Review - Action Replayy: A Diwali release that’s no more than bright colours & loud noises
In keeping with the Diwali mood, Action Replayy is all about bright colours and loud noises. Expect no more than that (not even a plot) and you'll be entertained...just about enough. The superficiality of depiction of the 70s era grates but the gags carry you through for some part. After that, it's time to walk out of the theatre and never think about it again.
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Handing it over to Ideasmith, who's reviewing Action Replayy for me. Thanks a ton! Means much!
Wish you all a crackling Diwali and a brighter year ahead!
If you are a fan of 70s pop culture, if ‘retro’ sounds like home to you, then please don’t watch Action Replayy – you might be tempted to destroy some furniture. If you are a sci-fi buff and still hold out for some promise in Bollywood, I suggest you look elsewhere. But if bright colours, loud noises and easy gags entertain you, Action Replayy just might work for you. Just don’t expect another Om Shanti Om. In some ways, Action Replayy is a fitting Diwali release, considering that the volume is turned up all through the movie. Think blinding pyschedelia in Eastman colour and crescendo-style background scores for the frequent melodrama scenes.
The movie starts on the run, with everything speeded up, which you figure might be so that the story can get to the main meaty blast from the past. Once there, the plot loses its pace and runs on spoofy moments vaguely reminiscent of 70s cinema, like exaggerated caricatures and extreme proclamations (“No love marriage!”). The trouble with this spoof is its lack of authenticity. Considering that the subject is an age of rich iconography and abundant pop culture references, Action Replayy is woefully tacky in its depiction. Coverage is very superficial, sticking only to crazy hairstyles and an explosion of polka-dots in every scene.
For the first half of the movie, the sheer novelty of time travel, the cinematic flourishes of switching to Eastman colour, the vibrancy of retro-style Bombay keep you engaged. The scene where Bunty (Aditya) first looks around and gets his bearings in 70s’ Bombay carries through predictably but nicely. After the interval, the mixed up references, the lack of a coherent plot and the jerky pace start to grate a bit. There is some saving grace in the chase sequence at the end, true to 70s cinema complete with action, comedy and romance.
Akshay Kumar hams it up as Kishen ‘Kitchen’ Kumar, the loser-turned-stud and it fits well enough in a movie of this type. Aishwarya Rai’s character seems to have gone astray since she starts off as shrewish, morphs into impish, detours into bully tomboy and finally dissolves into maudlin. Om Puri and Kiron Kher look like their having a real blast in their extreme but funny roles. A talented actor like Rajpal Yadav is sadly wasted in the sort of role usually reserved for the Johnny Levers and Jaspal Bhattis of current day Bollywood. Randhir Kapoor and Neha Dhupia each make blink-and-you-miss-it appearances. The real surprise in this movie is newcomer Aditya Roy Kapur who navigates the jerky plot with ease, holding his own superbly against the more senior actors (everybody else). Rannvijay Singh may have presence or he may not but its really hard to tell when he’s hidden behind the scary facial hair, styling and acting (possibly a throwback to the chest-rubbing aura of yesteryear Ranjit).
The incomplete visual references aside, the music disappoints too, not because it is bad in itself but because music is a key aspect of Bollywood film-making and would be expected to deliver on the past versus present front. Most of it doesn’t fit the style of the era, in terms of melody, lyrics, instrumentation or even choreography. At times, it even even blunders into 80s-style bling or 60s-age nasal voices. Other than the credits theme in the very beginning, none of the other songs fit their situations, at all.
If I sound disappointed, it’s only because I know that so much more could have been done even within the limited dimensions of this movie. Even going with a gag-ridden, cardboard-character spoof, the budgets might have been better used if the research had been a little deeper or the story better thought out. Instead, they seemed to have gone for flashy promos and trailers that cull most of the high points of the movie. Everything else is just bright colours and loud noises. Still, it is Diwali after all, so I suppose there is some timepass to be derived from those.
This review is by guest reviewer IdeaSmith. Ideasmith is a moniker for Ramya, an ex-business analyst on sabbatical and an aspiring novelist. The free-spirited verbal performer in her shows up at The Ideasmithy and The XX Factor.
- Violence: None at all.
- Language: Chaste 70s style, even in the bickering. The worst insult is calling someone a gadha (donkey).
- Nudity & Sexual content: One conversation about sex which never mentions any of the 'taboo' words and uses conventional imagery like flowers and baby talk. The actresses costumes include very short miniskirts and plunging necklines.
- Concept: A love story in the 70s.
- General Look and Feel: Retro (pyschedelia, polka dots, peace symbols) in Eastman colour.
Action Replayy - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Twitter Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: VipulAmruttlalShah
- Producer: Vipul Shah
- Director: Vipul Shah
- Lead Cast: Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai
- Supporting Cast: Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sudeepa Singh, Rannvijay Singh, Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Kirron Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Randhir Kapoor
- Story: Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair, Aatish Kapadia
- Screenplay: Aatish Kapadia, Aatish Kapadia, Suresh Nair
- Dialogues: Aatish Kapadia, Aatish Kapadia, Aatish Kapadia
- Cinematography: Sejal Shah, Sejal Shah
- Editor: Amitabh Shukla
- Background Score: Sulaiman Merchant, Salim Merchant
- Choreography: Ganesh Acharya, Remo D'Souza, Bosco
- Music Director: Pritam Chakraborty
- Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
- Art Direction: Aparna Raina , Aparna Raina
- Facebook Page: Link
- Inspired by: Back to the future
- Running time: 150 minutes
- Reviewer: IdeaSmith
- Language: Hindi
- Genres: Comedy, Romance