Director: Samir Karnik
Cast: Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Sohail Khan, Amrita Arora, Vatsal Seth, Dino Morea, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Mithun Chakraborthy, Riya Sen
The relationship of the Indian army and Bollywood filmmakers seems to be a one long one. This relationship has only been explored by placing our actors in armymen’s shoes and panning the camera over scenes of war; seldom have the range of emotions and the familial trauma been explored. Heroes in entirety does this well, but beyond a point from addressing emotions starts addressing problems and actions.
Undoubtedly yet another army film, yet with a completely fresh perspective. The film strikes an emotional chord by entailing the lives of three army men and their families. Almost like three short films, the link between the three stories is the fact that Sammy (Sohail Khan) and Ali (Vatsal Seth) witness all of it first hand as a part of their film project of ‘why not to join the army’. The two film students play postman to three army martyr families, in hope that they can gather material for the film. The first visit is to Kuljeet (Preity Zinta) a war widow, who plays the role of both the parents to her son. Visiting her and hearing the story of her army husband Balkar Singh (Salman Khan) the two are hit with a wave of emotions.
Next up for a postal delivery is Vikram Shergill (Sunny Deol), brother of Captain Dhananjay (Bobby Deol). While Vikram lost both of his legs in an air force crash, his will to live is undeterred. Sitting on his wheel chair he fights, remembers his brother and even manages to provoke a threat of sentiment in the two lads. Having gone through the whirlwind of emotions, the two young men decide to head for their final destination Shaqils’ (Dino) home in Leh. On reaching there the two men experience a family like none other, a mother who is trying hard to remember her son and a father (Mithun CHakravarthy) who is trying harder to muster enough hate towards his son for having left him to live with nothing to look forward to. Through the course of these three visits Sammy and Ali traverse the path of life, love, emotions and a sentiment that is indescribable.
It is really difficult watching the first hour of the film, especially the scenes featuring Zinta; this not because of anything else but simply due to the fact that your eyes are glazed with droplets of water that run constantly. The film has its ups and downs, while the first hour is amazingly engaging; the film’s graph soon starts its downward curve. Towards the end the film feels like an extreme makeover of K3G, only not the least engaging. If you look at the film as three separate short films strung together, it is only the first one that is brilliantly told. The second is middling and the third uninteresting. The film works because of the fresh approach and the rock solid performances from some of the actors. Even the dialogues are not your typically filmy types and this works in the films favour.
Heroes is a worthy watch because of the emotions that it brings out, but the fact that it isn’t technically great certainly hinders the film. A film like this certainly deserved some slick editing, which sadly it never got. It is as though overindulgence was the feel the makers were going for. The extensive use of filters, needless split screens and songs only make the film that much more tepid. There is so much in the film that you are made to sit through that you just can’t figure out where those fit in the larger picture. What was the point of including Riya and Amrita’s characters? Little do they contribute to the film.
Zinta’s performance leaves you speechless. She is the prime reason to watch this film. Then there is Salman who further enhances the first story, he acts with great finesse. The Deol brothers too put up solid perfomances, however it is Sunny who emotes with great flair. Seems like both Sohail and Dino have laid hands on a master book to acting, over the last few films one has seen them perform roles with great élan. Both of them are worth a watch in this film too, with great subtlety they add volumes to their characters. Chakraborthy unlike all his other films fails to amaze. Seth has come a long way post Tarzan the wonder car and does a fair job at acting his part. If anything watch the film only for the Khan Brothers and Zinta.
Heroes is not your typically told film, yet in every sense it is a typical Bollywood film filled with action, drama and emotions. The film is completely watchable and strikes a good chord. Do watch the film; you are bound to walk out entertained.