Rocky Handsome helmed by Nishikant Kamat is a slick, stylish, son-of-a-gun flick with emotional undercurrents and lots of gory violence which might appeal to fans of action genre. Rocky Handsome is a remake of the Korean film "The man from nowhere". There are two kind of people in this world ; one who firmly believe in love,relationships and human emotions and prefer them over materialistic things while others are the ones who love materialistic things and use relationships and humans to fulfill their ulterior motives. This story depicts a fight between both set of the people. While the film's protagonist, Kabir (John Abraham) who has seen it all belongs to the first category and will go to any lengths to save his young neighbor Naomi (Diya Chalwad) from the clutches of baddies, the film's antagonist Kevin (Nishikant Kamat) is a mean machine who deals in all kinds of nefarious activities ranging from drug peddling, illegal organ trading and child trafficking. While the movie delivers the goods when it comes to well captured action sequences, it fails to tug your heartstrings when it comes to emotional content. Kabir has a well chiseled ripped body with bullet and stitch marks all over it who takes on the crime mafia and breaks down the functioning of a drug cartel by allowing his fists to do the talking. Rocky Handsome is an attempt to recreate Hollywood's 'John Wick' or 'The Equalizer' on Indian Celluloid by portraying Kabir as a larger than life Hero. These gory action flicks work well in Hollywood but out here in Bollywood, audience needs to have an emotional connect with the flick even if it is an out & out action film. Had the writers invested more in sketching out the characters more elaborately especially the affinity between Kabir and Naomi, Rocky Handsome could have ended as a much better flick. But, the film deserves full brownie points for its well orchestrated action sequences which are a cut above the rest. There are no gravity defying action sequences but well shot hand to hand as well as knife combat action which looks realistic and will be lapped up by action lovers. John seems to have worked really hard towards portraying this character and learnt some martial arts skills which are evident in his fight sequences with Kazu Patrick Tang who is a Paris-born Thai martial arts action star.
The story of the movie has been penned down by Ritesh Shah which has turned out to be a weak link of the movie. Had Ritesh invested more in etching out his characters, Rocky Handsome would have fared much better at the box office. Apart from John's character, none of the other characters are able to make an impact on your mind or suck you into the on-screen proceedings. Right from Naomi, to the villains all suffer due to lack of proper characterizations. On top of that, the film follows a non-linear pattern of storytelling revealing us about Kabir's past in bits and pieces. Some of the scenes reek of amateur writing like the scene where officers of Anti Narcotics Cell are not able to trace the past record of Kabir from the systems as the files are classified. Here, an officer not only suggests but also sends a threatening email to the President of United States from Kabir's email I.D. as he thinks after receiving the threatening email, C.I.A. will ask for Kabir's details and they will be able to access all his past record. The film kick-starts in Goa shrouded with a heavy downpour where Kabir (John Abraham) buys fishes and flowers. Kabir runs a pawn shop in Goa. His shop is frequented by Naomi (Diya Chalwad) who lives with her single mother, Anna (Nathalia Kaur) who is a drug addict. Naomi tells Kabir that all her friends think that he is handsome and she has been told to stay away from him because others think that he is a gangster who has committed a crime. An unspoken bond develops between the two. Things are going fine till Naomi's mom steals hefty stash belonging to drug lord Kevin (Nishikant Kamat). That is when, Kevin's psycho brother (Teddy Maurya) kidnaps Anna and her daughter Naomi. In lieu of their release, baddies want Kabir to deliver a package to someone in a car. But, little does Kabir know that they have tipped Anti Narcotics Cell and the car that Kabir is driving has Anna's dead body lying in the back. Kabir is arrested by Officer (Sharad Kelkar). When they check about his past, they come to know that Kabir is a highly trained assassin who used to work for Government with the code name Rocky. He paid a heavy price in line of his duty by losing his wife Rukshida (Shruti Hassan). Will Kabir be able to dodge the cops, will he able to rescue Naomi from the clutches of Kevin is what forms the rest of the story.
John Abraham leads from the front in Rocky Handsome as far as the performances are concerned. This role was tailor made for John and he has done full justice to his character. He carries a serious dead-pan expression on his face throughout the movie which was the requirement of his character. Add to it, his well performed action sequences and you get to see a power packed performance from John. The way he punches his opponents and swings knives, action looks realistic to the core.
Shruti Hassan lights up the screen whenever she appears on-screen during her extended cameo in the movie.
Nishikant Kamat has played the role of antagonist, a drug dealer who also dabbles into organ trade to pitch perfection in the movie. Nishikant has enacted the character with utmost conviction and he literally looks like a baddie you want to hate. And, when you are able to invoke hatred from the audience as a villain, it is a real compliment for an actor playing the antagonist.
Sharad Kelkar portrays the role of a cop with effortless ease and proves that it is acting prowess and not the length of the role which is important to leave a lasting impression. Sharad has been able to make the maximum out of the screen time assigned to him.
Diya Chalwad not only looks cute and innocent but is also able to hit the right chords with her acting.
Nora Fatehi looks sultry hot and sets the screen on fire with her item number in Rocky Handsome. Wish to see her more frequently on Big Screen.
Nathalia Kaur has played her part with fair sense of conviction in Rocky Handsome.
The musical soundtrack of the movie composed by Sunny Bawra, Inder Bawra and Ankit Tiwari is quite average but the film's background score composed by Sunny & Inder Bawra is apt enough as per the genre of the movie and provides a further impetus to on-screen proceedings. The cinematographer of the movie is Shankar Raman who has done an outstanding job at capturing the visuals. Shankar's cinematography is not only plush, passionate but his usage of apt color palettes as per the requirement of the scene is praiseworthy. A special mention of Suniel Rodrigues and Kecha Kammpakdee for their effective contribution in the action department. It is their well orchestrated action sequences that have taken Rocky Handsome several notches higher. The movie has been edited by Aarif Shaikh who has kept the run-time to 126 minutes. As a director, Nishikant Kamat has come up with a sleek, stylish and well packaged action film. Though, Nishikant is let down by a weak script, he ably covers it up with some well shot action sequences. Kamat knows the strengths of his leading man i.e. John Abraham and has utilized them to the optimum in the movie. Special brownie points to Kamat for the penultimate scene of the movie where John indulges in stylish knife fight with his opponents. That scene is highlight of the movie especially for action lovers.
Rocky Handsome has been packaged with some of the best executed action sequences and if you are a die hard action fan, this could be the right movie for you to watch out.
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