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STARRING: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam, Kunaal Roy Kapoor, Manasvi Mamgai
DIRECTOR: Prabhu Deva
RATING: 1.5 stars
You might like to believe that Action Jackson is a film about Ajay Devgn’s action and Sonakshi Sinha’s histrionics. Well, that’s just secondary.
Action Jackson is an emotional story that raises a pertinent question --- ‘how far will you go for a maniac sister who has such unrealistic yet so innocent demands?’
The film is about a gangster, a badass bald brother (Anand Raj) who has a sultry, sexy (forever) seductive sister Marina. (yeh ladki hain ya kisi ka address). Marina is special. She doesn’t breathe. She only heaves. She doesn’t speak. She only gasps. Even if she wants to fetch a glass water, she will look at you seductively and say, "(heavy panting) Heyyyyyy, I waaaannnttt…watterrr…(gasps). Pleaaaaseee get me a glass offff waaaateerrr." The amount of hot air that has escaped that pair of nostrils has melted a million glaciers around the world.
Madam Seduction has fallen for the brooding boy AJ (Ajay-intensity-ki-wholesale-market-Devgn) who is married, hence not available.
The crazy sister doesn’t yield. She is stubborn, like a kid in a fair demanding a balloon. She insists on being married to AJ. Bald bhaiyya’s heart breaks at sister’s misery. He indulges her and diligently sends men to kill AJ’s wife every month, like a dedicated expat in Dubai sending money back home.
Action Jackson is a tribute to Salman Khan films. The writers have lazily tweaked Sallu bhai’s famous dialogues and given their sad versions to Ajay Devgn. Hence "ek baar maine commitment kar di…becomes no commitment, no appointment, only punishment." And "main dil mein aata hoon, samajh main nahi…" becomes "aaya toh dil mein, warna dimaag mein bhi nahi."
Prabhu Deva is very consistent, with his heroine (Sonakshi-100-crore-ki-guarantee-ke-saath-Sinha), his action sequences and mind-numbing lines. (Refer previous para!)
So actors keep changing but the setting of Wanted remains unchanged, untouched. It’s like filling in a template with new actors; Salman (Wanted), Akshay (Rowdy Rathore), Shahid Kapoor (R Raajkumar) and now Ajay Devgn (Action Jackson). The stencil that has been so reserved for the Prabhu Devas, Rohit Shettys of the world remains as is; a garage, cars aching to be set ablaze, glass panes of buildings dying to be crashed and bhade ke tattoo waiting to be punched.
In Prabhu Deva’s films, the sound department guys are paid more than the writers. (And I am assuming that he hires writers.) The overpaid sound guys work overtime. The knives and swords cling clang and cling clang some more, the rains pitter patter and pitter patter some more, the hero’s jacket swings and cuts the wind and makes a sound like someone is being beheaded. There is ample background score for every move, every moment. When Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha) comes on screen, someone sings in the background, "Ooooo Khushiiiii." Ditto for Vishi (Ajay Devgn), "Ooooo Vishi." They even tell us when the action shifts to foreign locales. Someone whispers in a foreign accent, “Bannngggkookkk!!”
So when we are not turning deaf with the sound design of the film, we are shown such amazing bonding between different characters. Khushi suffers from terrible luck; like not getting tickets for her favourite film (awww, so sad!) or getting late to work (Gosh, that’s heartbreaking!). She redefines the first world tragedies. Bad luck is not hungry kids dying around the world but that extra pinch of salt in Khushi’s soup. I cried at her situation and added some more NaCl to my popcorns and to her salty soup. She soon realises her luck is directly proportional to Vishi’s (Ummm, how do I say this?) crotch. Yes, when she sees a full-Monty-Vishi, she gets lucky at work and elsewhere. The first half of the movie hence comprises of Khushi’s relentless efforts to trick Vishi into a ‘pants down’ moment!!
There is an important scene where AJ goes to meet an injured Anusha (Yami-the-former-donor-banker-remember-Gautam) in the hospital. Khushi comes to console AJ. She assures him, with a don’t-worry-all-will-be-okay-smile. At this moment, I am thinking someone will cry. Someone HAS to cry. Violins have to play. Lata aunty has to croon in the background. And cut. An item number creeps up on us; Sonakshi Sinha in a yellow number, shaking her belly and singing, "Chichora Piya." See this is our answer to international cinema. You boggle us with a certain Interstellar and we will keep you guessing with a Chichora Piya.
Equally perplexing is the film’s title and the titular casting. Poor Jackson must be painfully moonwalking in his grave every time Ajay Devgn tried air punching and stomping the ground in the name of dancing. It’s interesting how Ajay and Attitude both begin with ‘A’, and so does Awkwardness.
So if your idea of good action is shoving a sharp knife into someone’s mouth, down his throat cutting his intestines. If your idea of good humour is a Sonakshi Sinha desperate to see a naked Ajay Devgn. And your idea of good music is songs like Keeda, Chichora Piya and Surya ast Punjabi mast, then, one, I am FURIOUSLY judging you. Two, I AM STILL JUDGING YOU!!
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN
5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!)
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once.
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?