Harshvardhan Kapoor, Nishikant Kamat, Priyanshu Painyuli, Ashish Verma and Shreiyah Sabarwal.
When we speak about a superhero film, we automatically start a debate about Marvel and DC in the back of our minds. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is a whole different entity who has taken inspiration from everything we have already seen and become something else altogether.
Vikramaditya Motwane’s film is about three boys. Engineers who are often talking about wanting to do more, make a difference etc… they are seen stopping people from making a mess of the society they live in. So these masked crusaders stop public from peeing around the pavement, chopping trees and standing in rallies but one among them does not believe in mere lip service. Bhavesh Joshi (Priyanshu Painyuli) doesn’t want to just sit around and let the world around push the innocent into a corner of despair, he is an activist who means well, he says what he thinks, and does what he promises. His friends Siku (Harshavardhan Kapoor) and Rajat (Ashish Verma) are his partners in the crusade, and they update their social media pages religiously and document their crusades wearing a paper-bag on their heads.
For Siku and Rajat, their crusade is good while it is convenient. Siku has other aspirations, he wants to be out of the country and away from the system as soon as possible. He doesn’t quite mind greasing the palm of the officers to meet the end. It is this attitude that comes in the way of his friendship with Joshi. The two-part ways bitterly. But the crusade continues….
It is all rather small scale, the fights and the impact, but one day Joshi hits upon a big scam – the water scam, wherein water pipes are rigged and the water is thereafter sold in black. The water mafias don’t take his interference kindly. And he is brutally silenced.
What begins thereon is a more personal call for vengeance - that of Siku. While he engineers his bike with boosters and skulks in the shadows for the villains, a superhero comes to life.
It is a regular story on paper, but somewhere it is obvious that Motwane didn’t bother thinking about his audience. No matter how many times they mention Marvel and DC (Keeping up with Phantom, they insist on being pro-DC)Bhavesh Joshi Superhero isn’t really a Batman or Superman film; it is a human story of grit and gore and should have always been pegged as such.
For everyone who entered the theatres hoping to see a superhero, there will be considerable disappointment, while there is a bike, it is not a Batmobile. And when most needed it fails our hero pretty badly, there is a lot of action but it is not superhero action; it is real, a man to man combat. Yes, the determination is that of a superhero level but the audience doesn’t want to do all the thinking. Speaking about Icarus flying too close to the Sun might not be clear to most Indian audience members, but that’s Phantom and their overbearing philosophy for cinema, they play to the gallery with insouciance. They like it when the audience have to think twice about a few dialogues here and there.
But what’s their modus operandi might not work for all, especially for Harshavardan Kapoor who needs a superhero to stand by his side and fight his detractors. Post the moody Mirzya, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is too standoffish, at times, to appeal to the majority. Shadows add to the drama, but for Harshavardhan we now need to see him clearly and the direct approach is missing once again. For his part he does everything perfectly, but now is not the time for good, now is the time for something more. As the antagonist, Nishikant Kamat plays his part loud and mean.
Vikramaditya, as always starts off the film really slow, there are moments and details in the campus that tells you why the man’s mind is so appealing but this film leaves you restless and detached at times.