Sure enough, I’ve seen my fair share of foreign films, and I’ve seen a number of films coming out of India, but I don’t think I’ve seen a true Bollywood film. I’m not going count ‘Bollywood / Hollywood’ since it was shot in Canada. Now I’ve been in a Bollywood film… it’s really complicated… but I’ve never seen a true Bollywood film. I’m going to assume that director Nishikant Kamat’s action thriller comedy love story ‘Force’ is a true Bollywood film since it does have all those genre’s in it, along with an oppressive running time and a couple of musical numbers. I think it qualifies, but remember I am brand new at this.
Our movie certainly starts with a bang, that being our star ACP Yashvardan being blasted out a window over cliff. Your average dude would’ve died. Yash, riddled with bullets, just grabs the ledge on his rapid descent and laboriously drags himself up the cliff until help is able to funnel him to the nearest emergency room. What, pray tell, led to this series of unfortunate events?
That, my friends, is very convoluted. But let’s dial back the clock a bit before that unfortunate moment. Yash (John Abraham) is the muscle-bound leader of narcotic busting police officers who take very few names and crack much skull. I haven’t seen this many civil rights violations since the glory days of the LAPD. Yash is a lone wolf, his strength being that he is always alone and can focus on beating drug dealers near to death, until he sees her… in slow motion. Her being Maya, played by the lovely Genelia D’Souza, who is introduced to us early in the movie via something akin to an extra long Pantene Shampoo commercial. It’s rocky at first, her thinking Yash to be a brainless brute… which he is… but she comes around. Once she comes around, the rockiness continues, him thinking Maya to be an overly bubbly chatterbox who won’t shut up… which she is… but he comes around. Love flourishes, a spectacular dance number ensues.
Now we have our bad guys. Drug dealing brothers Reddy (Mukesh Rishi) and Vishnu (Vidyut Jamwal). They’ve fixed things so that they’re only game in town, the Rupees
are stacking high and life is good. Until life becomes not so good and Vishnu loses his beloved brother. Somebody has to pay for this and that somebody’s gonna be Yash and his team of drug busting police officers. And their families. And their pets if they have any. Vishnu is not a nice person.
Vishnu, as he promised, follows through on his plan, starting with one particularly brutal rape and murder, and the cops are sad and they are angry. More civil rights are violated. Though some of these suckers who had their civil rights violated will not be able to file any complaints…because they’re freaking dead. I know these guys want to know where Vishnu is and they’re upset all, but interrogation via bullet to the head often yields very little information, at least in my experience.
We do know at some point our hero has to get blasted through a window, we can guess that the super evil Vishu has done this, and we can also assume that our heroes new Lady Love’s life will be in the balance if he can’t heal from these multiple bullet wounds in the next hour or so. Will love survive?
So if ‘Force’ were a traditional western film, one with musical numbers, overwrought tragedy, crazy action, kung fu fighting, brutality, comedy, and melodramatic love… I would be protesting mightily, saying something along the lines of ‘what does this movie want to be?’ But this is not a western movie and from what I understand this movie knows exactly what it wants to be, that being and tragic, action, love story with musical numbers. And in case I had my doubts about this, apparently this movie is a remake of another Indian film from a few years back ‘Kahkaa… Kahkaa’. So while Bollywood is completely different from Hollywood in style, apparently their business models are similar since they too remake movies that probably don’t need to be remade.
Thus we are going to bypass the fact I would normally call ‘Force’ a convoluted mess and try to see what we have left. For disclosure I watched this movie with my wife and my son, the boy being completely unable to wrap his feeble brain around the concept and thus excused himself after the second dance number, but me and the wife were entertained by this insanity. The movie is busy. Too busy to be honest at times since there are multiple things going on at multiple times, sometimes making it hard to follow, and Kamat always keeps his camera moving… circling, panning, sliding, zooming… not to mention the plethora of visual camera tricks employed, so it’s all a little disorienting.
But after the intermission… yes an intermission… everything became much clearer. For this we can thank actor Vidyut Jamwal, who became the focus of the second part of the movie and who we must say pretty much stole this movie. John Abraham’s leading man was so stiff, probably by design since he’s supposed to be a lone wolf and all, but he was a difficult character to warm up to. The homicidal maniac on the other hand, had all the charm, was scoring all the cool points, got to do kung fu, wore the nicest clothes and got to recite the best lines. I don’t know how it works over there, but if he gave a similar performance over here, I’d say the kids going to be a star. Now, thanks to that guy, a movie that was jumbled and convoluted has become streamlined and focused, at least from where I was sitting, and it became infinitely more entertaining. Depressing as hell… I mean seriously? Is this kind of conclusion normal for these movies? But unfortunately, despite the high number of tragic deaths in this movie, since I had such little affinity for the majority of these characters, outside of the homicidal maniac, their expiration didn’t have the emotional effect it should’ve had.
Ultimately I enjoyed ‘Force’ and it was certainly a cultural experience that I won’t soon forget. I’m going to have to thumb through my collection, and sock away three hours of my day, and check out some more of these insane movies. No to soon mind you… but I will jump in again.