Recent history suggests mindless action entertainers are a gamble. Could the hardcore action help Aditya Roy Kapur revive his career?
By Mayur Lookhar
Consistency is hard to find in the film industry. No one knows this better than Aditya Roy Kapur. After experiencing the highs of Aashiqui 2 , Kapur has largely struggled. A likable guy on and off the camera, Kapur is perhaps trying to get out of his chocolate boy image. We know that 40 is the new 25 (maybe 50 is the new 25 for the Khans, Kumar), but realistically speaking at 36 you can’t be playing conventional romantic boy roles. And so Kapur bulks up, ready to dish out his maiden hardcore action masala film – Om: The Battle Within .
Recent history suggests that such films are a gamble. The odd one clicks, but more tend to sink. Tiger Shroff recently learnt that Heropanti cannot work a second time. Well, it is a maiden foray into the action genre for Aditya Roy Kapur, who does get the first part right – look like Rambo. The six-pack abs, fully loaded biceps are needed to wield heavy artillery. The makers released the trailer today in Mumbai where it is amply clear why Kapur needed to bulk up for such a film.
Experienced Steadicam operator Kapil Verma helms his maiden feature. The story is penned by Niket Pandey and Raj Saluja. Kapur plays the titular character Om, a para commando of the Indian army. He is assigned to solve the mysterious kidnapping of nuclear scientist Dev Rathore [Jackie Shroff]. Intel leads him into action on a vessel where Om takes a bullet to his head. He miraculously survives but loses his memory. What he recalls though is the identity of his real father – from the looks of the trailer it seems he is Rathore’s son. Ask how?
The opening scene of the trailer has Om’s mother [played by Prachi Shah Pandya] worrying over how they lost one son [years ago] while the other one [Om] has forgotten them. Now Om is claiming that his real father is Dev Rathore. But if he has stayed most of his life with his parents, then what is it that makes him think that Dev Rathore is his real father? Phew, what is this khichdi? [Indian rice pudding]
Maybe, Ashutosh Rana and Prachi’s characters are not the biological parents of Om and his twin brother. There appears to be a tragic episode in the past featuring Dev Rathore where he is telling his son to run. Clearly, there is a bit of old school falling apart here. The question now is where is the other son? Prachi and Rana are shown carrying their twin sons in the beginning of the trailer. What happened to one of the sons? Is he dead? We believe not. Ask us why? Perhaps the suspense here lies in the catch line Rakht rahe ya na rahe, rashtra hamesha rahega [Nation above blood ties]. Who knows, Om’s twin brother is alive and part of the very group/gang that has kidnapped Dev Rathore? Maybe, the good brother was killed in the combat in the ship, and it is the twin brother who has taken Om’s place? Maybe, we will get to seen an epic Om vs his twin brother battle, but the main antagonist here is likely to be one who separated the family. The Battle Within in the title also suggests that this could be an action drama that revolves around a family from Kasauli.
The memory loss bit is very Jason Bournesque, but it’s the family drama that brings the desi touch. The action is over -the-top. Period. Kapur has got the physical part right, but it remains to be seen whether he has got the requisite intensity for such a role. Sanjana Sanghi plays his girl friend/colleague with Prakash Raj playing an influential character in the Armed Forces or intelligence agency.
Om: The Battle Within promises plenty of action, family drama, nationalism, an item number [Elnaaz Norouzi] and few suspense elements. It would be naïve to write off the film based on the trailer alone. It is a gamble that Kapur has taken. Let’s see whether it pays off.
Produced by Zee Studios, Ahmed and Shaira Khan’s Paperdoll Entertainment, Om: The Battle Witihn is set to be released in theatres on 1 July. Watch the trailer on youtube.