'Hero:' A poor clone

MUMBAI: The myth that stars can make a film work makes producers resort to gimmicks like sequels or a remake of an old hit. While a sequel may work at times, though not as well as the original, remakes are a big risk because not only is it near impossible to recreate a classic but even the audience, the ambience and other aspects change every few years. And, to think that the original Hero is over three decades old.

Hero brings together two star kids, Sooraj Pancholi (son of Aditya Pancholi) and Athiya Shetty (daughter of Suniel Shetty). It has been produced by Salman Khan, the reigning superstar, along with Subhash Ghai, the maker of the original Hero (1983). 

The film starts on the same lines as the original: Sooraj is a goon, generally referred to by all as goonda and not hero. He has been assigned the job of kidnaping Athiya, the daughter of IGP Tigmanshu Dhulia. Dhulia is an honest cop who has arrested Aditya Pancholi for the murder of a journalist. Aditya is behind bars and sure to be convicted since Dhulia has all the evidence needed. Aditya, having tried all possible means to influence Dhulia, including bribery, decides that kidnapping Dhulia’s daughter is the only way left to arm-twist him. 

Sooraj owes much to Aditya, his foster father, who he treats like his own father. He complies with Aditya’s wishes and kidnaps Athiya and moves to a shack in a snowy valley along with his buddies. He poses as a cop assigned by her father to protect her and take her far away because of a threat to her life from Aditya. Athiya and Sooraj are no strangers to each other. Earlier in the film, mighty Sooraj has saved Athiya from her ex-boyfriend by felling him a few punches at a nightclub when he was harassing her. 

Now that she thinks he is a cop employed by her father especially to protect her, she falls in love with him before you can say ASAP! While some romancing, singing, and revelry happen, it is time for Dhulia and his cops to catch up with the couple. However, Sooraj being the hero, outperforms numerous automatic-gun-wielding cops and Athiya’s brother, Sharad Kelkar, chasing them in a chopper. He jumps a broken bridge across a gorge on his bike. They don’t make it to the other side but fall into the gorge and are presumed dead! 

Aditya is being taken to court and, for some reason, Sooraj and Athiya are also around when a police constable triggers a bomb. The audience doesn’t know why. This is the point where the film goes haywire beyond salvation. With a lot of cross firing, a lot of junior artistes die while all relevant characters always come out unscathed! The cops survive this bomb blast, as do Dhulia, Kelkar, Aditya, Sooraj and Athiya. While Aditya escapes, Sooraj is arrested and sentenced to two years imprisonment. On the other hand, Athiya is dispatched off to Paris to learn dancing!

Post-jail and Paris, the romance continues. Just when the story seems to come to a dead-end, the makers parachute in a new villain out of nowhere. His credentials are that he is a gambler of high stakes beyond his capacity, owing crores to a don (who later turns out to be Aditya himself) and can flex his muscles too, the prime requirement for film roles today. 

There is no story now as the film proceeds on whims and fancies and manages only to get on the viewers’ nerves. While a lot in the film is unpredictable being illogical, the climax is utterly predictable. 

To compare this film to the original Hero would be sacrilege. This is a poorly scripted and unimaginatively directed film. While the original had a talent bank in its star cast, this one has mostly unknown faces.

Musical score is no patch on the original version, even though music was a reason in most part for its success. Editing is slack. Dialogue is mundane. Action is good but only as good as every other film nowadays. Sooraj will need time to be accepted; this is not the film promising him that. Athiya could prove a better model. Aditya is okay as usual. Dhulia who keeps calling Sooraj a goonda, in fact, looks more like one. Kelkar suffers from an undefined character. Chetan Hansraj plays what Manek Irani played in old days; his job is only to be bashed up by the hero every time he confronts him.

Hero is a poor remake and though the opening shows had a fair number of footfalls, there are also instances of the viewers walking out halfway through. The prospects in toto look bad.

Producers: Salman Khan, Subhash Ghai

Director: Nikhil Advani

Cast: Sooraj Pancholi, Athiya Shetty, Aditya Pancholi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sharad Kelkar

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