Hero Movie Review: A rare attempt at black comedy in Kannada cinema
This Rishab Shetty-starrer is equal parts a dark romance, a love tale with twists, and a violence-filled film
It is not often that one gets to see a Kannada film that explores the dark comedy genre. Filmmakers usually shy away from this genre as it requires loads of creative scriptwriting and often only appeals to a certain type of audience. Debutant M Bharath Raj, however, rises to the challenge.
If you are one of those who can recognise humor that is wrapped in the dark cloak of violence and nestled in the gentle arms of love, then Hero is for you. The tagline loosely translates to George Bernard Shaw's words: 'You can’t be a hero without being a coward.' Call Hero a dark romance, a love tale with twists, or a violence-filled film, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But all through, the dark humour shines in the circumstances that the characters (they don’t have names) are up against.
Director: M Bharath Raj
Cast: Rishab Shetty, Ganavi Laxman, Pramod Shetty, Kiran and Uggram Manju
Production: Rishab Shetty Films
The protagonist, a hairdresser (Rishab Shetty), re-enters his ex-girlfriend’s (Ganavi Laxman) life intending to take revenge on her for dumping him. But, he changes his mind after seeing her situation and decides to help her cover her wrong deeds. How he rescues himself and his love forms the crux of this action-comedy-adventure. Once the plot is sprung, the movie becomes a tale of emotions, guns, bloodshed, and battles. The characters run into chaos, puzzling coincidences, and face off against mounting troubles. The second half of the movie builds upon the cat and mouse chase that the protagonist and the heroine are part of.
Chikamagaluru serves as the backdrop with a single house in this idyllic location forming a large part of the film. Shot during the pandemic, Hero is a brave attempt by debutant director Bharath Raj. However, the director has forsaken character building for wit and murders happen at random. The narration doesn’t really ask for much in the way of characters too, as the fast-paced story keeps us occupied.
Rishab Shetty is an artiste always open to experimenting and here, he takes on a humorous thriller that is out of his comfort zone. The actor delivers a one-of-a-kind performance and we see the desire in his eyes to help his lost love. For the heroine, it is about much more than getting back to an old beau. She uses Rishab to extricate herself from the emotional mess she is in and Ganavi Laxman portrays the role to perfection.
Music director Ajaneesh Loknath's perfect background score and cinematographer Arvind Kashyap's visuals gel well with the director’s vision.
On the whole, Hero is an enjoyable comedy filled with love, pain, anger, doubt, and hope.