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A Flying Jatt Review: A Modest, Friendly Superhero

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There’s a spot left open for an Indian superhero. Rakesh Roshan’s mushy Krissh couldn’t fill it. Neither could Shah Rukh Khan’s inane Ra One. The newest contender is Remo D’Souza’s A Flying Jatt, starring Tiger Shroff, Amrita Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Kay Kay Menon. At times resembling an animated children’s movie about environmental protection, A Flying Jatt is certainly enjoyable. But it’s not going to set any superhero trends.

*****

A gutsy woman (Amrita Singh) from a suburban town in Punjab discovers that her son (Tiger Shroff), a timid martial arts teacher at a local school, has superpowers. His punches land like a ton of bricks. His wounds heal instantly. He is invincible. Unlike Rekha in Krissh, this mother doesn’t freak out. Instead, she dances, feeds him nutritious food, and makes him watch every superhero film imaginable. She even designs a chic costume for him. And then she pushes him off the terrace.

So he can hone his flying skills.

This is what’s refreshing about the film: it isn’t completely corny. And so, even though the VFX is mediocre, and the storyline lacks nail-biting moments, and the dialogues sometimes leave us cringing at the bad writing, it’s a fun watch.

There are a number of unassuming moments that compensate for the film’s flaws. Best of all, the protagonist Aman/Flying Jatt (Tiger Shroff) has a steady and consistent story arc. He doesn’t transform overnight into a confident daredevil. Jatt is amiable, homely, and humble. He’s the kind of superhero who flies to the market to buy vegetables for mom. He greets elders with a deferential sat sri akal, even as he flies low through the neighbourhood (because he’s afraid of heights). He falls in love with his childhood friend (Jacqueline Fernandez), now a proud bimbette.

The desi superhero is responsible for protecting a sacred tree. His fight is against a greedy businessman, Malhotra (Kay Kay Menon). Malhotra’s company has severely polluted the town. To take on Flying Jatt, Malhotra ropes in the hulk-like mutant and villain, Rakka. Rakka is the perfect nemesis for the environment-saving hero, because he feeds on chemical waste.

*****

A slick and fit Tiger Shroff gets enough space to flaunt his exceptional martial arts skills as well as his dancing prowess. His histrionic acting isn’t compelling, but there’s an endearing earnestness about him. Amrita Singh, playing a loud and fiery Punjabi mother, could give Kiron Kherr a run for her money. Kay Kay Menon’s character comes across as a caricature, but it works. Mostly.

At several points, the film looks like Mukesh Khanna’s Shakthiman, the country’s favourite superhero. The villains mouth lines like “I feed on pollution. Feed me more garbage!” and characters often burst into speeches about tree planting and environment degradation. In one scene, Rakka confronts a group of children who are planting trees to annihilate him (yes, symbolism).

*****

A Flying Jatt cannot possibly make up for the dearth of Indian superhero characters. At heart, it’s an average Hindi potboiler with a central character that could have done wonders, if used intelligently. A (better) replacement for Shakthiman is nowhere in sight.

*****

The A Flying Jatt review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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