Friday, 12 April 2013

Commando (2013) Review by Shivom Oza – Lights, Camera and ACTION!

2.5/5 Stars

Commando, produced by Vipul Shah, projects itself as an out-and-out action film, with unbelievable stunt sequences performed by Vidyut Jammwal of Force fame. The makers have also maintained that while it is an action film, there is a lot of emotion (in the form of romance, music, song-and-dance etc.) inherent in the screenplay. The film keeps its promises on most counts. To put it briefly, the plot revolves around how Captain Karanvir Dogra, a commando, rescues Simrit from the stranglehold of the local goon, Amrit Kanwal Singh (colloquially referred to as AK74, since he was born in the year 1974!), and his men.

Your opinion of the film will depend a lot on your expectations. So to lay it out for you, here's what you should expect from Commando - unbelievable action (never-seen-before in Hindi cinema), Vidyut Jammwal's electrifying screen presence, Pooja Chopra's decent acting performance on debut, hummable music, corny (most of them being cringe-worthy) dialogues, a villain with clownish tendencies, bizarre plot points, wonderful cinematography and one abominable, sleazy, unwanted item number.

Commando is a complete 'masala' film. There will be several moments during the film, when you will look around wondering, 'Who came up with that?'. So, expect all the aforementioned aspects and you might just end up liking it. Luckily, action remains a very dominant part of the film, and doesn't get overshadowed by other embellishments.

Commando of the Indian army, Karanvir Dogra (Vidyut Jammwal) escapes from China (where he was in the custody of the Chinese army after being falsely implicated as an Indian spy and mercilessly tortured thereafter) to India (albeit in miraculous circumstances). Here, at a small town close to the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border, he bumps into Simrit (Pooja Chopra), who has run away from her home after facing a lot of harassment from the eccentric and much-feared local politician, AK74 (Jaideep Ahlawat). Thus begins the action extravaganza!

We get to see Vidyut perform innumerable and breathtaking stunt sequences, and mouth rip-roaring one-liners. The actor is sublime when it comes to flaunting his brawny side. The perfectly toned physique and the charming dialogue delivery, works wonders for the young actor's screen presence. Pooja performs very well, for someone who is making her acting debut. One wishes that her character had been written in a better manner (perhaps toned down its effervescence a trifle), but Pooja does well with what she had to do. Jaideep Ahlawat, who plays the villain, is absolutely marvelous. The actor plays the comical villain to the hilt and evokes chills and guffaws in equal measure. Jaideep is a real find, and should definitely be seen in more films. The supporting cast members deliver passable performances.

Mannan Shaah's music is pleasant and hummable. The song 'Saawan Bairi', sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, is as beautiful as its video, which features Vidyut and Pooja. Sejal Shah's cinematography is at its best during the shoot of this particular song. Sejal's camerawork is one of the highlights of the film. There's an unwanted item number in the film. This dance number screams 'sleazy' and almost withers away a fairly enjoyable movie-watching experience. Vidyut and Pooja have got terrific screen presence and are fine dancers as well. Hence, the songs, barring that apology of an item number, don't really slow the film down or spoil the screenplay. The dialogues of the film are outright corny. At times, one does wonder if this is really how people, or on a more widespread level, army people talk! The lines have been written in order to bring in the whistles, but sadly, not all of them work! Dilip Ghosh's attempt to make a movie like this, which seems like a good amalgamation of the realistic and the commercial, almost succeeds.

However, as already mentioned before, Commando is not everybody's cup of tea. Although the makers have moderated their sensibilities considerably for this film, Commando remains a 'masala' potboiler and only those who enjoy this genre will like it. Prasad Sasthe's background score deserves special mention.

If you're a fan of action films, go for Commando. However, remember that the film comprises many more elements, which one usually associates with 'masala' potboilers. So, keep that thought in mind!

Shivom Oza

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