Abhimanyu Dassani, Gulshan Devaiya, Radhika Madan, Mahesh Manjrekar
It is rare, if ever that you see a film filled with rank newcomers, that makes you feel nostalgic, but Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is filled with happy contradictions. After all, it is one of those rare action films that will actually make you laugh.
Surya (Abhimanyu Dasani) has a rare medical condition, he cannot feel pain. It is an awkward condition that has prompted his grandfather to teach him to say ouch every time he is supposed to feel pain and keep himself high on water. It is their awkward attempt to fit in and also stay alive. Surya, with his bizarre glasses and hydration tank, is in odd hero, but he has his own superhero moments in the film. If one has to choose, he is probably more like Deadpool than Wolverine, I would say.
Like Ryan Reynold’s mad-action revenge saga, Surya too falls in love and needs to work backwards for his girl. The girl, Supri (Radika Madan) can kick some serious ass and yet be very vulnerable, her introduction scene is one of the best ones we have had in recent times. However, Supri comes with issues and one fine day, she disappears from Surya’s life. Only to return on the hoardings of a martial arts institute.
With Supri’s new life, we are introduced to Mani and his evil twin Jimmy (Gulshan). The director takes us through each of his characters’ back stories at his own pace and his own quirky way.
The one thing that works best for the film is the fact that it is made by a movie buff. We hear songs from olden films, we see outfits from old films (the red jumpsuit that works as Surya’s costume, for instance is inspired by Bruce Lee), we hear references from old films and more. Bala makes these references so damn fitting that even the younger lot in the audience might appreciate the quirks he has instilled. Though, you need to be a movie buff to get the full impact of some of the dialogues and moments in the film.
With a director whose mind has conjured such a fun script, it is not a surprise that he has ensured the film’s cast fits the characters perfectly. Let’s talk about the lady first: Radhika Madan as a feisty Supri is simply fantastic. Like in Pataakha, Madan once again refuses to play a docile damsel. Instead she uses her fists and her fire to leave a mark on your mind. There is a scene in the film when she is at the chemist to buy contraceptives, the twinkle in her eye while the chemist does a double take at her request tells you, here is a girl who won’t cower. Yet, we see her vulnerability as a daughter, and she does her part stoically without looking contrived.
Madan has had the whole film experience once before but Abhimanyu as Surya debuts with this film. It might not have been a conventional debut, but Surya plays the part perfectly. His expressions or rather the lack of it while he is supposed to be pained might put a smile on your face, but you feel his hurt when he needs to show it. Without an iota of melodrama and his heart in the right place, Actress Bhagyashree’s son makes a very good debut.
Yet, the film belongs to the villain. Gulshan is fantastic in the film and Vasan gets full credit too, for churning these performances from his actors. Though, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is too commercial in its approach, you cannot miss the cerebral input that’s gone into this film. All in all, Mard…. Is one of the better films you will see this month.