Bollywood Film Review “Munna Michael”

   

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

First, the Recap:

To follow in the footsteps of greatness. It is a daunting task anytime we strive to achieve the same level of accomplishment as the talents which come before, much less when the one we’re aiming to trump is our own parent. For former star dancer Michael (Ronit Roy), this potential to be equaled or eclipsed shows in the passion his adoptive son Munna (Tiger Shroff) demonstrates by learning the moves of his father’s icon and inspiration, Michael Jackson. Taking his moves to the local clubs in Mumbai, Munna earns money with his friends by challenging the “top” dancers in each locale, betting huge sums, and then trouncing the “competition”. Despite Michael’s hesitations about these pursuits, Munna continues his chosen path with fervor and highly confident, bordering arrogant, passion.

However, when circumstances force Munna to leave Mumbai for New Delhi, a new situation arises when he becomes unintentionally entangled with a local gangster named Mahinder (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) after beating down his younger brother and friends at a club. However, Mahinder’s goal with Munna is for him to become his dance teacher so that Mahinder may successfully woo local club angel Deepika “Dolly” Sharma (Nidhhi Agerwal). Reluctantly agreeing to this request, Munna’s own path becomes a bit more complicated when he falls for Deepika in the process of trying to guide her to Mahinder’s affections. Finally realizing the inevitable, Munna helps Dolly escape Delhi to Mumbai where she is to compete in a national dance competition. But, with Mahinder still in the picture, what will be the outcome?

Next, My Mind:

It can certainly be stated that only in Bollywood could we honestly be convinced there would even BE something labeled as an “action dance film”. Yet, here it is courtesy of director Sabbir Khan, who delivers what has to be an intentionally campy but totally fun romp that entertainingly highlights amazing, acrobatic martial arts prowess with wonderfully choreographed, energetic dance sequences you cannot help but be moved by. The visuals are well planned out and executed here for both dance and action elements, the camera embracing those performing the steps or fighting moves with purposeful impact for the viewer who, like this reviewer, can simply sit back and smile at the over-the-top but dazzling nature of it all, becoming totally mesmerized by it.  Add in the humor points as well, it’s really the total package. Were there points where the film perhaps dragged a bit, sure. But folks come on, let’s allow ourselves to just be fully entertained by something every once in a while and not take it all TOO seriously, eh?

One thing that is beyond contention is the needed skills brought to the table by lead Tiger Shroff as Munna, a young man trying to find a dream as a dancer in his father’s and idol’s footsteps, who happens to stumble into the unexpected events he does, therefore having to exercise both his dancing and fighting abilities to their limits. Shroff does this quite effortlessly, always with that boyish charm, smile, and swagger he’s known for. His physical conditioning definitely comes in handy in pulling off the high-flying action plus high energy dance he does here, a testament to hard work and illustrating an actor who truly loves what he does. Then you add in arguably the best character actor of the current generation in Siddiqui as Mahinder, a gangster with a ruthless streak the size of the world who only wants to be a great dancer to impress a girl, and trust me, he chews up scenery every single time he’s on screen, able to go from growling psycho to hilariously stumbling, unconfident, needful man in a heartbeat. The thing is, no matter the level of exaggeration here, he MAKES you believe it.

It’s getting silly how much beauty and talent exists amongst the actresses in Bollywood, and here, Agerwal continues this streak as Deepika “Dolly” Sharma, a small-time dancer in Delhi who has much better skills to share than the club she’s in, which she gets to prove as the film progresses.  Her interactions with Munna and Mahinder are solid in the respective ways planned, the dancing she presents is undeniably eye-catching, and she isn’t some “damsel in distress” here either, though getting rescued a few times by Munna has her swooning. Supporting roles from Chetna Pande, Sahil Anand, Vivaan Shah, Farah Khan, Chitrangda Singh, Ameesha Patel, Jiiva, and a host of others are here as well, all to good effect. In total, “Munna Michael” is the escapist film to just relax and chuckle at for its catchy tunes, vibrant dance numbers, Tiger’s chance to say “Munna doesn’t fight. He thrashes”, Siddiqui’s chance to ham it up as only he can, and acknowledge this isn’t the best film, but it sure is a blast!

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

 

 

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