He can punch and kick, he can pump iron of course, he can dance, he can maybe even romance. Whether or not Sooraj Pancholi can act though we will have to wait for another film to know. She is tall, she has flawless skin, she can pout. Whether or not Athiya Shetty can act though we will have to wait for another film to know.
The good news though is that they aren't complete write-offs. Though it is suspicious that there are times when slow motion seemed to aid his swag and her pout even. But, you never know how things might turn out a couple of films later a la Alia Bhatt. Also, they barely have a chance at dialogue delivery in this film, given they have hardly more than a line at a time to deliver. Almost as if the director knew that they wouldn't be able to handle it.
Why a director with reasonable aptitude like Nikhil Advani agreed to make a film that is more or less a show reel for the starlings - whose parents weren't the greatest actors or even stars themselves – is beyond me.
Whatever the reason might have been, that the dialogue was held at bare minimum gave a few “moment”s to the film. Though not sizzling, at times, there is a lingering charm about Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty's chemistry. Which is also why we can maybe hold judgment about them as actors for a couple more films. They aren't completely plastic as we have come to expect from new actors. Yet, they aren't natural. Through the film you think of them more in terms of whose kids they are in real life rather than the characters they play.
The characters themselves barely have any facets or depth to them. Neither do any of the other aspects of writing. The story stays more or less like Hero (1983). Hero kidnaps heroine for whatever reason. Because they are hero and heroine they have to fall in love. How they drive overnight from Mumbai to a place where it snows is not a question we ask. Anyway, families don't like the alliance. Yadi-yada-da. We saw that 32 years ago and some versions of it before that and after.
Sure, the lighting, the framing, the editing (especially that of the laser dance) is slick. But, the finale performance or even the fight sequence is lame again.
It is striking that patronizing patriarchy has lived through the years. It was back then and it seems to be the norm – at least in many of our movies – even now. It is unnerving that the sole reason for the lead lady's existence in the film is so that she can be protected. It gives the men in her life something to do. Didn't make sense then, doesn't make sense now. Only now she is empowered enough to give away her shorts and mini skirts in an exchange offer for salwar suits to show that she is mourning.
Oh well. Life goes on. The same movie still gets made. New faces, but no value addition to the film, no new stories. So used to expecting the same thing over and over again have we gotten, that we have even stopped getting bored watching them. You shrug, “what else did you expect” and move on.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...But then, every time you see the lead hero live up to the demands of his film and role you forgive all the mistakes. By the end, in classic Salman Khan style action, the shirts come off and the six packs and bulging biceps take control. And like a devoted Bhai fan will tell you, when that happens the film becomes paisa vasool. While there's nothing new on offer in terms of story, the fresh new faces and a brisk runtime of 131 minutes make Hero a breezy entertainer. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mohar Basu, Times of India : ...Sculpted as a full throttle masala entertainer, Hero is plot-heavy. And while you are well acquainted with the story, Nikhil and Salman's sensibility works as midas touch, giving the film a different texture. It is slick and never allows its viewers to feel restless. For its 132 minutes' crisp runtime, Hero offers bucketful of entertainment and victoriously conveys that commercial movies needn't be puerile to show people a good time. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Ritika Handoo, Zee News : ...Also, the camera work has used certain innovative techniques, and it was a good decision to use slow motion for fight chase, as it doubles the effect on viewers. 'Main Hun Hero Tera' by Salman Khan will definitely rush you to the cinema halls, we are sure. So, grab a ticket a watch this one to see the new-age 'hero' and 'heroine'. ... full review
So-So, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...What’s not: The problem lies with the script. It just isn’t innovative or fresh enough. Advani plays safe and doesn’t offer anything new. The story sort of reaches a stale mate in the second half. The introduction of Vivan Bhatena as the baddie seems like an added distraction to shift focus from the lack of a cohesive plot. Also Athiya’s costumes and make up looks sketchy, especially the close ups. There are some badly edited scenes. Sooraj and Athiya fall in a downstream river that oddly takes them up north where Athiya offers prayers to ‘Buddha ji’ promising him she will abscond from all things bad. Only if she had made a similar promise after reading the shoddy script. Except the title song, nothing stands out. In fact the Romeo Juliet skit act in the second half just tests our patience wearing us out. Sooraj has a fantastic body, but every time he rips his shirt to shred, we don’t need a minute long tribute to his naked torso. What to do: Sooraj and Athiya show immense promise. Unfortunately, Hero doesn’t do justice to their potential. ... full review
So-So, by Nayandeep Rakshit, DNA : ...Despite a shoddy story line and a weak script, Hero will be worth your money. And it's majorly Sooraj and Athiya's earnest efforts that will set the ball rolling for the film. Here's to Bollywood's two new discoveries! ... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The story is old hat and quite ancient to boot. So when presented with modern, stylised trappings and without the passion and melody of yore, it just falls flat. As a debut vehicle for star children, this one is a swank, glossy one. But on an intellectual level there’s nothing credible going on. So largely, looks and facetious action is all we have to go on. The characters appear like card-board cut-outs and their perceived motivations lack gravity. The presentation of the two young wannabe stars is quite redolent. Tushar Kanti Ray’s camerawork does wonders for both the young stars and even makes the milieu and the set-up look fantastic. ... full review
So-So, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...Cinematography is taut in the North locations and the picturesque locations make-up for the screenplay that is dilly dallying. The film remains crisp in its run-time and that is one thing that needs to be lauded. Advani makes sure there is no waste of time and hence there is not much beating around the bush but hello! whoever though abrupt change of scenes in editing is completely wrong... full review
So-So, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...The best thing comes at the end. When you see Salman Khan crooning 'Main Hoon Hero Tera'. You wish some of that easy charm had rubbed off on the film.... full review
