Film: A Flying Jatt

Cast: Tiger Shroff, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amrita Singh, Kay Kay Menon

Director: Remo D’Souza

Rating: *

For someone like Tiger Shroff, who can’t grow a proper beard in real life, portraying the role of Sikh superhero complete with a costume inspired by ‘Nihangs’, an armed Sikh order along with a turban and make it look convincing was a herculean task to begin with. Add to it, a wafer thin plot, a preachy second-half, a supporting cast that howls and hams and you have the perfect recipe for a colossal disaster that is ‘A Flying Jatt’.

Tiger plays Aman Dhillon, a Sikh sans beard and turban, who teaches martial arts in a school and has a “religious” yet alcoholic mother played by veteran Amrita Singh. Kay Kay Menon is the owner of Malhotra Multinationals, whose factory pollutes the city&’s air, water and ground with its chemical dump.

Kay Kay wants to build a bridge between his factory and the other part of the city but in between stands the society where Tiger lives along with a 200 year old sacred tree that has a ‘Khanda’, depicting the Sikh doctrine in emblematic form as a natural pattern on its bark.

When the residents of the society refuse to budge, Menon brings in Raka, a 7 feet monster of a man played by pro Australian wrestler Nathan Jones who single-handedly annihilates a dozen men on the screen within minutes. In fact, Tiger gets his super powers during a face-off with Raka.

While superhero films as a genre have been hugely successful in the west, Bollywood has just not been able to crack the code, yet. And A Flying Jatt is no exception. In fact, is a case study of everything that has gone wrong with the genre in India.

Special effects are the backbone of any superhero flick but sadly, those in A Flying Jatt are simply a throwback to the 90&’s popular Doordarshan shows like ‘Vikram Betal’ and Alif Laila.

Inspired by almost every popular superhero film like Spiderman, X-Men, Iron Man, Hulk and even the cartoon series Captain Planet, this film is a tribute to DC and Marvel.

The film has a breezy first half and establishes the story well. But it&’s the second half that simply ends up being a torturous concoction of revenge, love, family bonds and honour and lest you forgot– saving the environment.

And if the lessons on environment weren’t enough, there is also a cringe worthy attempt to stir up emotions of a religious community by exhorting its young to take pride in their culture and traditions.

The director literally throws everything at you to see what sticks but sadly, nothing does. The film loses its focus and steam post interval.

On top of it, the contrived comical sequences, unnecessary songs, melodramatic interludes into the narrative are simply distracting make the film bulky.

As far as the performances go, Tiger shines in action and dance sequences but that&’s about it. Amrita Singh shouts and hams in all her scenes and so does Jones who howls, growls and makes mean faces in every scene. It does get intolerable after a while. This was a part that required an actor with greater range.

Jacqueline has nothing to offer. She could have been replaced by Katrina Kaif or Zareen Khan in the middle of the film and no one would notice.

However, it&’s Kay Kay that leaves you truly disappointed. He begins from where he left off in Singh is Bling with the hamming and overdramatising. The atrocious hairstyle was a pain to watch in particular. Moreover, at 49 years he certainly looks old and should start playing roles that suit his age.

Simply put, this film should have aptly been a 15 minute public service message on how to keep your surroundings clean and preserve the environment but ends up being an elaborate ‘Swachh Bharat’ advertisement. In no way does it justify its yawningly long running time of roughly 150 minutes.