Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota

wogma rating: Catch on TV/online for sure (?)

quick review:

Quite a bit of fun while it lasts even though it is predictable at most times. Just good to see an attempt by Hindi films in the pulp genre.

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Director: Vasan Bala
Running time: 140 minutes
Genres: Dark Comedy
More Movie Info

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota - Preview

When I first heard the title, I immediately thought of Unbreakable where the protagonist doesn’t feel pain too. Of course, that was diametrically opposite in terms of taking itself seriously. Here we have, what looks like a spoof on super-hero and Hindi films.

In a different approach to introducing the film to us, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota has the lead actors express their insecurities/frustrations to us. While Abhimanyu Dassani speaks out loud all the possible questions the audience might have, Radhika Madan calls out the obvious nepotism and sexism. Moreover, you have a different, self-aware trailer telling you that the movie is not all ‘festival material’. All this put together, made me wonder why the film is going all out to do the audience’s thinking for them. It is not like, if these misgivings stand true, the audience is going to become less critical of the film.

I guess self-deprecating humour is what they were shooting for. Whether or not it worked, only the final product will tell. As far as my interest in the film goes, it was neither piqued nor diminished by the trailers. It is the same, reasonably high curiosity by the humour and that Vasan Bala is finally directing a film. Hopefully, it won’t be one of those angsty films what struggling filmmakers end up making their first films about. And there is hope that it’s not. I am actually intrigued by the action in the film.

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota releases on 21 March 2019.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Do you ever have a conversation in your head, in which you have laid down every detail clearly, and then things don’t play out the way you had imagined? What if you got to make a movie out of those situations? It would be fun, right? Weird fun, but fun indeed. Well, until you get to see your imagination and reality on screen, you can watch Surya’s. That is until it becomes repetitive and predictable, thus overdone. That bit dampens the experience. But the humour and insight littered through these depictions make the repetition slightly tolerable. And for those of you who got all the references, I am sure it will be a lot more fun too.

It is heartening to see a debutante director try out a rarely touched genre in Hindi cinema.

The one bit that struck a chord with me was that in his imagination, Surya (Abhimanyu Dassani) would be a saviour but in reality, more often than not, he is not the hero he thinks he is. This becomes especially fun when the women don’t need him to save them. This along with the adjoiner that conditioning doesn’t allow thinking, smart women to walk away from abusive relationships with men, feels like a well-rounded thought, which is remarkable. Usually, movies make a passing remark and move on. So this felt complete even though it is sad that these things have to be spelt out.

The rest of the film has a few laugh out loud moments, some of them just because it is too silly. It also has a lovely training montage that doesn’t feel like one until it is halfway done. But the most enjoyable bits are some beautifully executed sequences, a few of which are the action ones and a couple well-timed, just-the-right length ones like the one between Surya and his friend, Supri about an itch.

Other than these good pieces, the rest of the film seems uneven and patchy. It also resorts to the usual annoyances like voiceover and slow-motion. Also, a cliché is still a cliché even if you call yourself out on it whether it is a character or a situation.

Given this quirky setting with an unusual character to play, Abhimanyu Dassani does well as a boy who hasn’t been allowed to grow up and is completely comfortable in being a man-child for he knows no other way. Radhika Madan also has a presence that I would like to see more of. It is heartening to see a debutante director try out a rarely touched genre in Hindi cinema.

However, as unique as this presentation might be, this film is only an excellent set-up for a sequel, if not a series. Without that vision, it is just one person’s fantasy come true of making a film. Until then, it is a film that does well in the individual departments, especially the quirk department but doesn’t come together as a whole unit, all the time.

- meeta, a part of the audience

26 reviewers(?) - 21 yays 4 so-so 1 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In short, MARD KO DARD NAHI HOTA needs to be seen for its action and the execution featuring the terrific Radhika Madan in particular. Just loved her intro action scene and the way she slides over the front of a car wearing the white attire with Kishore Kumar’s Nakhrewaali playing in the backdrop.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...But the really interesting performances come from Mahesh Manjrekar as Surya’s precocious grandfather and Gulshan Devaiah who is a riot as twin brothers, one plainly evil the other supremely righteous, both utterly filmy. I think Devaiah got what the director has attempted to do in this film even better than the director himself.... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, MARD KO DARD NAHI HOTA rests on an interesting idea and is well directed and performed. At the box office, it will need to depend on a strong word of mouth to post decent numbers at the ticket windows.... full review

Thumbs up, by Tushar p Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...If you ask me then Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is a definite ticket to buy this weekend. Buckle up for a fun ride where the unexpected becomes the new normalcy and logic and reason are tossed out so you could let your imagination run wild!... full review

Thumbs up, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...MKDNH’s strength lies in its clever, political screenplay, funny, crisp dialogue and the film’s goofy disposition to have fun. There’s freshness to how all its characters act and speak, and then there’s the injection of the real in the filmy for comic effect, especially at Jimmy’s Security Services, but the film’s magic lies in how it uses clichés and classic scenes.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...The good news is that the film ends with the hint of a sequel. I think if Vasan finds his footing, we might get a worthy desi superhero franchise. I’m going with three stars.... full review

Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Abhimanyu Dassani lends a raw, geeky innocence to the revenge-seeking, epoch making ‘mard’ in this picture. Mahesh Manjrekar is highly effective, Radhika Madan lends power and Gulshan Devaiah, Class to this cross-genre parody that is most likely to generate paroxysms than brickbats!... full review

Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...all woven cleanly into this fourth-wall breaking joyride. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, frequently filmed in affectionate and glorious slow motion, is a salutation.... full review

Thumbs up, by Lakshana N Palat, india today : ...All said and done, our hero might not feel any pain, but Bala’s zany tribute to the days of yore leaves a mark on you with all its silliness. With its cheer, colour and sparkle, it’s the perfect Holi gift. Don’t miss this. 3.5/5 for Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota celebrates the flaws of Bollywood like never before. Watch it before its too late, and you regret the decision while laughing your heart out in front of your television/laptop/mobile screen months later.... full review

Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Under all the eccentricity and slo-mo gags and Easter eggs, there’s a warmth and enthusiasm which saves the film from being merely clever. Many bones are broken in Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, but not one of them is cynical.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Some of the fight sequences in the film are reminiscent of Stephan Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle — magnifying the aesthetic and theatrics of every blow for maximum impact. The two films also share a common agenda — to tickle you where it hurts.... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The hero and the film are alike - they do things that you least expect them to. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is therefore is packed with delightful surprises, not the least of which are the ways in which it turns the genre on its head.... full review

Thumbs up, by Priyanka Sinha Jha, News18.com : ...Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is the inventive, new age Hindi cinematic offering that could appeal to the millennial audience. With a combination of its wacky setup and laughs aplenty this avant-garde film could, in fact, turn out to be a surprise sleeper hit of a film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...A homage to everything we grew up with: kung fu flicks, Bollywood revenge dramas, love stories, reality shows and yes, superhero movies. You will have a smile pasted on your face to watch this very different offering about a chap who doesn't feel physical pain, but is out to avenge his mother. It's a delight to watch this superbly done action flic... full review

Thumbs up, by ANISH MOHANTY, Planet Bollywood : ...The film is a technically solid product. Jay Patel’s camerawork should vie for the top honours this year. It also has a terrific soundtrack by Karan Kulkarni which is used sporadically in the film – do listen to the full album. One has seen the brilliance of Vasan Bala in several of the music videos/ songs (remember ‘Ikk Kudi’ from ‘Udta Punjab’) and several TVCs that he has helmed in all these years. With this film, he proves, yet again that he is a master craftsman. Now, one just hopes ‘Peddlers’, too, sees the light of the day.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Vasan Bala has fun through and through.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...The bulky man of the title is but a child, and Abhimanyu Dassani is perfectly cast. The debutant actor steers the cheerful homage to chopsocky films with the perfect balance of earnestness and innocence. Surya feels no pain, but there is nothing unfeeling about Vasan Bala’s retro tribute to the small, silly and lasting ways in which the movies leave an imprint on the soul.... full review

Thumbs up, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...It holds true of the film as well—there is the affirmation of continuities even at the seeming dead-ends of life, an exuberance in the lowest points, a jocularity even in tragedies. The cheeriness, sparkle and zing is just what the doctor ordered. Buy into the film’s blithe spirit this Holi.... full review

Thumbs up, by Gaurang Chauhan, Times Now : ...Overall, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is an epic and fun ode to the cinema with funny dialogues, solid writing, great performances and loads and loads of nostalgia. Don't miss it.... full review

Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Don’t go looking for logic and you will have a blast watching Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota. There’s no forced humour or slapstick, just weird thoughts and weirder execution. The film is made in a certain space and once you surrender yourself to it, it’s an outrageous journey that you won’t regret taking. This one’s truly hatkey...has haske zaroor dard hoga.... full review

So-So, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...Verdict: The humour here is infectious, but doesn’t hold throughout. This is a film more suited for OTT viewing, which you can enjoy during a Sunday brunch with a group of buddies.... full review

So-So, Filmfare : ...All-all-all, the film’s gags don’t travel well outside the context. It’s one of those -- ‘you’ve to be there’ -- kind of films. But within those two hours, you’ll surely laugh your head off. At another level, the film is a homage to Hong Kong action films, HIndi film villains and Hindi film music of the ’80s. It’s as absurd and campy as they come. Vasan Bala has kind of made an origin film for Surya and Supri and if the last scene is any indication, one should be prepared for sequels to follow...... full review

So-So, by Pradeep Menon, FirstPost : ...If Bala hammers away and chisels this madness into something greater with a sequel, his sophomore directorial effort might still amount to something of substance yet.... full review

So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...It is the kind of film in which you are not supposed to dig deep for meaning or logic. A character helpfully tells us as much. Mard works best when it is klutzy and bouncy and light on its feet, and those are the parts which help us go past the occasional flatness: many people in the theater where I saw it were laughing out loud.... full review

Thumbs down, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...If quirky black comedies are your fodder, go watch “Stree” again. But stay away from this balderdash.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of martial arts. None too gory, but all well done so might scare/inspire younger kids?
  • Language: Largely clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Characters talk about sex
  • Concept: A man has a disease in which he feels no pain
  • General Look and Feel: Carries texture like the films from the 80s-90s

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota - Cast, crew, links

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140 minutes
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