Star cast: Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Rannvijay Singh, Kiron Kher, Om Puri, Neha Dhupia.
Plot: With the help of a time machine, Aditya Roy Kapoor travels back in time to improve the strained relations between his father (Akshay) and mother (Aishwarya).
What’s Good: The comedy; the performances of all the actors.
What’s Bad: The retro look of the timid Akshay; the middle portion of the film.
Verdict: ACTION REPLAYY will do average business.
Loo break: A couple of places when Akshay is shown as a sissy.
Blockbuster Movie Entertainers, Hari Om Entertainment Company and Sunshine Pictures Pvt. Ltd.’s Action Replayy is a comedy. Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapoor) is the son of Kishan (Akshay Kumar) and Mala (Aishwarya Rai). Although he has a girlfriend, Tanya (Sudeepa Singh), he is scared to marry her because he has lost faith in the institution of marriage. His disillusionment with marriage is due to the constant fights his mummy and daddy have every single day ever since they got married.
Tanya’s grandfather, Anthony Gonsalves (Randhir Kapoor), has made a time machine in his workshop, which can take a person back in time so that he can correct a wrong of the past, if he so desires. Bunty decides to go back in time to the era when his parents were still not married. He boards the time machine and the unthinkable happens!
Back in time, Bunty sees that his father, Kishan, is a timid man who is scared to even assert himself. On the other hand, Mala, his mother, is brash, brazen and outspoken. Kishan and Mala are neighbours who constantly fight. Kishan lives with his father (Om Puri) while Mala lives with her mother (Kiron Kher). Bunty now takes it upon himself to make his father self-confident while also taming his mother so that there is more compatibility between the two before they get married.
Does Bunty succeed in his mission to make his parents more compatible? Does he agree to marry girlfriend Tanya?
The film, based on a Gujarati play of the same name, has a very unusual plot. The screenplay, penned by Suresh Nair and Aatish Kapadia, has comic sequences which evoke laughter, especially in the first few and last few reels. However, the writers haven’t taken care to explain how the compatibility issue today can be solved with retrospective effect. In other words, the functioning of the time machine ought to have been explained in greater detail and in a more simplistic fashion. Also, the audience might feel confused about how Bunty of the present times can mingle with Kishan and Mala of an era gone by. No doubt, Bunty pretends to be Kishan and Mala’s friend because he couldn’t have been born before they got married, but still, the anomaly remains.
Not just this, the earlier portion of the bygone era, when Kishan is a sissy character, is quite boring and also dull. Further, Kishan’s look is so bad and repulsive that it is irritating to watch him. The makers may have felt that this kind of look would make him look the timid character he is supposed to play, but there’s a difference between looking timid and looking ugly – and they may not be connected at all! However, once Kishan attempts to become bold, under the guidance of friend, Bunty, the drama becomes interesting, entertaining and enjoyable. It becomes truly hilarious when he turns over a new leaf and Mala too becomes more lady-like.
Dialogues, written by Ritesh Shah and Aatish Kapadia, are excellent. In fact, several comic scenes and dialogues show that a lot of effort has gone into penning the comedy portions – and the results are positive.
But the fact remains that the middle portion of the film (about 40 minutes before interval and 20 minutes after interval) are boring.
Akshay Kumar does a splendid job. He is so fantastic in the comic scenes that it is a delight to watch him. The scenes in which he is turning over a new leaf and trying to become bold are truly mind-blowing. He deserves kudos for the outstanding performance. His ‘awaaz neeche’ dialogue will become popular and is a master stroke. How one wishes, he had not been made to look so ugly in the initial drama of the retro look. Aishwarya Rai is also superb. She looks gorgeous, acts beautifully and dances just too graciously. Her retro look is lovely. Her dialogue delivery is in synch with the character she plays. Aditya Roy Kapoor is cute and endears himself to the audience. Rannvijay Singh acts ably. His singing songs in two voices is entertaining. Kiron Kher is terrific as Aishwarya Rai’s mother. Om Puri plays Akshay’s father to perfection. Rajpal Yadav leaves a mark with his comedy. Neha Dhupia lends adequate support. Sudeepa Singh is okay. Randhir Kapoor does a fair job.
Vipul Shah’s direction is very nice. But he should’ve taken more care of Akshay’s retro look. Pritam Chakraborty’s music is very appealing. ‘Zor ka jhatka’ is already a hit song and its picturisation (Ganesh Acharya) is very stylish. The other songs – ‘Chaan ke mohalla’, ‘Nakhre’, ‘Tera mera pyaar’ – are also well-tuned but they aren’t as popular. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fantastic in the ‘Zor ka jhatka’ song.Sejal Shah’s cinematography is very nice. Art direction (Aparna Raina) is of a good standard. Amitabh Shukla’s editing is sharp. Production values are rich.
On the whole, Action Replayy has entertainment for the families and masses. However, its middle portion is quite boring. It has taken an average start (because of Diwali day when collections are low) but it has the merits to pick up by word of mouth. It will prove to be an average fare because of its heavy cost.