So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...The music of the film is not too memorable apart from Salman's rendition of the title track, which comes during the end credits. The action scenes are decent enough, but not something that will make you say 'Wow!' In conclusion, the theory that remakes are not as good as originals is proved to be true in this case too… ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...It’s time Bollywood films moved beyond trite build-ups to romances that involve the heroine being inexplicably mean to someone, thus providing an excuse for the hero to put her in her place with a touch of roughing up, seconds after which she falls in love with him. It’s time directors stopped getting well-built male stars to rip off their own shirts or have their clothes blown away by the wind in the middle of a climactic fight to flaunt their ripped torsos – for god’s sake, that worked in Dabangg because Salman’s confrontation with Sonu Sood was executed in a part-serious-part-comic tone. It’s time they stopped getting comedians to speak in rhymes. In Hero, a gori woman tells her obese lover: “You are my Mr Right, but I want your body tight.” ... full review
Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In short this is how our cinema has changed in the last few decades resulting in an utter confusion, wherein the hugely famous flute piece from the original HERO (1983) finds place in a film called HEROPANTI (2014- introducing Jackie Dada’s son), but goes entirely missing in the official remake with the same title co-produced by Subhash Ghai himself in 2015. ... full review
Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, HERO fails the litmus test of rehashing a classic for the Generation Next. It appeals in very small measures and is not an ideal weekend entertainer. If you are a die-hard Salman Khan fan, you may want to patronise, else avoid. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...The original wasn’t such a classic either, but Ghai managed some of his own flourishes like picking tuneful songs and picturising them with panache. Nikhil Advani brings nothing of his own to the table. This Hero could have been directed by a bot. And if it works, it will be because today’s audiences are also mainly bots. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...But, they are not bad. In fact, how often can we say this about Bollywood kids — that they are better than their fathers. Suraj is better than Aditya Pancholi and Athiya is a far, far superior actor to her duh! daddy. That’s a first. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Parichay Mehta , Desi Martini : ...Stay home, get a DVD of Subhash Ghai’s original Hero starring Jackie Shroff & Minakshi Sheshadri & enjoy that. Sooraj & Athiya are weird.... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepanjana Pal, FirstPost : ...Pancholi is making his debut at a time when Bollywood has a set of versatile young actors who are proving to be adventurous in their choices and versatile, but all this young man gets to do in Hero is show off his musculature. Unfortunately for him, every hero in Bollywood seems to have abs and the bland character he plays in Hero makes Pancholi look like a pale replica of Salman Khan, but without Khan's charisma. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Nupur Barua, fullhyd.com : ...Remakes do not necessarily work in our country, and now the idea of a rogue hero giving it all up for his innocent lover is a bit stale. Besides, Tiger Shroff has already made his debut in a movie with a similar storyline. To repeat, the original was not good enough anyway, and the fact that this remake is worse is a reflection of the lack of involvement of the director. As for the famous Salman Khan song - that comes right at the end. You decide if it is worth it. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...From Anita Hassanandani's over enthusiastic 'bhabhi' to Suresh Menon's 'BBM', Hero features many shallow characters. Radha and Sooraj are no exceptions. ... full review
Thumbs down, by RAJEEV MASAND, IBN Live : ...A pair of newcomers making their debut in the year 2015 deserve better than this outdated drivel, but Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty try to make the most of the situation. Given that he's Salman Khan's protégé, it's no surprise that Sooraj, who we’re first introduced to in an impressive training montage, knows his way around action, and looks good without his shirt…which happens often in this film. Athiya, required to be shrill and bimbo-like in the film's initial scenes, appears confident and natural, even if a little raw. There's clearly potential in the pair to do bigger, better things. In one of the film's few genuinely moving moments, they display an aching vulnerability while simply looking at each other from afar, their eyes brimming with tears, no words uttered. Hero just about scratches the surface. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Producer Salman Khan, who is also the singer of the only tolerable track in the film, continues his rather poor innings as a supporter and encourager of new talent in Bollywood. Pancholi and Shetty will hope that they get a second shot at glory. Hero is a debut film that makes Saawariya and Student of the Year seem good movies. That says a lot about the film itself. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...It’s unlikely anyone in this day and age could have made a totally convincing film with material like this, but Hero is dragged down further by pedestrian writing, unremarkable music and patchy direction.... full review
Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Honestly, I wasn’t floored by either of these newcomers in the acting department. Although I do think Athiya has the potential to do better if she plays her strengths. She looks tough, spunky and original -- she ought to project it better. Same goes for you Bollywood, about time you used your imagination to create a brand new Hero instead of living off past laurels... full review
Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...After watching three hours of this torturous film, a thought came to mind. It’s a plea actually. To Salman Khan and all other producers who actually have the power to shape the cinema that reaches us. If you have the resources, filmmaking expertise, and an obvious passion for cinema, why not back good films that take us forward and not a hundred steps behind? Would someone be so kind as to answer this question, please? ... full review
Thumbs down, by Jyothi Venkatesh, Star Blockbuster : ...Last Word: Instead of wasting your money by spending on your ticket for this film, you should watch the original Hero whose songs are a rage even today. ... full review
Thumbs down, by ANUJ KUMAR, The Hindu : ...She tries hard to be one of those who will feign coyness but such scripts require a natural flair to be dumb. Sooraj is slightly better but doesn’t give the impression of a brooding, angry young man who can single-handedly change things for Pasha. At the most Sooraj comes across as the boy who is irked because his father has not been able to bring the promised gizmos. There is more to acting than doing a head stand on nails. Right now his tattoos speak more than his face but some day with the right script he might shine. For now he is just a pale shadow of his godfather Salman Khan. ... full review
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