Eros International, Salman Khan Films, Mukta Arts and Emmay Entertainment’s Hero (UA) is the remake of Subhash Ghai’s Hero (1983). It is a love story in which the kidnapper becomes the protector, and the kidnapped victim falls in love with the kidnapper.
Sooraj (Sooraj Pancholi) is part of the world of crime. His guardian, Suryakant Pasha Ranade (Aditya Pancholi), is behind bars, and fighting the case tooth and nail is Inspector General of Police Shrikant Mathur (Tigmanshu Dhulia). Pasha has the IGP’s daughter, Radha Mathur (Athiya Shetty), kidnapped by Sooraj. But during the few days that Radha is in the custody of Sooraj and his cronies, she thinks that they are all policemen sent by her father to keep her secure from Pasha. In their time together, Sooraj and Radha fall in love with one another. Meanwhile, IGP Mathur and his son, police inspector Dheeraj Mathur (Sharad Kelkar), do all they can to get Radha back. They are devastated by the rumour of Radha’s death at one point of time but are happy to learn shortly thereafter that she is alive.
Just before the appearance of Pasha in court, Sooraj and Radha are due to return home when Radha learns of Sooraj’s real identity. But she is too much in love with Sooraj to throw a fit. Anyway, once back, Sooraj is arrested and put behind bars for kidnapping Radha. Radha’s family sends her away to Paris for two years so that she would be able to get over Sooraj. But Radha returns to India when Sooraj is releas ed from jail because she is confident, he has turned over a new leaf.
Radha’s father, however, led to believe that she is now interested in Dheeraj’s friend, Ranvijay Shekhawat (Vivaan Bathena), is shocked to learn that Radha is still keen on marrying Sooraj. Meanwhile, Ranvijay creates further problems for the two lovers.
What happens ultimately? Do Sooraj and Radha unite in matrimony? Does Sooraj give up the world of crime? Does IGP Shrikant Mathur agree to get his daughter married to Sooraj? What is the stand taken by Radha’s brother, Dheeraj? Does Pasha let go of Sooraj?
The original story of Hero (1983) was penned by Subhash Ghai and this remake has remained true to that story. However, the new screenplay, written by Umesh Bisht, is anything but exciting. The film is out-and-out a love story but there is hardly any heart-warming romance in it. The audience’s heart does not beat for the lovers because neither Sooraj nor Radha’s character is endearing enough to touch it. Even the angle of Radha’s mannat fails to appeal to the viewers because it looks half-baked. The writer may have added that angle to bring in the point of divine intervention but the quasi-mythological angle falls flat on its face. Much like the half-hearted comedy or whatever little there is of it! The viewer actually almost forces himself to laugh at places as the drama is dry and drab otherwise. Perhaps, Umesh Bisht’s idea of modernising the eighties’ script is to use computer jargon like ‘Control alt delete’ but, needless to add, such terms will not be understood by the computer-illiterate and will not be enjoyed or appreciated by the computer-savvy audience.
The entire track of Ranvijay Shekhawat looks like an absolutely unnecessary one, and Shekhawat joining forces with Changezi (Chetan Hansraj), an old enemy of Sooraj, looks just too convenient. While giving time to such unwarranted tracks, the writer has glossed over the important part of what the Mathur family goes through when confronted with the news of Radha’s death.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the characterisations are sketchy and, sometimes, even weak. For one, neither Sooraj nor Radha is innocent or even endearing. Why, although Sooraj belongs to the world of crime, even his street-smartness fails to make his character lovable. The IGP’s character is, perhaps, the most pathetic of all. Here is one IGP who is more helpless than anybody in the world! He can’t do a thing at home because he finds himself helpless and he can’t do a thing as an IGP when his own daughter is kidnapped. Showing him cry with his wife when Radha is kidnapped looks idiotic. Agreed, he is a father who is moved emotionally but the way he is shown crying and doing precious little else thereafter makes him look incompetent. The scenes written with a view to creating comedy fail to evoke laughter or even a smile – like, for instance, the track of BBM (Suresh Menon) with Changezi first and with his (BBM’s) own girlfriend later.
