An Action Hero trailer: Is Ayushmann Khurrana ‘AN’ antithesis to the Bollywood action hero?

Director Anirudh Iyer and screenplay writer Neeraj Yadav’s unique story appears to humanise the archetypal Bollywood hero.

By Mayur Lookhar

Words can be so misleading. Here we are all waiting with bated breath to celebrate the augment of Ayushmann Khurrana, the action hero. He’s made a career out of playing the ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation. For once, Ayushmann seems to be playing an extraordinary guy in an ordinary situation. However, if you think Ayushmann is turning into your archetypal action hero then think again.

Director Anirudh Iyer and screenplay writer Neeraj Yadav’s An Action Hero [2022] is not your mundane Bollywood action drama. All along we thought that this is Ayushmann’s foray into the massy, action genre. Hang on though, if he were to do so, then there would no brand Ayushmann Khurrana.

No taboos per se, but it appears that Ayushmann Khurrana’s An Action Hero [2022[] could well be an antithesis to the cliched Bollywood action heroes. Here’s a character who is famous, maybe neo notorious as an action hero in Bollywood. A real tragedy sees the reel action hero run away to England. Baying for his blood is Bhura Solanki [Jaideep Ahlawat] who wants to avenge the mysterious death of his starlet brother Vicky. Like the society, the media, Bhura, too, believes that the popular action hero Manav [Ayushmann Khurrana] is responsible for his brother’s death. His reputation gone for a toss, and with his life under threat, Manav flees to Portsmouth, England. You can run but you can’t ride.

Iyer’s story is trying to humanize the myth of the action hero, one who has long been perceived as a larger-than-life figure. It’s never been the actor’s choice who is perhaps compelled to live under the populist image. There is a pertinent line from the trailer where Manav admits that all along, he was living two lives – reel and real, but one loose thread has upset the applecart.

iyer’s story is fresh, almost challenging the dogmas surrounding a typical action hero in Bollywood. Khurrana though sports the sexy leather jacket that became synonymous with action heroes of the yore. He has the six packs, but what’s missing is the conventional Bollywood action hero swag. Maybe, he just wants to get out of all this larger-than-life coronation. Khurrana’s action hero is simply trying to break out of this shell.

An Action Hero [2022] comes across as a disruptive cinema. Hey, is this a mockumentary on Bollywood’s action heroes? Hard to say that but we believe that this film is likely to change the way we perceive our action heroes forever. Ahlawat will most certainly bring the deadpan Haryanvi humour to the fore. His character seems to be rinsed in the Haryanvi culture, one who hasn’t  lost his innate sense of humour even through the personal tragedy.

We can’t wait to see the film which is set to be released on 2 November.  We’ve seen the trailer which will be released to all on 11 November.  Watch out for Ayushmann’s An Action Hero.


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