'Bhavesh Joshi Superhero' review: A bird? a plane?

'Bhavesh Joshi Superhero' review: A bird? a plane?

Film: Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

Rating: 3 and a 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Director: Vikramaditya Motwane

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero represents the coming-of-age of the superhero genre in India.

India’s most established superhero movie series, the Krissh universe, may have been a commercial success, but the sloppy writing, childish melodrama and a staple of baser pleasures make the films a hard watch.

Director Vikramaditya Motwane takes an out-and-out Hollywood genre, formerly abused by Rakesh Roshan, and creates a lesser-a-superhero-and-more-a-vigilante film, that deals not with aliens and supervillians, but with issues that everyday Indians are concerned with.

This theme allows the film, in the beginning, to serve as a parody of the superhero genre and, in the middle, take on the seriousness of the genre.

The film tackles corruption, but does not merely point out the flaws in the system — it takes a stand on Indian media, which taps into jingoism for ratings, and on self-proclaimed patriots who cry “anti-national” at the drop of a hat.

The film tells the story of two friends, Bhavesh Joshi (Painyuli) and Sikandar Khanna (Kapoor), who decide to take on injustice in the country, but one of them soon bows down to the system. Bhavesh fights on, and when he falls prey to the darkness of the system, he is avenged by Sikku who, phoenix-like, emerges from his ashes.

But to survive contemporary India, replete with CCTV cameras and sensation-hungry Indian media, our vigilante can’t just do with a mask; he wears his friend’s identity like a new skin.

The highs in Bhavesh Joshi include the way Bombay has been shot, especially during an extraordinarily long and quite impressive chase sequence in the Bhavesh-mobile. The ‘chyavanprash’ ad song featuring Arjun Kapoor has been replaced in the film by a funny-yet-tense dance sequence, which shows Bollywood at its best.

The action sequences could have been a more impressive, just as Bhavesh’s (the original) lectures on “justice” should have been less dramatic. A heavy and unnecessary dose of music is used as emotional cue.

Still, Bhavesh Joshi may be the best Indian superhero yet. True, Krissh hadn’t set the bar too high. But Rakesh Roshan has been threatening us with Krissh 4 and when you think about that, you’ll be more than thankful for Bhavesh Joshi.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox