Film: Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (Action, Comedy)
Cast: Abhimanyu Dassani, Radhika Madan, Gulshan Devaiah, Mahesh Manjrekar and Jimit Trivedi
Direction: Vasan Bala
Vasan Bala, who directed Peddlers earlier, comes this time with a delightful film that’s a unique tribute to the Indian films of 80s and 90s it its own trademark kitschy, masala style. While it walks the thin line between celebrating and laughing at the typical action films of the 90s, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is a clear winner because of its irreverence towards itself and the movies it pays tribute to.
Bala’s hero Surya (Abhimanyu Dasani) is no ordinary man. He’s born with super powers as he is struck with a rare medical condition. He doesn’t feel any pain. Surya who has lost his mother (Shweta Basu Prasad doing a cameo) in a freak accident, is a carefree child who uses his ‘powers’ to his advantage while being bullied by his school mates. He is fearless and reckless, thus making life difficult for his timid father (Jimit Trivedi).
While the father keeps him literally prisoned at home, his more adventurous and exceptionally interesting grandfather (Mahesh Manjrekar) makes his life more bearable by keeping him occupied with VCDs of old action films. It is no surprise that Surya grows up ODing on action moves and starts believing that he can fight an army and his inspiration also happens to be a one-legged Karate Mani (Gulshan Deviah). Surya is desperate to learn the moves from him.
Surya’s childhood sweetheart Supri (Radhika Madan) is taken away from him, after he makes her part of his innumerable reckless adventures. Years later, Surya reunites with Supri and gets to meet his inspiration Mani but not in ideal circumstances. In a twist in a tale, Mani has an identical twin who also happens to be the villain of the film.
The best things about this film is its confident execution and writing (both by Vasan Bala). Bala stays true to his style without any compromises or fear and that’s what makes this a delightful watch. He brings his love for films alive in Surya’s character, keeping all the eccentricities and humour intact. There are plenty of quirky moments that make this movie what it is. Bala also makes good use of music of old films to go with the flavour of the film.
Bala’s South Indian-ness and his obvious loyalty towards Rajnikanth comes up when a scene mocks Kamal Haasan and emphasises on Thalaiva’s heroic abilities. But all’s well that’s said in good humour.
Abhimanyu Dassanj (actress Bhagyashree’s son) makes a fantastic debut with this one. Surya is not an easy role to play, but Abhimanyu does it with the right amount of sincerity and vulnerability that it required. Mahesh Manjrekar gets the best lines in the film and is pure delight to watch, reminding us yet again about what a good actor he is. Gulshan Devaiah is excellent in both the roles. Radhika Madan fits the role she plays pretty well and does a good job. She’s outwardly fierce but her eyes reflect helplessness of her situation.
Watch it for sure. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is loads of fun, and keeps you entertained throughout. If you love action films of 90s, you will like this one all the more. And it is truly different from the other run of the mill films we are subjected to.