Action Replayy - Movie review

Published: Nov 06, 2010, 06:46 IST | Sarita Tanwar |

Dir: Vipul Amrutlal Shah Cast: Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rannvijay Singh, Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Kirron Kher

U; Romance/Fantasy
Dir: Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rannvijay Singh, Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Kirron Kher
Rating: **1/2

To recreate a bygone era is never an easy task for even the most accomplished directors. Vipul Shah takes up the challenge with Action Replayy as he tries to bring back the magic of the swinging '70s in a tale laced with humour and romance. He gets the setting right to an extent but you keep hoping the film offers more than that. The film begins in the present day with the young Bunty (Kapur) trying to bring peace between his squabbling parents, Kishen (Kumar) and Mala (Rai Bachchan). When Bunty finds himself at a dead end, he decides to take a chance with a time machine invented by his girlfriend's grandfather (Randhir Kapoor). He goes back into the past (1975, to be precise) in order to rewrite his parents' love story. But it's not easy as it seems. Bunty soon realises that he needs to make a man out of the wimp that Kishen is and a woman out of the tomboyish Mala. Standing in the way is Kundan (Rannvijay Singh). How Bunty manages to change the past, which eventually affects the future, forms the crux of the story.

WHAT'S HOT: There is no denying that Action Replayy is based on the Robert Zemeckis-directed Back To The Future series, which made waves in the mid-'80s. Vipul has adapted the concept and added a desi touch to it. The film depends a lot on the relationship between the two protagonists, Kishen and Mala. Which is why their respective characters needed to have an added edge and the director succeeds in that. Their profiles are clearly defined and that helps the screenplay. For a film that's set in a different era, what's pertinent is also the look and feel. To an extent, the director succeeds in that be it with regard to the ambience, the sets or the costumes. Though the 70s look is in-your-face, it serves the purpose in terms of communication. The performances of the lead players are a highlight. Aditya Roy Kapur makes a smashing debut and is a scene-stealer. His interaction with his parents is a delight. Here's a young talent to look out for. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan makes her character of Mala truly believable. Action Replayy is Akshay Kumar's baby all the way and he makes sure he never slips out of character. In the present as well as the bygone era, he surprises you once again with his restraint and impeccable timing.

WHAT'S NOT: Somehow, the film doesn't connect with you because of the several liberties taken by the director on the script front. It almost seems like Vipul was so busy focusing on the look and feel that he overlooked the inconsistencies in the story. If Kishen and Mala were so not made for each other, how did they get married in the first place? The most crucial question remains unanswered till the end. The relationship between Kishen's father (Om Puri) and Mala's mother (Kirron Kher) is filled with confrontations and arguments. But there is no solid foundation to it. Also, the entire bit about Bunty zooming back to the '70s and befriending Kishen and Mala so easily is a bit unconvincing. There was a lot of potential in changing the present as well once Bunty has achieved his goal in the past. But Vipul fails to delve into that. At the core, Action Replayy is a love story but the director tries focusing more on the comic tracks. Embellishments work only when your structure is solid enough. Sadly, that's the part that's ignored the most. Akshay Kumar is, after all, a hero playing a comic part. His geeky look, after a point, gets on your nerves. Most importantly, the film had enough possibilities to hold your attention on an emotional level but the director cannot explore those aspects. What's served to you is a half-hearted, superficial romantic tale interspersed with deliberate comic tracks.  

WHAT TO DO: Watch it for the effort and for Akshay-Aishwarya's crackling chemistry.

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