23 March 2019 | nsd-17445
Big Trouble in Little Matunga
Vasan Bala's incredibly funny and action packed 'Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota' is his love letter to all the action movies we watched growing up. In this superhero origin story from Matunga, he has managed to insert tiny references to all these movies in unlimited amounts. Be it the costume of Hammer Girl from 'The Raid 2', the tournament from 'Enter the Dragon', a water backpack used as a McGuffin and even the cliché twin brothers plot device used in countless Bollywood commercial potboilers.
Surya is a boy suffering from congenital insensitivity to pain, meaning he can't feel pain and has to keep drinking water to keep himself alive. Raised in captivity for 12 years by his idiotic but controlling father and a cool liberal grandfather, he has spent most of his time watching Kung-Fu movies and looks up to Karate Mani, a true legend in his city. He also has a childhood friend Supri who fights with everyone to protect Surya but can't stand up against her abusive father. These are very relatable characters and you start caring for them instantly. The innocent and childlike performance by Abhimanyu Dassani makes him even easier to care for. He is an actor with superb physicality along with acting skills, unlike say, Tiger Shroff who can't act to save his life. Radhika Madan deserves accolades for carrying such a layered and difficult role effortlessly. Surya and Supri deserve to be a part of the MCU. Special Mention to the scene stealer Gulshan Devaiyah in a double role, whose backstory is told in by far the most hilarious flashback scene since Bejoy Nambiar's 'Shaitaan'. Writer and Director Vasan Bala has finally proven himself to be an adept storyteller. His script is brilliantly detailed and filled with jokes and movie references that are left for the audience to grasp.
'Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota' is a film-grain VHS fueled package of insanity coupled with masterful action and Edgar Wright styled editing. There's a scene towards the end that hints clearly at the jingoistic clichés of movies like 'Kesari'. "You have to go to the next screen" Surya says. I strongly suggest you to go to a screen where this absurdist action comedy is playing.