Maanav (Ayushmann Khurrana) is the epitome of the film’s title, but the narrative takes an unexpected turn when he inadvertently becomes entangled in the death of a powerful politician’s brother, Bhoora (Jaideep Ahlawat). Bhoora relentlessly pursues Maanav to London seeking revenge, leading to a cascade of events. In this whirlwind tale of an introverted underdog facing off against a formidable foe, Maanav finds himself transitioning from a “reel life” hero to a “real life” one, resulting in an action-packed and comically exaggerated adventure.
Director Anirudh Iyer crafts a masala action-thriller that blends two realms – the cinematic world and reality – with Ayushmann Khurrana taking on a role uniquely suited to his versatility. The juxtaposition of characters from both sides of the screen and the uproarious portrayal of an antagonist who is both ludicrous and menacing give the film a distinct identity.
Kaushal Shah’s cinematography ignites the screen, while Ninad Khanolkar’s editing maintains a brisk pace throughout the movie’s slightly over 2-hour duration. While some convenient plot devices and the introduction of a terrorist subplot may raise eyebrows, they add a playful touch that complements the film’s entertainment value.
Ayushmann Khurrana’s performance exemplifies his mastery of diverse roles, seamlessly transitioning between a brash yet modest “action hero” persona and a vulnerable individual fighting for survival. Jaideep Ahlawat shines as the antagonist, capturing the essence of a brooding villain with aplomb.
Jitender Hooda delivers a standout performance, infusing the narrative with humour and charisma. However, his reduced presence in the second half is a missed opportunity for the film’s comedic potential.
Anirudh Iyer’s directorial debut pays homage to the essence of Hindi cinema, capturing the spirit of both classic masala films and contemporary entertainment. Sunny M.R.’s dynamic background score, influenced by the exuberance of 80s films and modern electronic music, complements the narrative’s tone. While the soundtrack’s attempts to revamp classics may not resonate with all audiences, original songs like “Ghere” and “Asli Action Chalu” effectively convey the protagonist’s emotional journey.
In conclusion, “An Action Hero” offers a blend of masala entertainment and thoughtful storytelling, beckoning viewers to engage their minds while revelling in Ayushmann Khurrana’s skilful performance.