By Khalid Mohamed
Originally posted on Spotboye.com
Hark, the wooden township’s deadly, dark and deep, and he does have miles to go to before he zzzzz..leeps eeps.
Whoa, with Hyderabad’s Ramoji Rao studio largely standing in for Goa, the Nishikant Kamat-directed Rocky Handsome goes delirious over a hitman for whom life’s been a can of worms. Squirm. Adapted awkwardly from the Korean flick The Man From Nowhere, here’s a show of stupefying ‘voilence’ which incites you to long for those good ‘ole days of Ajit the Loin, Ranjeet the Toiger and Amrish Puri the Droigan.
In lieu, you have to endure the dire deeds of Mantoo the Maniac, an Oriental Ogre with a twist in his tail, a wannabe Dada Patekar who rolls his eyes till they almost pop out of the sockets and a Taqloo who could be mistaken for Yul Brynner enacted by director saab Kamat himself. Indeed, there are more terrifying troglodytes on the scene than you can count on all your toes and fingers. Their deathly deeds do linger.
Truly, this evil ensemble cracks skulls as if they were walnuts. More: they market eyeballs, hide contraband in footballs. And occasionally feud between themselves over drugs, child prostitution, organs (strictly not of the musical kind). Exhausted at the end of the day, they either become dixo deewanes or hiss-‘n’-air kiss in swimming pools, which is all so very uncool. The Beastie Boys, here, are some number. Presumably for centuries, the law force has been in slumber.
Wakey wakey time now. Yeoww, the dire ire of a strange sort (John Abraham) is aroused and how. No more flashbacks to a Seychelles beachside song-and-cuddle with a Lady Smiley (Shruti Haasan wasted in no-special appearance). Oh oh. She died, leaving the stranger so lonesome that he rainwalks to buy fish, runs a pawn shop (pawn, not prawn please) and reluctantly strikes up an emotional connect with the adorable, baby gal-next-door. If that has shades of the French actioner Leon: The Professional, just blame it on The Man From Nowhere, and move yawn.
Baby Adorable (Diya Chalwad) exudes precocious wisdom. And awwwww no, she’s kidnapped by one of those Mantoos or Taqloos. You’re not sure who’s doing what to whom and why. Duh?
Meanwhile, the law force – specifically the Anti-Narcotics Cell – has belatedly started swirling over the crime-ridden paradise. Of this cell, check out a dude of a cop (Sharad Kelkar), who you suspect may get super-active. No chance. He merely hangs out, donned in a tight grey linen jacket and wears Ray-Ban glares for the miserly number of day shots. Obviously, he’s no hotshot.
After all, the tough derring-do turf is reserved for the Strange Sort aka Rocky Handsome. Begins a mass massacre which is executed in probably every combat style known to human kind from fist bouts, gunfires, dagger stabs and pyromaniacal explosions to mega-martial arts feats. Kung Fu and karate to Silat and Yong Chun, they’re all on display, choreographed by Thailand’s Kecha Khampakdee.
To be fair, the finale is quite a stunner.
Physique-wise John Abraham is in extraordinary shape. Acting-wise though, he’s too inert to be true, at most darting grim to grimmer expressions. Perhaps that’s why the intended spark between Mr Handsome and the li’l-girl-next-door remains surfacial, except redeemingly towards the wrap-up scenes.
Technically, Shanker Raman’s moody cinematography’s is first-rate. The editing, dipping into split screens, however, is a clear oh-no. Ditto the music score, not to forget that Sarah Jane Dias’ item shimmy, intercut with mafia mayhem, which add up to mind-spinning chaos.
As a producer, John Abraham has piloted far superior and original projects (Vicky Donor and Madras Café). Director Kamat has been in exemplary form when he opted for the reality-culled Dombivli Fast and Mumbai Meri Jaan.
Evidently, Rocky Handsome was calculated as an ode to the jism and josh of John Handsome. Alas, even a perfect body needs soul. On that count, this dhishyoom dhisham destructum doodad misses the goal.