Review - Heroes: Gift-wrapped patriotism

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Like the physical map of India, the movie starts off at the north with highs and lows, stays high for a bit and then goes pretty much flat.

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I recently visited Sikkim, the tiny, north-eastern state of India that borders three countries. Needless to say we encountered a lot of military camps, one such at 17100 feet above sea level. One question always haunts me - what makes a person decide he wants to stay away from his family, face death every day? What kind of passion drives him? Heroes makes an attempt to answer this question. Unfortunately, what started off very interestingly as a debate is only a camouflage leading us to a pre-determined conclusion.

The stories of the three soldiers encompass all intimate relationships - spouse, siblings, and parents. And it does so well, by clearly defining each prominent member of the family. But, that can't be said about the two bikers who set out to meet these families, Sammy and Ali. There are very slight differences and the things that move or trigger their behavior are fuzzy.

Anyway, the story is not as much about them as it is about what we can draw from the three families. Alas, only one story manages to touch you. The others are crippled by over-dramatization and predictability. The elegance beautifully seeping into interiors of Punjab is a real treat - especially since it's in such contrast with how loud Punjabis are usually depicted as in Hindi movies. Certainly, Preity Zinta's composed performance had a lot to do with how her story moves you.

Soon enough, Sunny Deol takes over all the loudness that we were apparently missing. And from then on the narrative is downhill. Sunny Deol comes across as eccentric, but then again, his character was supposed to be eccentric. Having given that benefit of doubt too, it was a bit much to handle. This is followed by Mithun Chakraorty's story which had a lot of potential since he was the only affected character debating against people joining the army. But, it just didn't have the required vigor and enthusiasm to take the movie through to touchdown.

The other culprit is the length of the movie. The forever, dragged on hugs just don't have a place in a movie like this. And it does become a bore when the subtlety gives way to long-winded spiels that shove patriotism down our throat. The slapsticky introduction of the bikers too, was absolutely out of tune with the rest of the movie. Not to mention the songs. Do we really have to see one Deol brother teach the other how to dance?!

It requires courage to avoid the sleaze and the so-called glamour. Yet, Heroes does manage to raise a question and answers it, even if not convincingly. It gives us an opportunity to salute.

Salutes to the heroes who lay down their lives for us. Salutes to their families who make sacrifices like it were their duty. Salutes to the bravery and to the pride.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: One fight scene
  • Nudity and Sexual content: A couple of sleazy songs and scenes.
  • Concept: It questions the motivation behind joining the armed forces.
  • General Look and Feel: They do try to give a light feel to the intense issues involving sacrifice and heroism. You are also downed with lectures on patriotism.

Heroes - Movie Details

Heroes - Trailer

Comments (3)

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meetu:

'without giving the movie away' silvan, remember?

Thank you so much Naresh Allu!

eye candy, neha?

whacky:

well the movies was refreshingly different considered the thought which went into the making of it..
but i think there was too much of pun and weeping scenes to disturb the balance of the movies it would have had otherwise..

This is one great movie review blog i have seen.. i was personally looking for one such theme to suite me :)

meetu:

Thanks whacky! Keep coming...

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