After making a light-hearted drama on the education system in the country (F.A.L.T.U), two danced based films (‘ABCD’ and ‘ABCD 2’), choreographer turned director Remo D’Souza now tries his hand at making a superhero flick. Playing the titular role in ‘A Flying Jatt’ is Tiger Shroff who is fast emerging as a bankable action hero. Unlike Hollywood, superhero films are not made at regular intervals in India. Even today, an action film featuring a super hero is a novelty in the country. Even though we do not have a dearth of popular comic book characters and action heroes, the genre for various reasons (budgetary constraints etc.) continues to remain underexplored.
Aman (Tiger Shroff) works as a martial arts instructor in a school and lives with his mother (Amrita Singh) and brother Rohit (Gaurav Pandey). Despite being the son of a valiant man and a loud mouthed mother, Aman turns out to be a timorous person. Malhotra (Kay Kay Menon), a crooked industrialist, wishes to usurp the land owned by Aman and his family, so that he can build a factory there. When Malhotra visits them with a proposal to buy their land at double its price, Aman’s mother makes it clear that she would not give away the land at any cost. Malhotra gets Raaka (Nathan Jones), a dangerous henchman, to cut the sacred tree situated on the land owned by the family and take possession of the land. As Raaka goes about cutting the tree, he has an encounter with Aman.
Remo seems to have made the film while deciding on kids (and their parents who would tag along) to be its target audience. What else would explain the fact that he oversimplifies everything and feeds the audience with too much information that does no good? Though it is primarily a superhero film, it has been designed as an action comedy and ironically, the comic portions have an edge over the dramatic sequences. Right from the romance between Aman and Kriti (Jacqueline Fernandez) to a key event that results in the death of an important character, most of the dramatic sequences have been handled amateurishly and as a result, fail to create much of an impact. Several of the comic scenes, on the other hand, manage to bring a smile on your face. That one sequence where Rohit dresses up as Flying Jatt and accompanies Aman and Kriti on a picnic tour is hilarious.
Research plays a vital role in a film which is filled with characters who possess super human abilities. Even though you are creating a fantastical world and are allowed to take certain creative liberties while doing so, you have to justify everything you do create in that world and sketch out the characters in a way that they seem believable to the audience. This is one aspect in which the film sorely falters. The ways in which Aman and Raaka get their powers evoke laughs when it should, ideally, leave you with a sense of awe. Aman seems to be blessed with healing powers that help him get over any injury in no time. But, in a pre-climatic scene Raaka bashes him up and for some reason, he does not seem to be showing any signs of recovery. Rohit voices the same concern but as an audience you never get to know the reason behind this. Malhotra proclaims in front of a large crowd that Raaka and him are behind all the ruckus created in the city lately but you never see the police stepping in to bring them in. The final fight in the climax sequence, where religious sentiments take over and logic goes out of the window, is far from being exciting.
Remo D’Souza, along with co- writers Tushar Hiranandani, Aakash Kaushik and Madhur Sharma, comes up with a story that is too flimsy even for a superhero film. The very young children, aged below five years of age, might not look for logic but the slightly older ones will question the several loopholes in the film. On the technical front, one can hardly say any good things about the VFX and the production design. In one of the early scenes, where one gets to see the locality which Aman, his family and several other families reside in, reeks of badly designed sets and badly done VFX that encompasses the background behind it. The VFX work in the action sequence also leaves a lot to be desired. A couple of songs like “Bhangda Pa” and “Beat Pe Booty” seems to be forced in the film but the soundtrack (Sachin-Jigar), as a whole, is very good.
Tiger Shroff has an endearing quality about him, he is one of the better dancers around and he pulls off action sequences exceedingly well – all these factors give him an edge, no doubt. Unfortunately, his acting skills have remained to be middling since his debut film. Jacqueline Fernandez bears the burden of a role that requires her to squeak incessantly and act like a person with extremely low levels of intelligence. The role that Amrita Singh plays seems like a louder version of the one she played in 2 States. Gaurav Pandey, as Rohit, delivers the most assured performance in the film. He gets a meaty role and some really good scenes to enact. Kay Kay Menon does well within the limited parameters of his character. Nathan Jones manages to look menacing in an otherwise poorly written part.
With the nicely done religious angle and a very likeable character as the central protagonist, ‘A Flying Jatt’ could have turned out to be a fairly good home-grown superhero film. The film does not really succeed in amalgamating comedy and action/fantasy very well and suffers on account of an unimaginative script that does not give it the wings to fly.