Heropanti (2014)

If you’re looking for a Bollywood actor who has a swagger and charm women can’t resist, a chiselled physique like that of Jean-Claude Van Damme, the fighting abilities of Jackie Chan, Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins combined, as well as the moves of a suave ballroom dancer, look no further than Tiger Shroff. His skills are clearly pronounced in his debut film “Heropanti”, which translates to “big attitude” or “hero attitude”.

Trailer

Cast

In this action-romantic comedy, lead actor and newcomer Tiger Shroff steals the show as Bablu, a well-meaning man despite his ‘big’ attitude. Also shining in the spotlight is Indian model Kriti Sanon as Dimpy, Bablu’s love interest and the bratty younger daughter of the powerful, respected, but brutal Chaudhary, portrayed by the renowned Prakash Raj. Sandeepa Dhar and Dev Sharma star as lovebirds Renu, the older sister of Dimpy, and Rakesh,

(Bablu’s former schoolmate) respectively. Karan Chhabra and Jatin Suri play Karan and Jitesh, Rakesh and Bablu’s friends who are held captive by Chaudhary. Raashul Tandon provided the comic relief as the rotund, dim-witted Kiki, a tourist from London who is also captured and detained by Chaudhary. Vikram Singh plays Rajjo, Dimpy’s would-be suitor.

Plot

The respected but brutal Chaudhary does not believe in love marriages and arranges for his elder daughter Renu to be married to a man she does not love. However, on the day of the wedding ceremony, Renu escapes to elope with her boyfriend Rakesh, and Chaudhary becomes determined to find the couple at all costs.

He and his brothers eventually locate and kidnap two of Rakesh’s friends, Karan and Jitesh, both of whom know nothing about Renu and Rakesh’s location and are beaten until Jitesh directs Chaudhary to Bablu. Once Bablu is also held captive along with a wrongly detained, dim-witted tourist Kiki, it is revealed that Babluis the one who helped Renu and Rakesh escape. The friends nevertheless are still not set free due to Bablu’s “hero attitude” and his refusal to leak Renu and Rakesh’s whereabouts since he firmly believes that the two should be together peacefully. More importantly, Bablu is in love with a woman later identified as Chaudhary’s younger daughter Dimpy, despite his friends’ protests.

Action

With Tiger’s raw talent, the fight scenes in “Heropanti” are something to marvel at. Whenever Tiger is in combat, he is always bound to do a flip, spin kick or both, all of which are accentuated with slow motion effects that allow viewers enough time to watch Tiger’s moves carefully and appreciate the extraordinary skills he brings to the table.

Ten minutes into the film is when our hero first appears in the first fight between Bablu and Chaudhary’s brothers and men. This fight draws notable inspiration from Jackie Chan films, as Tiger makes use of the gymnastics equipment around him to fend off his enemies; there seems to be some Scott Adkins’ influence as well, as evidenced in Tiger’s use of acrobatics in addition to the iconic Feilong roundhouse kick from “Undisputed 3”. Martial arts fans will assuredly enjoy this fight.

In the film’s second fight, Bablu teaches Dimpy’s attackers a rough lesson on consent 101: telling the attackers “No means no”. Tiger, besides performing some more amazing feats building on the first fight goes Tony Jaa-style here when he breaks a shovel in half with his bare arm and finishes a fallen opponent with the same falling spinning-kick Jaa did in the cave fight in “Ong Bak”. The final fight between Bablu and Rajjo is relatively brief but well-worth watching as Tiger lands a tornado kick and turning punch combo that sends Rajjo flying in mid-air, which just further solidifies that Bablu should be Dimpy’s prince charming.

The entertainment is not just limited to the fights however, as there are the requisite Bollywood (rather infectious) song and (rather fetching) dance sequences to fill in the gaps between the fights. With Tiger and Kriti singing upbeat or heartfelt songs and dancing alongside the supporting dancers, the scenes feel like they’re straight off the Indian equivalent of MTV. Yep, believe it or not, this was my first proper Bollywood movie viewing!

Just as Jackie Chan’s movies have always portrayed him as the fighter who could act, here we learn that Tiger is a fighter who can sing, dance and act; a one-man show if you will. But would he beat Kurt Sloane (JCVD) from “Kickboxer” in a dance-off? Decide for yourself by watching the video below!

…and after all that you might want to cool down!

Summary

Heropanti is one film that pretty much has it all. Alright, the story may be a little exaggerated, unoriginal and drawn out longer than it ought to be, but with an exemplary physical talent as leading actor and a light-hearted Romeo-and-Juliet-like love story that is action-packed with eye-opening fights. It’s a promising showcase demonstrating the potential of Tiger Shroff’s capabilities. Check it out and keep an eye out for more of his movies coming out in 2017!

Trivia

  • Tiger Shroff holds a 5th-degree black belt in Taekwondo.
  • Tiger Shroff is the son of Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff from the MMA film “Brothers”, a remake of the American film “Warrior”.
  • Tiger Shroff and director Sabbir Khan later reunited in the martial arts film “Baaghi”.
  • Director Sabbir Khan previously worked on a film called “​KambakkhtIshq”, in which actor Sylvester Stallone made a cameo appearance. Most recently, a Bollywood remake of “Rambo” was announced with Tiger starring as the titular character, who was of course originally portrayed by Stallone. “KambakkhtIshq” lead star Akshay Kumar later starred in “Brothers” alongside Tiger Shroff’s father Jackie.
  • “Heropanti” happened to be a remake of two other Bollywood films Parugu and Sedin Dekha Hoyechilo.

Film Rating: 7.5/10

Being first influenced by Tekken video games at the age of 13, Jeffrey Hu's martial arts journey began with Taekwondo and was self-trained due to living under a strict household. Five years later, Jeffrey received tutelage under Grandmaster Bill Dewart, (a student of pioneer S. Henry Cho) and earned his black belt a year later. Jeffrey's passion for martial arts grew as he went on to learn Muay Thai and Tai Chi. He's also a big fan of martial arts movies and enjoys movies featuring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Tony Jaa, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and Iko Uwais.

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