Varun Dhawan has the comic chops, but the new sidekicks are not as fun as Kader Khan and Co
David Dhawan’s strategy for comedy is based on stock company actors. During his halcycon days as the premier comic film director of Hindi cinema, he had Govinda in every single film, supported by Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor and Johnny Lever. That combination rarely failed. The films were not to everyone’s taste, of course, since there was slapstick and a lot of the dialogue contained double entendre references— heterosexual, bisexual and tri- sexual (try anything sexual).
Time moves on and the acting career of the son and heir takes precedence. To give him his due, Varun Dhawan brings a lot of comic energy to Main Tera Hero. He plays a terrible student called Srinath Prasad, aka Seenu, who fails all his tests in Ooty and moves on to a college in Bangalore that looks like a holiday resort with ‘wacky social life:101’ as a mandatory subject.
Varun is clearly an admirer of the Jim Carrey school of comedy and uses a lot of his natural athleticism and facial mobility to carry off absurd, over-the- top situations, on campus and off it. Like the one where he falls for fellow student Sunaina (Illena D’Cruz), and is hounded by her burly police officer protector, Angad (Arunoday Singh), while being simultaneously pursued by Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri).
Ayesha is Daddy’s little girl and since Daddy (Anupam Kher) is a Bangkok gangster, he plays ‘fetch’. He kidnaps Sunaina, and this fetches Seenu to his den. It also, inadvertently, fetches Angad. The entire cast gathered in one place, the remainder of the comedy is performed in the palace of the Bangkok Don, very much in David Dhawan style.
The laughs are there, but spaced far apart, and it is only in the last half hour that the film gains momentum. The real problem is with the new stock company actors. Rajpal Yadav and Saurabh Shukla are just not funny enough to turn the movie into the laugh riot it could have been.