Rocky Handsome Movie Review


Unapologetically gory and visceral, Rocky Handsome revels in relentless violence. But for a film about a ‘trained assassin’ and his bonding with a hapless child in desperate need of help, it is woefully low on emotional muscle.

The result is a slick, stylistically derivative neo-noir thriller that is surprisingly humdrum.

A full-on rehash of a 2010 Korean action flick (The Man from Nowhere), Rocky Handsome is set in a Goa where criminal cretins crawl out of every conceivable crevice.

The film’s sourpuss titular hero is a man possessed, a “cleaner” in the manner of Luc Besson’s Leon the professional, out to rid the city of undesirable elements.

He has to contend with a whole swarming jingbang – crime lords, hitmen, drug dealers, illegal organ traders, child traffickers.

The insuperable protagonist swings into action and goes after the scumbags even as men from the local anti-narcotics cell do their bit to crush the cartels.

But too many baddies and battlers botch up the broth – and very badly at that.

Although a meanie played by director Nishikant Kamat, one half of a pair of ruthless gangster-brothers, moves to the forefront in the film’s climax, none of the bad guys emerges from the shadows of ambiguity.

The screenplay (adapted by Ritesh Shah) takes inordinately long to provide clarity on the central character and his professional and personal antecedents.

On one rare occasion when he deigns to articulate his thoughts, the hero declares: “Main sirf abhi ki sochta hoon (I think only of the present).”

He prefixes that assertion with a statutory warning of sorts: those who think of tomorrow die today.

He obviously has an issue with anguishing over the future, but the past does weigh heavy on him. And that is what lies at the root of the demons in his mind.

A departed wife (Shruti Haasan in a special cameo), an unborn child, a murderous attack and years of lurking in undercover anonymity have scarred him for life.

For good measure, he has bullet and stitch marks all over his ripped body. His rough knuckles bear signs of many a bare-hands duel.

But his face is conveniently and miraculously unblemished. The only thing that mars his inscrutable visage is a permanent scowl.

Not that it matters: the focus anyways is more on his pecs, biceps and abs than on his facial expressions.

It is fair to wonder if this film’s heavy-weather feel stems more from the impenetrable disposition of Kabir Ahlawat alias Rocky Handsome or from the deadpan lead performance.

Click here for more…