Film Review: 'Main Tera Hero'
Opened: 4 April 2014
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Ileana D'Cruz, Nargis Fakhri, Arunoday Singh, Anupam Kher, Evelyn Sharma, Raju Kher, Saurabh Shukla, Rajpal Yadav, Shakti Kapoor.
Director: David Dhawan
Producers: Balaji Motion Pictures
It seems the main purpose of Main Tera Hero was to establish newbie Varun Dhawan as an all singing, all dancing, fully fledged Bollywood hero. It succeeds in doing that albeit partially. Despite all his efforts, it’s not Varun that fails as an actor, its papa David Dhawan, who to an extent, lets him down as a director, with a plot that so juvenile and a screenplay that’s so half baked that it makes the director’s older films look like classics in comparison.
Varun plays Seenu, a useless lout, who in his own words looks like a ‘swami’ but is a total ‘harami’. He ditches his hometown, Ooty and shifts to a Bangalore college (which is akin to a kindergarten and hardly looks like a college), to prove to both his parents and himself that he isn’t as worthless as he’s perceived – although, how he got into college remains a mystery, given that he didn’t quite have the grades to qualify in the first place! Given that this is a David Dhawan film, I was willing to suspend my disbelief, but that was one of the many plot holes in the film that was too glaring to overlook.
Anyway, amidst his random conversations with the almighty, he bumps into local PYT Sunaina (D’Cruz), and lo falls in love with her. There is a problem though – Sunaina’s being emotionally blackmailed and stalked by a rogue cop (played by Arundoy Singh) and his sidekick (Yadav), who make life hell for Seenu.
Several duets later, all seems hunky dory for the young couple, until Sunaina's kidnapped by an international gangster (Anupam Kher, invoking zero fear whatsoever), purely on the basis that his pouting daughter (Nargis Fakhri) has taken a liking for our buffed up hero.
Seenu subsequently ends up in Thailand in search of his lady love, but ends up in a chaotic soup much bigger than he’d imagined.
I know. I know. I get it. You never look for sense in a David Dhawan film. And I didn’t go looking for any either. In fact I’m a huge fan of the director's previous works especially Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No. 1, Judwaa and several other films from the David Dhawan/Govinda/Salman club. So the fact that here he was coming together with his son, I expected more. Much more.
The trailers promised huge laughs, but unfortunately in Main Tera Hero the laughs are sporadic and far between, with a lot of the scenes and gags falling flat.
Varun is earnest and tries valiantly to shoulder the film, but there’s only so much he can do given the material. That said though, he is a born star in his own right. He has oodles of charisma, looks good and isn’t afraid to make a fool out of himself, but alas he lacks the experience of a Govinda or a Salman Khan, who saw papa Dhawan’s films sail through at the box office back in the day. Govinda can make you laugh with a mere eyebrow arch he’s that natural, and I don't think anyone has perfected indifference and buffoonery the way Salman did back in his heyday. He made it look like an art. Varun tries to mimic them and does really well in most of the scenes, but in a few his inexperience is glaringly evident.
The problem with making your debut in a film like Barfi!, is that anything you do thereafter will be considered sub standard – especially if it's a superficial, fluffy David Dhawan heroine you're required to play. Ileana D'Cruz was awesome in the Anurag Basu film, but any credibility she gained in that gem, more or less loses its sheen here. There’s nothing wrong with playing to the gallery and being a commercial Hindi film heroine. Both of David’s previous favourites Karisma Kapoor and Juhi Chawla, did it with flair and aplomb. Ileana, on the other hand, is plain artificial and has nearly zero screen presence, and her chemistry with Varun too is sorely lacking. Nargis Fakhri should get credit for trying and she does look amazing, but that’s hardly enough to cover up the fact that she’s a really poor actress. Arundoy Singh’s character is half baked and he does nothing to rise above it.
Unsurprisingly, the few chuckles that do come in the film are from the film's veteran cast. Saurabh Shukla is good (even if his part is a little thankless), and Anupam Kher is alright too. It’s Rajpal Yadav that shines way above everyone else, and provides the film’s loudest chuckles.
Music was never the strong point in any previous David Dhawan venture, but here Sajid Wajid provide a few decent tunes in the form of ‘Palat’ and ‘Besharmi Ki Height’.
I’m going with two and a half stars for Main Tera Hero. The veterans make it watchable and Varun has magnetic screen presence, but it's saddled with such a shoddy script and ho hum female leads, that it works against the film and undo it to a large extent. Even if you ‘leave your brains at home’, you’ll find its loopholes far too difficult to digest. A time pass film if that.
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