Cast: Varun Dhawan, Ileana DCruz, Nargis Fakhri, Arunoday Singh, Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Evelyn Sharma, Manoj Pahwa, Saurabh Shukla, Supriya Shukla, Raju Her
Direction: David Dhawan
Most of India’s leading stars have physical tricks they exploit, to entertain and create a trademark. Amitabh Bachchan had his signature dance step and akimbo stance; Rajini Sir the sunglasses thing; Govinda had unparalleled dance and comic moves; Shakrukh has the I-love-you hand span; Salman has a torso trick that excites boys and the box-office; and now, Varun Dhawan. He has nipples that twitch, separately and in unison.
For this marvel of physiology we must thank daddy David Dhawan who gets two girls to wrap themselves on either side of Varun and delicately pick his shirt to reveal his shaved chest on which glisten two 10-rupee coin sized nipples. Varun reviews each one proudly, smiles at us and then twitches them: left, right, together, together. Aah! The joys of having a Big Bollywood Daddy. Instead of a tight slap, this bathroom idiocy gets recorded, mounted on a big screen and is playing across the country’s cinema halls.
If you needed proof that we live in times when we all must pander to the lowest common denominator, here’s 128 minutes of it and it’s called Main Tera Hero.
In Coonoor lives Sreenath Prasad (Varun Dhawan), or Seenu, a large, burly, flagrant duffer who is well known and well hated in his hometown. Despite this, the gods talk to him, answering all his queries every time he accosts them. Not out of any sort of love, but because Seenu is a pesky one and the gods are hostages in plaster of paris sculptures.
Seenu fails his college finals by two marks, so he kidnaps his professor’s daughter from her mandap. But when this leads to more humiliation from all and sundry, including his own father (Manoj Pahwa), Seenu decides to go to Bangalore to get a degree. Ya, really, just like that he boards a cute, narrow-gauge train to Bangalore, bashing up some eve-teasing goons en route.
But in TIFT, a college we will learn nothing about, before duffer Seenu can even get to a classroom, forget get a degree, in saunters Sunaina (Ileana DCruz) and he’s smitten. Seenu hits on Sunaina in his prattling, wind-bag style, but she remains quiet. Why?
You see, one Inspector Angad (Arunoday Singh), who has the intellect, landmass and temperament of Orcs from The Lord of The Rings, has petrified Sunaina and her family into silent acquiescence to his command, which is "I love Sunaina and she is mine". Their only hope is his supreme stupidity which is often on display. Angad has anger issues and likes to clinch all arguments either with a bullet or a “knock knock” joke, some of which are funny. He also carries on his person a small, cretin-like creature, Peter (Rajpal Yadav), who is his repeater.
Seenu tricks Angad and gets three days to flirt and patao Sunaina. She falls for him, but before they can make-out an international killer alights from a rather interesting looking helicopter to lift and carry Sunaina, Ravan like, to Lanka. Except that it’s not Ravan who covets Sita here, but Surpanakha who covets Seenu, and the destination is Bangkok.
Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri), the daughter of Vikrant Singhal (Anupam Kher), Asia and Africa’s biggest gangster, took a fancy to Seenu on the train to Bangalore and would like to marry him. She could have just proposed to him, or asked him out. But, instead, she sends daddy’s minion to abduct Sunaina, so that Seenu follows and can be forced into matrimony.
Let's pause here. You must sit on the edge of your seat after interval and wait for Nargis Fakhri’s entry — her first scene, first dialogue in the film is a rare moment. Rarely has such a talent-free pair of botoxed lips in a wooden frame graced the mainstream. I mean, seriously. Pouting, giggling and going “daddy-daddy” has been the lot of Indian actresses since the days of Nutan and Rajshree. And yet Miss Fakhri behaves as if she’s not been asked to utter some inanity to her “daaddu”, but deliver the keynote speech at the Nobel awards ceremony. Thankfully, Miss Fakhri’s speaking part is henceforth kept to a minimum. All the voluble jabbering is left to her father, his bimbette girlfriend Veronica (Evelyn Sharma) and side-kick Balli (Saurabh Shukla) -- all of whom Seenu must fool to get his girl.
From a triangle the plot transmogrifies into a quadrangle when Angad+Peter too arrive in Bangkok. The story now runs helter-skelter till it abruptly decides that it’s done.
My recounting may sound beautifully coherent to you. But I assure you, the film is not. And proof of how criminally muddled the film is is Balli who, by the end, sits in a wheel-chair whistling to self.
Main Tera Hero is a film powered by papa ka pyaar for his beta and this familial love fest is financed by mommy-daughter team of Shobhaa and Ekta Kapoor.
David Dhawan creates lavish backdrops and picks two sexy, slender things to adorn his son. He also hires a good dance director and fight master, but forgets that he needs a story. Despite that his son gets to do everything a hero must -- dance, romance, fight, fly, cry, smooch, sing and swing about. Daddy Dhawan should have been called his film Mera Beta Hero. Except that no film ever has craved Govinda as much as this one.
Daddy Dhawan tries his utmost to recreate the magic of the days when Govinda, from Aankhen to Jodi No. 1, was assigned the task of repeatedly faking identity, intent or both and land up in the girl’s house to patao papa and take pheras with beti.
The plot's skeleton is same to same, and Varun has obviously spent time watching every Govinda film. He's managed to pick up a few tics and tricks, is quick of step and has nice pecks and may, over the years, evolve into a good, Govinda-esque actor. But right now he’s like those star-imitating wannabes.
Varun is sometimes funny, but is a blur of animated activity that involves flailing both arms wildly, skidding up and down a staircase, a pole, a banister, a lady, pulling his face this way and that, all without the finesse and finish of the master who ruled this genre and does even today, in absentia.
Main Tera Hero has some very funny lines -- Tere saamne toh Dennis bhi itna Menace nahin lagta, Jab se main pampers main thi na, mere daddy mujhe pamper karte hain -- a couple of cute but always crass scenes and I did laugh on occasion. But I immediately suffered post-chortle depression, worrying about my IQ. It is a sure-shot test: The more you laugh during this film, the lower your IQ.
Turning stupidity into comedy is an art and requires more creative investment than creating a patchwork of old tricks and a few and feeble new treats.
The most interesting thing about Main Tera Hero is its music, from its foot-tapping songs to the background music most of which is stolen, including from James Bond.
Of the entire lot of gurgling satellites that orbit Varun, Ileana DCruz is the most promising. She’s interesting looking and seems capable of much more than just skipping about in hot pants. Here, alas, we can only admire her legs and abs and compare them with Miss Fakhri's.