All in all, the love story lacks soul because of Umesh Bisht’s inept screenplay. Comedy is bland, emotions are non-existent, romance is conspicuous by its absence and the drama is dull, dry and drab. The film looks like it has been written blindly as a recipe to showcase two newcomers – and nothing else. The ingredients seem to have been included in measured amounts much like a cook would try a new recipe for a dish. But Umesh Bisht’s screenplay seems to be a sure recipe for disaster. Umesh Bisht’s dialogues don’t befit the scale and canvas of the film and don’t appear appropriate for a film which is the launch vehicle of two star-kids, backed by a superstar (Salman Khan as producer).
Sooraj Pancholi looks fairly charming and performs reasonably well in his debut film. But he suffers on account of the poor script and the formulaic episodes in the film. It is for this reason that his character doesn’t become endearing, which is a big minus point of the film. He shines more in action scenes than in performance-oriented ones. His diction needs a lot of improvement. Athiya Shetty’s unconventioanl looks may distract the viewer but her acting is quite good. Her voice modulation is her plus point. Her costumes (designed by Anaita Shroff Adajania) are quite bad. They should have been far more appealing. Aditya Pancholi is alright as Suryakant Pasha Ranade. Tigmanshu Dhulia fails to impress as IGP Shrikant Mathur. Not only are his scenes weak but his performance is also not quite like an IGP’s. In fact, at places, he looks more like an underworld don than the IGP! Vivaan Bathena fails to make his mark as Ranvijay Shekhawat. His track just doesn’t go well with the drama and his introduction into the love story looks contrived. Sharad Kelkar is very ordinary as Dheeraj Mathur. Chetan Hansraj passes muster as Changezi. Preeti Mamgain (as Radha’s mother) and Anita Hassanandani (as Radha’s sister-in-law) lend dull support. Anil Verma (as Salim), Trishaan (as Gangu), Ashish Verma (as Mangesh) and Randeep Jha (as Rathudi) have inconsequential roles and are unable to make any mark whatsoever despite being Sooraj’s friends and partners-in-crime. Suresh Menon’s comedy is weak. Kishore Kadam (as Shantaram), Purva Parab (as the public prosecutor), Rushi Mistry (as the judge) and the others barely pass muster.
Nikhil Advani’s direction is dull. He relies too heavily on giving the viewers measured doses of various ingredients and seems to have made the film as per a tried-and-tested formula. He is unable to make the audience’s heart beat for the lovers. Together with writer Umesh Bisht, he seems to have ruined the chances of the 1983 story appealing to the audiences of today. Music is very good but definitley not as haunting as that of the 1983 Hero. Although comparisons are odious, comparisons on the music front, with the old Hero, are bound to be made by the public since this film is an official remake of that film. ‘Main hoon hero tera’ (set to tune by Amaal Malik) is the best and the most popular song. ‘O Khuda’ (Amaal Malik), ‘Khoya khoya’ (Sachin-Jigar) and ‘Yaadan teriyaan’ (Jassi Katyal) are other melodious songs. ‘Jab we met’ (Sachin-Jigar) and ‘Dance ke legend’ (Meet Bros. Anjjan) are quite alright. Lyrics (by Kumaar and Niranjan Iyengar) are nice. Choreography (Ahmed Khan) is quite eye-filling. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background music comes alive in only a few dramatic sequences. In other scenes, it sounds jaded. Action and stunts (by Ravi Verma, Dave Judge and Amin Arif) is mass-appealing but should’ve been more novel. Tushar Kanti Ray’s camera- work is of a good standard. Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty’s production designing is fair. Ritesh Soni’s editing may be alright but the inherent pace of the drama is so slow that it makes the film a tedious watch, especially after interval.
On the whole, Hero is a dull and dry fare and doesn’t have the excitement, energy or liveliness of a love story starring two newcomers. It will not be able to work its magic on the cinema audience. It may prove to be a plus fare for the producers (as its distribution and music rights have been pre-sold at handsome prices, and its satellite rights will fetch a good price as they are part of an earlier deal with producer Salman Khan) but the distributors will see red in the film despite a good start at some places (due to lovely promotion and music).