RSVP presents “Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota”
Produced by: Ronnie Screwvala
Written and directed by: Vasan Bala
Music: Karan Kulkarni & Dipanjan Guha
Starring: Abhimanyu Dassani, Radhika Madan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Jimit Trivedi, Gulshan Devaiah, Sp. App.: Shweta Basu Prasad & others
There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. The idea here was fresh: a boy Surya (Abhimanyu Dassani when adult), right from babyhood, has a congenital abnormality – that he cannot feel pain, even when there is a physiological reason for it. His father (Jimit Trivedi) overprotects him, especially after the boy’s mother (Shweta Basu Prasad) is killed in a mishap following an attempt by chain-snatchers to snatch her necklace.
His maternal grandfather (Mahesh Manjrekar) who lives with them, feeds him, so to speak, on action video-cassettes and even helps the boy learn martial arts, for his idol, is the one-legged Mani (Gulshan Devaiah), who defeats 100 ‘normal’ opponents.
From childhood, Suraj has only one buddy, Supri (Radhika Madan in adulthood), whose mother is in a bad marriage. Averse to chain snatchers who killed his mother, Surya comes to know that Supri’s father has forcefully taken her mother’s chain to sell it and in retribution, throws him off the terrace.
When the man survives, the residential society force his family to vacate the house, and they go to live elsewhere, and suddenly his contact with Supri breaks off – they are still children. They meet again in adulthood as Supri too is a fan of Mani. And Mani is now facing a tough time from evil twin Jimmy, who has taken the chain their father had left for Mani. Now, it is Suraj’s turn to get the chain back for his idol.
Who will not term this as the perfect recipe for a full-on masala film? But Vasan Bala, cinematically schooled in the disrespectful-to-audience school of Anurag Kashyap, takes the deviant way out and makes the film a weird blend of art and mainstream, coming a cropper, like everyone art/midstream filmmaker does, when they attempt something genuinely intelligent and mainstream rather than this catastrophically intellectual ‘take’ on commercial cinema.
The stylized action, often bordering on violence, the weird way in which music is used, and the freakout screenplay, resembling that of the atrocious “Bhavesh Joshi Superhero,” completely turns the film into an extra-niche pseudo-intellectual fare. The climax is stretched too much, and over-ambitiously for a film that will have no lifetime collection worth mentioning, a scene actually shows that they actually expect a sequel to be made!
Abhimanyu Dassani makes his debut in the polar opposite of a film that launched his mom Bhagyashree 30 years ago – “Maine Pyar Kiya.” As his face is always covered by glares, we have no inkling how expressive he is as an actor. Radhika Madan is in form, but the lady has to select better films if she has to survive her transition from TV to cinema. Manjrekar is endearing, and Devaiah is superb as the camp Jimmy but not so effective as Mani, the good man.
If ever an unusual commercial idea of an action drama with a difference went horribly, terribly, irrevocably wrong, this is it. The title means, “A true man will never feel pain,” but every Hindi film buff will find this film painful, whether mard (man), aurat (woman) or baccha (kid)!
If quirky black comedies are your fodder, go watch “Stree” again. But stay away from this balderdash.