Friday, September 30, 2011


Feel the Force

Of late I have enjoyed the slew of action films coming out from Bollywood, especially the cop ones thanks to Salman Khan's highly successful Dabangg that had energized the genre and allowed the likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and now John Abraham to follow suit in playing no nonsense tough cops who talk with their guns and fists and do not hesitate meeting fire with fire against their villains. Sure you will raise your eyebrows at the tactics and techniques used, but while some of the earlier films had a tinge of exaggeration in their action sequences, Force was all serious.

John Abraham stars as the hulking giant ACP Yash of the narcotics bureau who had spent the most parts of his life undercover and busting drug lords and their syndicates. We see how, without the baggage of close friends and family, he gets to do what he does best since there's pretty much nothing anyone can do to find an emotional sweet spot in which to exploit the inherent weakness of man when he has a loved one or family to look after. That status quo changes when he meets with Maya (Genelia D'Souza) with whom he starts off on the wrong foot with, but slowly but surely it took them an entire half of a film before the intermission to fall in love.

Which dragged out the first half as it tried extremely hard to balance the romantic moments, and that of the action ones with ACP Yash assembling his own crack team of buddies to go after the major drug lords in the city, before realizing that they were indirectly helping the meanest drug syndicate of them all, run by the maniacal Vishnu (Vidyut Jamwal) to re-enter the market and become the de-facto monopoly on illicit drug supplies since there's essentially no competition. And as a pre-emptive strike, Vishnu comes up with plans to rid Yash and his men with family and loved ones no longer being sacred and untouchable as he goes all out to get even.

Told largely in a flashback nature since the film opens with Yash being busted out of a window fighting for dear life before being rushed to hospital, Force came off as a mixed bag, while at times trying to be gritty and cold, but let down by a rather clunky delivery especially during emotional scenes which were implausible to have happened, especially the final scene involving Yash, Maya and Vishnu, with the audience made to wonder where Vishnu is and what he was doing while waiting for the lovers to say what they needed to say.

John Abraham with mean tattoo, shades and attitude was probably the only reason to watch Force, a remake of the Tamil movie Kaakha Kaakha directed by Nishikanth Kamath. Here his buffed body naturally becomes the talk of the town as there were many engineered scenes where he just had to take his top off, and the final battle was somewhat like a hats off to Salman Khan in any typical action role were valid reasons to become shirtless was almost always due to the villain. Genelia D'Souza role as Maya was basically to look good and provide justification why ACP Yash would choose to plunge headlong into a relationship when he was already married to his job, and their romance really took its own sweet time to simmer, and Vidyut Jamwal could only do so much given his limited screen time, only managing to reinforce he's such a badass every time he chooses to exercise punishment on the cops.

Force had lacked what its contemporaries in the genre had - plenty of fun, and a unique gimmick for a selling point. It had taken itself way too seriously, and with only its production rumour of John Abraham really marrying Genelia D'Souza on set no thanks to the actual rites being chanted and followed, may bring in the crowds and put bums on seats. A pretty bland effort overall, which is a pity since the tough cop genre had built up a strong momentum only for Force to actually deliver a whimper and derail that effort.

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