After giving us Waqt (I still shudder at the memory), Namastey London (Katrina Kaif speaking out of a snorkel), London Dreams (Ajay the star”rocking” London), he throws at us his most recent offering – Action Replayy. I will not debate the issue of heavy “inspiration” from Back To The Future, because thinking of these two films together is nothing short of sacrilege. Nor will I debate the logic of the Time-machine in the living room, the motherless boy and fatherless girl, and the young guy with the Afro. To do that would require deep thoughts, and Jack Handey is on vacation today. Does Vipul know the basics of film-making?
1. The biggest audience draw, the hero, is shown with buck teeth and scraggly hair throughout. Putting Akshay Kumar in an ugly persona to make it seem like he is acting well – that did not work.
2. The leading lady is decked out in LOUD faux-70s costumes and she flounces in and out of scenes as if there is no other actor sharing screen space with her.
3. The 70s were not ugly and loud – nor did they look like bad film sets. Not one part of this film is real in look.
4. A series of gags and funny one-liners (and there were precious few of those) cannot be strung together into a film. OK – it worked once in Singh Is Kingg (who knows why), but it will not work again (fingers crossed).
5. Songs should be planned and should spring from some vision that integrates them into the film. Every song was picturized as though the director woke up to the fact that there would be a song that day and somehow cobbled it together. No song had any need or meaning within the context of the film.
6. Let us introduce the heroine – viola, here is a Holi song where she cavorts (or rather gyrates in a most HISSS star like manner) among a bevy of men.
7. The hero needs a makeover – kick his buck teeth in, make him do some pull-ups, give him loud loud clothing and have him dance around a maypole – Nakhre it is!
At some point one has to stop torturing oneself. This was my point. When neither the hero nor heroine look like the belong in the film, and every prop is a bad version of bought from the Disney-land plastic shop, the gags make you gag, and even the good songs are killed by absolutely un-inventive situations and choreography, then one has to say enough.
My plea to Vipul Shah is to please stop killing Gujarati theater, one play at a time. Cease and desist sir!