A MOSTLY HUMAN SUPERHERO
A young man discovers he’s destined to become a vigilante when one of his friends is killed.
Review: He can’t fly or swing from rooftops. He doesn’t have a million dollar armoured suit with fancy gadgets. He doesn’t have a magic ring to give him powers overnight or super strength. But, he’s our very own homegrown superhero – a simple man made of flesh and bones, with a bleeding heart. In Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, Harshvardhan Kapoor, Priyanshu Painyuli & Ashish Verma play three college mates who are more socially conscious than your average graduate. Kapoor & Painyuli’s characters take this a lot more seriously and begin to intervene in local issues as they champion the cause of the common man. But things eventually escalate and get terribly out of hand. One of them dies while trying to reveal a corrupt plot at the hands of a local politician, played by Nishikant Kamat. The other is then left to choose his destiny.
Bhavesh Joshi isn’t a caped crusader ripped off from most of the comic books we know, but his steely resolve and conscience make him relatable. Director and co-writer Vikramaditya Motwane certainly draws some inspiration from this superhero’s international counterparts but manages to infuse him with motivations and a backstory that’s compelling. More importantly, this masked vigilante’s story hits close to home, which works much in its favour for the first half of the film. The frustration and inability to work around an unethical system is one that we’re all too familiar with, and Motwane, along with co-writers Anurag Kashyap & Abhay Koranne, makes the most of it. This propels the first act quickly with stirring momentum which is missing after the interval when it resorts to being an origin tale.
All is not lost though. French stunt choreographers Cyril Raffaelli and Sebastian Seveau put together some gritty and realistic action. A bike chase sequence is spectacular to behold in its sheer audacity. But then, it comes at the price of dropping its initial reality. This compromise is a costly trade-off as the film becomes tediously long drawn towards its final stretch. Yet, there’s a lot to savour along the way. Gorgeous camerawork and excellent editing allow you to take in all the action. Harshvardhan Kapoor shows growth as an actor in his second outing, but what stands out is the supporting cast. Priyanshu Painyuli deserves a special mention as the most impactful performance in this film. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero needs to be appreciated for what it sets out to do – stirring the common man out of apathy by channelising our anger. It doesn’t entirely succeed, but Vikramaditya Motwane’s take on the superhero genre is worth a look.