Shah Rukh Khan
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Considering the success Hollywood superhero flicks in India, it is no secret that the Indian audiences are craving for these stories. Unfortunately Indian producers have not quiet managed to stand up to the opportunity and expectations. Though we have had successes like Krrish and Mr India (if you may consider it as one) the vast majority of the films have more or less ended cropper. While some of these failures can be attributed to the inability to make it visually as arresting as what our audiences are getting used to, thanks to Hollywood, more often than not it is due to the incapability to draw out genuinely novel superheroes and stories that actually make sense.
Remo D’Souza treads into the territory, trying to create a superhero with unique traits and quirks. Some of which is indeed immensely enjoyable, while some of rest look too much like too many other characters seen in Hollywood. So Aman, our Flying Jatt, is scared of heights and also his mother. Unlike Spiderman and Iron Man, Aman’s superhero costume is designed by his mother, who also makes him do household chores. And he has his Kada that pumps power into him. However quirks apart, his powers are nothing that we have not seen earlier. From flying (Superman) to being real fast (Quick Silver/ Flash). There is in fact once particular scene that is blatantly copied X-Men: Days Of Future Past. He is also almost out own Captain Planet, fighting for the environment.
Our Flying Jatt is a Karate teacher. He is scared of dogs and is set to the market by his mother wearing his costume so that he gets discounts. He is in love with another teacher from the same school. Life gets a jolt when evil businessman Malhotra sets his eye on a property and sends super-villain Raka to get it cleared for him. Raka is scary big and even the Flying Jatt is scared of him. His inspiration comes from his mother who teaches him to be brave. Our hero has to save the trees and the day.
Remo gets the character fine, despite the resemblances to other heroes. Where he fails is where most of the others seem to falter – setting up the conflict and making for a grand spectacle. Aimed as a kiddie film, A Flying Jatt is overloaded with messages related to pollution. The villain feeds on pollution. Almost like one of those villains from Shaktiman. However Shaktiman was two decades back and possibly spoon feeding worked better than. Audience today, including kids, prefer being treated smarter.
The strongest part of A Flying Jatt is Tiger Shroff. This young actor is capable of doing what it takes to look like a superhero. He has the muscles to flex and brilliant acrobatic skills. And to match up to the only other successful Bollywood superhero in the last two decades - Krrish, he has the dancing skills too. If he picks up on the dialogue delivery Tiger Shroff will be a delight to watch in possible sequels. Also good are the parts given to Amrita Singh (the feisty mother) and Gaurav Pandey – who plays the fun loving brother.
What does not work is the character of Raka. He is almost 80s in characteristics. He growls and grunts and is funny. Also Kay Kay Menon as Malhotra is painful. Every time Kay Kay is provided such a role he falters. Be it in Abhishek Bachchan starrer Drona or in Action Jackon. The villains are just too badly done to make the hero look awesome. Hence the lack of a great climax sequence.
A Flying Jatt does not quite fly. But thanks to Tiger Shroff’s earnest appeal and the genuinely funny moments, it entertains just about enough to keep you in your seats. Amrita Singh, applause!
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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