Film review: A Flying Jatt fails to rise to the occasion

A Flying Jatt Director: Remo D’Souza Starring: Tiger Shroff, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amrita Singh, Kay Kay Menon, Nathan Jones Two stars Expectations are fairly low for a movie such as A Flying Jatt, given that its tag line reads: “This jatt kicks butt.” Its trailers make it look so tacky — you might have attended kids’ […]

A Flying Jatt

Director: Remo D’Souza

Starring: Tiger Shroff, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amrita Singh, Kay Kay Menon, Nathan Jones

Two stars

Expectations are fairly low for a movie such as A Flying Jatt, given that its tag line reads: “This jatt kicks butt.” Its trailers make it look so tacky — you might have attended kids’ fancy dress competitions with better superhero costumes than Fying Jatt’s electric blue eyesore.

Ironically, though, the fact that director Remo D’Souza destroys every reasonable expectation you might have for a superhero film even before you’ve entered the theatre helps to makes it somewhat enjoyable. The bar is set so low that every time you find yourself giggling, you’re inclined to think it is not nearly as bad as you had expected it to be.

Aman (Tiger Shroff) is an awkward martial arts instructor, too much of a pushover to be taken seriously even by his own students and too shy to profess his love to fellow teacher Kirti (Jacqueline Fernandez).

Aman’s mother, Mrs Dhillon (Amrita Singh) is the opposite: loud, brash and very much in charge — her heart’s fondest desire is to see her son do something heroic for once in his life.

Malhotra (Kay Kay Menon) is an evil industrialist who is slowly ruining their city with the all toxic waste from his factories.

Mrs Dillon and Malhotra’s interests collide when he insists on buying land that belongs to her, on which stands a tree considered sacred. Then Aman acquires superhero powers, including the ability to fly, but has no idea what to do with them, given that he is scared of heights. The same incident that gives Aman his powers also gives birth to Raka (played by former wrestler Nathan Jones), a supervillian who derives his strength from toxic fumes. Fights ensue and bad visual effects are deployed as our unlikely superhero, Flying Jatt, battles to save the day.

The first half of the film is unexpectedly entertaining. Writer Tushar Hiranandani has done a good job of weaving hilariously Indian situations into a superhero story. The scenes in which Aman’s overjoyed mother fashions his costume, tries to teach him the ways of superheroes with the help of DVDs, his confusion about what’s expected of him and, especially, Mrs Dhillon ordering her son to pick up vegetables on his flight home are refreshing and the highlights of the film.

All the good in the first half is undone by a painfully unoriginal second half. It is as if the team ran out of steam and decided to cherry-pick plot points and scenes from several Hollywood counterparts.

There is extensive “borrowing” from Superman and Spider-Man, and an almost frame-for-frame lift of Quicksilver’s time-freeze sequence from X-Men: Days Of Future Past is shameful.

Shroff does what he does best: looks good, flicks ridiculously well-maintained hair, dances like a dream, shows off his body and partakes in the slapstick humour — but steers clear of any real acting or emoting.

Fernandez, too, is cast in a role she’s no stranger to: accented, giggly and good-looking, but of no real consequence to the narrative. Amrita Singh, as the boisterous Punjabi mother, is a treat to watch, but Menon, a fine actor, is limited by the insipid nature of the script. Jones’s Raka is passable, but barely.

I am not sure whether to recommend this film, so here are two facts on which to base your decision of whether to see it: it is better as a comedy than a superhero film; and despite this, it is still a better superhero film than Krrish 3.

artslife@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

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