Super 30 Movie Review: Hrithik Roshan and Vikas Bahl present a strictly average film despite great potential
Even with all of Hrithik's hard work and efforts, he sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm going with 2.5 stars out of 5.
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Film: Super 30
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pankaj Tripathi, Mrunal Thakur, Aditya Srivastava
Director: Vikas Bahl
Hindi; U; 2 hours, 42 minutes
Stars: 2.5 Stars
Let's start with the good stuff.
Trust Vikas Bahl to paint a canvas that's believable. The right colours, the right brush strokes, the right depth. His attention to detail in the milieu he's constructing is spot-on, down to every asbestos sheet fluttering in the wind, the gamchha Anand Kumar muffles his laughter in because he feels socially inadequate to even be ecstatic, and every nook and corner that reeks of Bihar.
Yet, because the film is solely spun around one man, everything boils down to him.
I, for one, was perfectly okay with the make-up designed for Hrithik to fit the character. Make-up has always been an integral part of cinema — if we didn't bat an eyelid when Kajol was made to look fair, we should accept that Hrithik needs bronzer to look the character. The problem is that we're not used to seeing the Greek God look anything less than that. But when you watch the entire film, his skin tone doesn't stick out the way you'd think it would.
That job is done by his utterly out of place accent.
He sounds like Lalu Prasad Yadav, fused into Amitabh Bachchan's chhora Ganga kinare wala avatar. The problem is that there's only one man who speaks like Lalu Prasad Yadav — and that is Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Hrithik fails miserably in that department.
His acting, moreover, left me confused. There were portions where he just wasn't good enough, simply by virtue of letting his Hindi film hero image take over. Anand Kumar is no hero by Hindi film standards. His body language cannot be confident, leave alone cocky, especially when he's speaking to people considered socially above him. In the classroom, yes, he rules. That's where all his confidence shows. I felt Hrithik couldn't make that switch aptly though.
You could also sense that in order to portray 'simplicity', he's gone into the Rohit space from Koi Mil Gaya. Completely irrelevant and only makes his limitations apparent.
You can see the sheer amount of effort Hrithik has put in. Yet, it's not enough. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)
There were other parts where you could see the effort the erstwhile Indian superhero has put in to fit into a mould that's so far removed from any cinema he's ever done.
Two scenes stand out for me: first, where Anand celebrates getting into Cambridge — his constrained expression of joy shows how difficult it is for him to fathom that someone of such humble means like him is actually through to Cambridge. This, after being mocked all his life — postman ka beta postman hi rahega.
The other, when Anand breaks into tears of joy after he realises all his 30 students had cracked the IIT entrance. Again, after months of struggling to make ends meet, after risking both his pride and his life in the bargain, he finally had what he so desired. Ironically, both scenes had no dialogues, just his eyes and gorgeous jawline doing the bit.
In contrast, Pankaj Tripathi is flawless — not that he needed contrast to show his acting prowess. This man is so versatile that he doesn't need fake unibrows to make the audience see him differently. He can manage that with his acting. Yes, he would have been a far better fit for the lead role. There, I said it.
Pankaj Tripathi stands out in the Hrithik Roshan starrer. (Photo: YouTUbe screengrab)
The film felt dragged-out in parts — crisper editing would have taken care of that. The music doesn't contribute much but doesn't take away anything from the whole story either. Not once does Hrithik take his shirt off or unleash his perfect dance moves. In the two occasions that he does break into a jive, he is as endearingly rhythmless as any other guy. Can you ever imagine a Salman Khan shedding his image to fit into a character?
Unfortunately, even with all heartfelt moments the film offered, of genuine chuckles and emotions, the thrill of seeing the underdog triumph or just the reassurance that people like Anand Kumar exist in the world, it failed to make the impact it had all the potential to. It remained for me an average film. A strictly average film.
When the trailer of Super 30 dropped, a particular meme took social media by storm — one which pointed out how Pankaj Tripathi was so much better for the lead role. The simple message that Super 30 wanted to put across is that raja ka beta raja nahin banega, woh wohi banega jiska woh hakdaar hoga. And yet, the irony is that Hrithik Roshan gets to play Anand Kumar, while Pankaj Tripathi doesn't.
I'm going with 2.5 stars out of 5.