Reviewing the Reviews: Scathing 1 to 2.5 stars for Heropanti

26 May,2014

By Deepa Gahlot


Directed by: Sabbir Khan

Starring: Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon, Sandeepa Dhar & others


It was pretty obvious that Heropanti was made to launch Tiger Shroff and no effort was spared in marketing him well. The problem with having such high level promotion is that the same media can turn around and be brutal. Poor Tiger has been the target of some rather nasty online mauling. That apart the reviews were mostly scathing– 1 to 2.5 star ratings. The actor got away relatively lightly, but the film was shredded to bits.


Aniruddha Guha of Time Out commented, “Heropanti gives him scope to show off his (action) talents in snatches, but clamps him down with a storyline which annoyingly unfolds in one house for a large part, before moving into DDLJ-territory. Director Sabbir Khan abandons the promise of a mindless action entertainer in favour of a more mindless emotional drama, which he naturally finds himself inept at. It’s hard to figure why anyone would entrust Khan with the launch of a major star-son, given he directed the atrocious Kambakkht Ishq before this film.”


Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express sneered, “Bablu (Tiger) and Dimpy (Sanon) tread the tired paths Bollywood has ordained for young lovers for the past 25 years: he’s the dulha and has to make off with his dulhaniya, but not before the mandatory song-and-dance and rona-dhona. Tiger has a fine set of ripped muscles which he shows off in shirtless scenes. He does a good job of wiping blood off his chin, and holding off goons. He can do action, sure. But you are also required to say your lines and romance your girl: did no one think of those crucial things?”


Anupama Chopra saw star quality in Shroff Jr. “Heropanti is designed to do exactly one thing – make us like Tiger Shroff, and that it does exceedingly well. The film is a showcase for Tiger’s talents; he is an incredible acrobat who does backflips in dance sequences and effortlessly leaps off walls in action scenes. He is a smooth dancer.  His body seems chiselled out of granite – director Sabbir Khan makes sure Tiger drops his shirt often, so that we have ample time to ponder his abs. In places, the dialogue delivery is off and his startling pink lips are a tad awkward. But he has a very solid screen presence. Can Tiger act? I don’t know. Is he a star? Absolutely. The rest of this film, however, is comically bad. A remake of 2008 Telugu film Parugu, Heropanti is purposefully loud masala. The screechy pitch is accentuated by ear-shattering background music. This love story set against a feudal Haryanvi backdrop has no room for subtlety, irony or even a quiet moment.”


Mihir Fadnavis of wrote, “The best thing that could be said about Heropanti is that it is not as terrible as Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar films. The second best thing about it is that Tiger Shroff may be effeminate, but he’s a likable guy who can do some truly amazing stunts. This is where the positive aspects of Heropanti end, because everything else in the movie is a raging river of stupidity.”


Paloma Shroff of was dismissive too. “Heropanti follows the Bollywood formula and includes 5873 random songs which, if devoid of visualisation, are a good, time-pass listen. Over all, Heropanti is an amusing yet bland modification of the classic Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayengey, featuring some of the most fake Haryanvi accents this North Indian has ever heard. The film could do with more action and less drama. The most masala-less masala movie I’ve watched in a while, it will have you echoing the second most (over)used dialogue in the film, “Kab jayegi teri heropanti?


Nandini Ramnath blames the screenplay. “Building a sense of anticipation clearly isn’t director Sabbir Khan‘s suit. The screenplay lurches from one scene to the next, piles on the risible dialogue, desultorily cuts to a song every now and then, and fails to notice that Bablu and Dimpy are so awkward together that it’s not surprising when Prakash Raj’s character asks Bablu why his daughter has chosen her lover over her father.”


Sarita Tanwar was relatively mild, “The story takes you back to the early nineties. Except that the backdrop is now the north. Boy Babloo (Tiger Shroff) falls in love with the girl at first sight. She turns out to be daughter of a goon, who has captured him to get the address of the boy who has eloped with his older daughter. Soon, she too begins to have feelings for him. Father senses. Which way would the story go ahead now? It goes the same route as DDLJ or Maine Pyar Kiya.”


Rajeev Masand was not impressed, “Directed by Kambakht Ishq’s Sabbir Khan, Heropanti is a remake of the Telugu hit Parugu, and is modeled as a throwback to those old-fashioned films of the 80s in which a tough-as-nails hero could vanquish a dozen enemies without breaking a sweat. There’s a damsel in distress, a selfish control-freak father, and a never-ending supply of menacing uncles who exist only to keep the hero and heroine apart. The film ticks all the usual boxes, but to be fair Khan occasionally puts an interesting spin on rusty formulas, delivering what is at best a frustratingly inconsistent film.”


Suhani Singh analyses the film’s ‘hero,’ “There are many things that debutant Tiger Shroff can do with ease. Back flips, aerial kicks, hip hop dancing. But acting is not one of them. Shroff is 24. To gender reverse Britney Spears’s lyrics, he is not a boy not yet a man. It doesn’t help that when he smiles, viewers instantly forget his machismo. It’s a sweet smile which doesn’t make you blush, but confused if it’s coming in happiness or pain. And unfortunately Tiger smiles too often in Heropanti, often for no reason.”


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