Force (2011) – Review
The John Abraham-starrer Force is a standard South Indian potpourri of larger than life action, whippy camera work and swift intercutting – the precise qualities which make Tamil and Kannada hybrids the taste of the new Mumbai. Remake of the South Indian blockbuster Kaakha Kaakha, Force is a film very honest about its intentions. Laconically put, Force is Dabangg minus the Rajni-mannerisms which put the mass audiences of India in ecstatic euphoria. Although it lacks the masala factor provided by a Salman or a tongue-in-cheek Devgan, the film makes up for it by making relatively more sense on paper.
Yashvardhan (John Abraham) is a no-nonsense officer hard on the narcotics trade. He is the no-holds-barred ‘faisla-on-the-spot’ officer who often lets emotions get the best of him and believes his bachelor status is what keeps him from having any visible weakness. Enter Maya (Genelia D’ Souza). The two eventually fall in love and agree to get married, and there start boiling all of Yashvardhan’s problems. Avenging the killing of his brother, drug kingpin Vishnu (Vidyut Jammwal) goes all out seeking revenge on the unit of officers responsible for it.
Force‘s strength lies in the superficial; on paper it is the tried and tested. The first half hour of the film is an irrelevant cat-and-mouse chase spanning different cities and drug barracks, with little affect on the overall plot. What could have been a thoughtful action-drama turns into a film which fails to stir any sense of suspense, drama or mystery; and runs into the all-too-predictable. The love story between the two lead protagonists does have its moments, despite the formulaic talkative, care-free girl played by Genelia (one of the five or six character archetypes for female roles in Bollywood).
There is an underlying moral to the film, however – make sure that the protagonist and villain know their dumbbells from barbells, and have the masses scrambling to the theaters. It is a Panzer tank pitted against a Ferrari, not half as spellbinding as a Schwarzenegger-Patrick, but will have the gym rats on a glee ride at cinema halls.
John Abraham’s physique is what the film will ultimately be remembered for. With very little character development, our ACP exploits his 20-inch biceps to cuff and kick through the proceedings resembling Thor after a Sunday haircut. Rest assured, John gives bodybuilding axioms such as titanic triceps and boulders for shoulders new meaning. Bollywood hasn’t yet seen this breed of physical specimen – Salman and Shetty look like pencil-pushers in comparison.
Harris Jayaraj, the genius behind the most resounding Hindi-film album of the new millennium Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, doesn’t quite manager to muster up a ‘Zara Zara’, but the South-Indian tact for serene instrumentation and inventive mixing is evident. Force is only his second major Hindi film soundtrack, and Tamil music aficionados will proudly sit back and watch the rest of the subcontinent discover why Harris has been dubbed ‘the next Rahman’ for more than a decade. The standout track of the album is clearly ‘Khawabon Khawabon’ and the background score is quite apt.
The lenswork by Ayananka Bose and the crisp editing of the film are top-notch, the juvenile rawness in action scenes from other Tamil-remakes such Dabangg and Wanted is not to be found here; Force is thoroughly filmed with full emphasis to cut-down on the visual short-comings present in so many high-budget ventures.
Even a weasel-in-a-hat would be able to guess that Force will have audiences coming to theaters in droves: despite having not much out of the ordinary, it provides exactly the film content which has sent cinema tickets counters rolling as never before. It won’t be a Ghajini, but then again it did not cost half as much – Ali Umair Chaudhry