Can't link from here, but Janice Sequeira and Aniruddha Guha detested it and rated it below Humshakals. Sequeira in particular found it highly misogynistic. Anna Vetticad seemed to be more rolling her eyes about the sexism than flat-out furious, but disapproved of the crude humor* and (threatened and actual) violence against women and thought it pretty dumb in the plotting, acting and song choreography department. She somewhat liked Manasvi Mamgai as the villain's deranged bimbo sister who's obsessed with one half of Ajay's dual role; felt Manasvi had screen presence and showed promise in the brief dancing and action scenes allowed to her, although the role was very trashy. Several reviewers seem to feel that the movie should have been given an A-rating in its present form. As far as the other two female leads go, everyone seems to agree that Sonakshi is doing what Sonakshi usually does, about as well as usual, and that Yami Gautam has a nothing role. Sona seems to be mostly in the first half and Yami mostly in the second half.
There's a brief, twenty-second Shahid cameo in one of the songs, Keeda, I believe. Kunal Roy Kapoor, Aditya's brother plays a comic sidekick who's mostly seen in the first half. The main villain is a Goan gangster played by a Tollywood actor I was not familiar with.
*apparently even cruder than it looked in the trailer.
Recently watched Action Jackson, with some fast-forwarding, and I hate to inflict such a lengthy review about such a minor movie, but it's one of those films where what it does right and what it does wrong are kind of complicated. This is actually two movies in one:
Movie number 1: takes up about two-thirds of the total running time. It is a really lame Rowdy Rathore knockoff about drunken lunk Vishi (Ajay Devgn) who shows his alleged heart of gold by using a switchblade to get a slum child placed in a good school (don't ask), and not taking advantage of Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha) when she starts stalking him. The songs and picturizations are fairly entertaining, and Sona looks lovely but has extremely unfunny material and just doesn't seem to be on the same wavelength with Ajay. The initial jokes about her seeing Vishi "en deshabille" and deciding this is lucky for her do not come off quite as awful in context as they do in the trailer for some reason, but the subsequent mini-arc of her and her girl posse chasing him is seriously offputting. I've liked some South Indian "stalker girlfriend" stories-Indra the Tiger, Ramana/Tagore, and Balakrishna's Simha all have elements of this-but they usually come off as more innocent and less crude than Action Jackson or Aiyyaa does (the closest parallel would be the Stalker!Namitha subplot in Simha which gets slightly bawdy in spots but also retains a kind of naiveness that Action Jackson and Aiyaa lack). Ajay is not particularly funny in this, and aside from a very perfunctory bit about him giving up drinking, we don't get anything like the main guy's fit-and-starts development into a decent human being in Rowdy Rathore. Eventually we and Vishi meet AJ (Ajay again), and AJ convinces Vishi to impersonate him-AJ by telling him about....
Movie number 2: this consists of a few scenes with the villains in the first half, an extended post-interval flashback (see above, "AJ convincing Vishi"), and the climax of the movie, starting with the villains discovering the whole impersonation ploy. It is a pulpy thriller about gang enforcer AJ, who has no redeeming traits beyond being stylish, charismatic and devoted to his common law wife Anusha (Yami Gautam who is luminous and charming in a nothing role). AJ has no excuse for the havoc he wreaks except for the fact that his victims are to all appearances very bad people. Aside from being fairly sexist and occasionally trashy, this is actually a fairly exciting and imaginatively shot gangster fairy tale about how AJ rebuffs the advances of his boss's deranged sister Marina (Manasvi Mamgai) and how this brings a world of hurt down on his innocent wife's head. The film acknowledges that this is AJ reaping what he sowed, in that it's his lifestyle and career that have brought this down on his wife. It suffers from a really lame climax (everything that I didn't care for about the climax of Wanted, spun out to even greater length), and weak song picturizations (AJ/Anusha go to Switzerland! Marina lusts after AJ in the hells of her imagination!) unless you count the surreal katana fight scene set to a torch song with English lyrics, as AJ rescues Marina from assault by her brother's rivals.
Movie Number 2 is shallow and violent, and as a Catholic I could do without the appropriation of the Miserere as part of Marina's theme (she and her brother are apparently meant to be Portuguese Goans), but it's actually impressive how much suspense and anguish Prabhudheva manages to wring out of sequences of the villains stalking and threatening people in this part of the film. I remember reading in 2013 sometime before Action Jackson was finalized, that he wanted to do a movie about a female ghost, and it looks like he channeled a lot of that into the gothic imagery that surrounds Marina, with her raccoon-eye makeup and penchant for shattering mirrors.
The film has taken a lot of heat for the amount of violence against women that it features, mostly in the portions I'm calling movie number 2. In that context-a violent gangster thriller milieu where bad things happen both to men and women-it struck me as intentionally horrifying but not trivialized or fetishistic in the way that some critics have claimed (or no more so than the violence against men). The film is emphatic that no woman deserves to be raped (including the villainess), and when Marina dies at the climax it's as a result of a straight-up, man-to-woman swordfight with AJ, where she does no worse against him than any of the five million male baddies he's faced up til that point. That being said, I personally would have dispensed with the rape threat against Marina, and a lot of the graphic violence against Anusha, because it wasn't my idea of a good time, and frankly this was too trivial of a movie to carry the weight of those horrors.
Is it worth seeing? Not unless you're one of the following: -a major fan of Prabhudheva; -a major fan of Ajay Devgn; -a major fan of interesting female villains (Manasvi Mamgai does quite well with what she is given); -S.S. Rajamouli looking to offload some spare story ideas on a director who's great on the technical craftsmanship but weak on inventing fresh narratives; -Neeraj Pandey looking to offload some spare story ideas on a director who's great on the technical side etc.; -or Mahesh Bhatt looking to hire outside the family for his next pulpy, derivative b-thriller.
dancelover: Finished Madhu, thru the film he is working on today!
Mar 18, 2019 18:52:18 GMT
dancelover: Now working Madhu's lists
Jan 14, 2019 20:33:12 GMT
dancelover: Finished lists for Devika.
Jan 11, 2019 19:31:54 GMT
dancelover: beginning Devika, the Telugu-Tamil star.
Dec 31, 2018 14:29:32 GMT
dancelover: Now finished using a new website about Sivaji Ganesan to revise my jodi-lists for him.
Dec 26, 2018 19:50:24 GMT
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