging mid-air to tell this plan to stock characters who do bad things all over the world. I want to say, ‘I object, Milord!’ because Bollywood’s penchant for stupid second-level villains does not end: The large guy will cavort with buxom women, the ‘Chinese’ guy will be named Wong who looks like he’s in the middle of the Forbidden Palace, but it’s called Shaolin, the American guy will be called ‘Tom’ (or was it Tony?), they will have someone representing the Middle East, so there’s a big white guy playing Blawerence of Arabia and an accountant type Indian guy who sells Indian secrets to… Wait for it… Russia!

Someone please think differently, I say, but I am happy to be distracted by Tiger Shroff who has been pretending to be a quiet mousy type RJ, a good sanskari son to Amrita Singh!

Amrita Singh must’ve read the story and said, a little bit is enough, so she vanishes from the story (supposedly she’s gone to India to do Char Dham yatra to ask for blessings for her son). Son, in the meanwhile, has fought with all kinds of villains. His shirt gets torn in the most spectacular, imaginative sequences (so we get to see his chiselled, ladi-pav abs) which makes the beating up of the baddies a worthy watch. Apparently he does the stunts himself so the parking lot action sequence (a bit of that is on the trailer) is jaw-droppingly awesome. Tara Sutaria is the girl caught between the hero who’s getting beaten up and the goons sent by her brother. Am in awe of her ability to run in impossible heels. But there’s little else the role allows her to do.

Whoever drove that jeep into the train and then rode the jeep (magically undamaged by that full frontal impact) inside the train should be felicitated. But the train action sequence has more magic in store for us. The train stops right where the villains are standing en masse, with baseball bats and guns and stuff. So you’re in awe, the girl and the Tiger are caught. But the lad says, ‘Why do you think I’ve been carrying her red handbag everywhere for her? To bring you guys here guided by the GPS chip!'

What a twist! He beats them up of course, but I’m still wondering why A.R. Rahman wrote the score to a Zombie dance song. Did he think it would look great on his discography? But then he showed up for a ridiculous forgettable song with U2 at a concert in Mumbai, so this must have been his half-asleep-but-need-to-write-a-score moment. But all is forgiven because Tiger dances well dressed as the Zombie king. In fact there was a time stopping moment where he looked so handsome that I had to tell myself that I was not a teenager any more with Jackie’s poster in my high school locker. Speaking of Rahman, there is an atonement song at a dargah (is it written in his contract?) where Tiger channels more of his dad, making it impossible to check messages on the phone.

Speaking of phone-y, Nawazuddin’s role looks like something he did to cover costs during the pandemic. Why would an actor of his calibre humiliate himself in this make-up wearing role of Laila? Why doesn’t Bollywood understand that no one does Maharani like Sadashiv Amrapurkar and stop writing villains who flop their wrists and walk the ‘gay guy walk’. It’s just awful. If he’s such a clever hacker himself, why does he need Tiger’s skills?

If you must watch the movie, then add to this list of 'scenes inspired from’ list: phone App that helps the villain steal data (Kingsman), the chess game (Harry Potter) to help you get started. But boss, dialogue like ‘Mere paas maa hai’ and ‘Rishte mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain’ is pure Bollywood… Look, the lad is eminently good looking, and can deliver his ‘Meri (Heropanti) jaati nahi’ dialogue well. Will someone help him get better stories?



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Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.
first published: Apr 29, 2022 02:58 pm
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