John Abraham, Shruti Haasan, Sharad Kelkar, Nishikant Kamat
Sunir Khetrapal, John Abraham, Bhushan Kumar
There are two things that John Abraham emphasized on during the promotional activity of Rocky Handsome — 1) The film has sexy action sequences and 2) The action is backed by an emotionally moving plot.
Well, out of the two he did deliver on one. The action in the film is indeed kickass; however, somehow the so-called emotional plot fails to touch any chord, neither of empathy nor of love.
Based on the Korean film, The Man From Nowhere, Rocky Handsome revolves around Kabir Ahlawat aka Handsome (John Abraham), a silent brooding man who owns a grungy pawnshop in some dark alley of the usually happening Goa. There is no record of his past except for a song sequence in the beginning of the film with Shruti Haasan, which shows that the man was capable of smiling. One does not really need to be a Sherlock to decode why is he living a morose life now. While he limits his interactions with the rest of the world, he somehow strikes up an unlikely friendship with a little girl next door – Nayomi (Diya Chalwad). Nayomi, who stays with her drug addict mother, is clearly seeking a father figure in her life.
These two components – a lonely man and an ignored child, are solely enough to get the tear glands rolling and pull on the emotional chords of the audiences. However, the bond between Kabir and Nayomi doesn’t really pull at your heartstrings and the ‘awww’ factor is completely missing. Blame it on the ineffective dialogues.
The story doesn’t hold any big surprises and unfolds at a lethargic speed. So Nayomi’s mom (Nathalia Kaur) acts stupid and messes around with the bad guys and their cocaine, as a result, the gangsters take her and Nayomi away. Kabir is forced to break out of his hermit life as he goes after the drug-child trafficking-organ selling mafia with fervor to get Nayomi back. It is now revealed that Kabir is a trained cold-blooded assassin, a true patriot, and an ex-raw agent – Rocky. The chain of events that follow are absolutely predictable.
As mentioned apart from the action sequences— some are truly impressive and crowd-pleasing, especially the stylized knife sequence, which is also a crucial part of the original Korean film —there is nothing much to take back home from Rocky Handsome.
The screenplay is haphazard and the music score is not something that you would want to play on your iPod on repeat.
John has clearly put in a lot of hard work for the action scenes and undoubtedly excels in them. However, the script gives him very little space to emote, and the dark camera angles often hide his facial expressions. Nishikant is impressive as the baddie Kevin, but his excellent directorial skills that we saw in Drishyam are clearly missing from Rocky Handsome. Perhaps, he spent too much time focusing on being in front of the camera than being behind it.
To sum it up, Rocky Handsome has nothing much to boast about than some kickass action.