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Rocky Handsome (movie review)

Nothing can feel better at the moment than having some time to watch a movie. OK, there might be better things, but being absolutely busy at work, I really appreciate some free time. Therefore, you’ve guessed it, it’s time for another movie review!

I will admit the poster for the movie has got me and when I have read it is a 2016 Indian remake of Korean dark thriller “A Man From Nowhere” from 2010, I wanted to watch it even more. Because I do like the Korean original and I’m slowly developing my fondness for Indian cinema – but starting with mainly the newer productions as they are more likeable to an European viewer.

Now, thanks to Netflix (man, I will mention it quite a lot nowadays, as I’ve finally got a subscription, haha) I could watch it in all its glory, along with some other movies I have never heard about, yay!

As I’ve mentioned, the movie is a remake, so the story is basically the same. The lone guy develops a friendly relationship with his junkie neighbour’s daughter, and when criminals kidnap the mother and daughter over stolen heroin, our hero gets angry and all hell breaks loose. Because, our guy is not just an ordinary pawnshop owner, you know.

Being it an Indian production, of course, it brings to the table the peculiar feature of the Indian cinema – we are treated to a few melancholic songs and two dance numbers, nothing like that in the original, but at least the dancing is there well placed (dance club), so it’s not distracting, although it does make it more smoother that the very dark and gloomy Korean original. Which, one one hand, is a plus for people looking for something similar to John Wick style of action movies, but the movie loses its appeal a bit in the process.

Also, and I will sound like a heartless monster here, but saving of Naomi, although contributing to a kind of a happy ending, was really superficial, as – thinking of how criminals operate in these cases – she wouldn’t survive. Also, in that regard, the behaviour of Thai assassin is quite unexplainable. But I guess we need happy endings.

On the plus side, John Abraham is great as the main hero. Of course, he is not a martial arts guy, but I would count that as plus. The choreography is great and without any showmanship it really looks more like a real thing than unrealistic kung fu stuff we know from so many movies. And his expressions (and the lack of them when needed) are well acted. Although I guess viewers don’t need the graphic explanation of his character being a former special agent. No need for that sequences, they just make the movie getting little silly. Still, it might be more suitable for Indian audience, so I’m not gonna judge too harshly here.

The movie itself touches the ruthless, merciless child trafficking and organ harvesting, which is even more striking taking into consideration the big population of India and the number of people disappearing every day there. Also, Goa doesn’t look that much of a happy tourist place anymore, as we are treated with the picture of the criminal underbelly of the popular destination.

All said and done, it’s a good movie. Not as good as original, but as a remake, definitely recommended for people not familiar with new Indian cinema.

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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