When you have a huge hit like GADAR behind you,
the expectations from your next film multiply
manifold. In that respect, the expectations from
THE HERO are gargantuan.
THE HERO has it all – The golden combination of
director Anil Sharma, writer Shaktimaan, music
director Uttam Singh and lead man Sunny Deol.
THE HERO has it all – Grand production values,
breath-taking locales of the U.S., Canada and
Switzerland, opulent sets... In fact, if at all
there's a 'Lion-hearted Producer Award', it
should be reserved for the Shah brothers of Time
for sparing no expenses in making a film of epic
proportions. Truly, the Shah brothers are the
behind-the-screen heroes of this flick.
THE HERO has it all – Fiery dialogues that would
send the crowd into raptures, references to the
neighbouring country that would be greeted with
cheers, like it happened in BORDER and GADAR,
and also edge-of-the-seat stunts that make you
gape in awe.
THE HERO has the looks of a hero, but unlike
GADAR, it lacks the soul to make you cry and
make your heart go out for the on-screen
characters. The husband-wife-son saga in GADAR
continued to haunt you even after the show
ended. Sadly, THE HERO lacks in this vital
department – emotions. And the emotions depicted
Iin THE HERO are superficial.
Sunny Deol is an army intelligence officer
posted in Kashmir. He has been posted there to
keep track of the terrorists' activities across
the border. He falls in love with Preity Zinta
and soon, she becomes a part of his network.
Preity is sent across the border as part of a
strategy, but soon the plan fails and Preity
finds herself exposed to the militants – Amrish
Puri, Khalid Mohammed and Rajat Bedi.
However, she escapes from their clutches and is
saved by Sunny in the nick of time. Sunny and
Preity get engaged but during the celebrations,
the militants explode the place and Preity is
However, Preity is very much alive and has
reached the shores of Pakistan. She is saved by
Parvin Dabas, but due to a shock, she cannot use
her limbs. Parvin takes her to Canada for
treatment and coincidentally, Sunny also reaches
there to accomplish his mission.
The doctor treating on Preity is none other than
Priyanka Chopra, who happens to be the daughter
of Kabir Bedi, an accomplice of Amrish Puri. To
have an access to Kabir Bedi, Sunny befriends
Priyanka and plans to marry her. But Amrish Puri
gets to know of Sunny's true identity. What
The problem with THE HERO lies in its
screenplay. Now, that's all the more surprising
since the screenplay was the highpoint of GADAR.
Writer Shaktimaan goofs up bigtime in weaving a
tale around the loves and lives of a spy, but
the outcome is not as intriguing as a James Bond
flick, nor is it as captivating as the
Dharmendra – Mala Sinha hit ANKHEN.
To start with, the script relies too heavily on
the nuclear bomb, sidelining the Indo-Pak issue
or for that matter the Kashmir issue completely.
The writer goes into the minutest of details
explaining what a nuclear bomb is all about and
how it gets made, making the goings-on too
technical at times. To be honest, the making of
a nuclear bomb or its parts hold no significance
for the ordinary cinegoer. Moreover, the
dialogues in English [at several places] may not
find flavour with a sizeable chunk of the
Ideally, issues such as crossborder terrorism
and how the spy exposes the neighbouring
country's devious plans should've been given
prominence, since the common man can identify
with these issues. Tracking the formula of a
nuclear bomb could've been a small segment in
the screenplay, giving it so much prominence was
The film also lacks the romantic and emotional
feel of GADAR. The romantic moments between
Sunny and Preity are far too less and even the
ones that have been depcited are not the type
that would register an impact. The film has been
publicised as a love story of a spy, but the
love story is hardly exciting.
Even the Sunny – Priyanka love story should've
had a solid foundation. At least there should've
been some tender moments between them to justify
Director Anil Sharma takes a step forward when
it comes to providing larger-than-life visuals.
The money spent is visible in every frame, the
grand look of the film just cannot be
overlooked. But barring a few individual
sequences, the drama clearly lacks a
Yes, a few sequences do linger in your memory,
like the one when a militant [Rajat Bedi]
performs a thorough check of Preity, his hands
moving at all the wrong places and a helpless
Preity standing bewildered.
The avalanche in the first half can also be
singled out. Something like this hasn't been
depicted on the Indian screen before. The drama
during the celebrations in the second half, when
Preity and Sunny come face to face, is also
But the drama depicted in the film is not a
patch on Anil Sharma's earlier works like
SHRADDHANJALI, BANDHAN KACHCHE DHAGON KA,
HUKUMAT and of course, GADAR. The director's
efforts to give something different from GADAR
is laudable, but the screenplay lets him down
terribly. Even the climax, though novel in
concept, does not come across as spellbinding.
If Shaktimaan is not in form as a screenplay
writer, he more than compensates in the
dialogues department. The dialogues, especially
against the militants, are clapworthy.
Cinematography deserves distinction marks. The
visual appeal of the film is terrific. Action
sequences are awe-inspiring.
Uttam Singh's music is a sore point. Barring the
'Dil Mein Hain Pyaar' and 'In Mast Nigahon Mein',
the remaining tracks just don't appeal.
Sunny Deol does well in a role that seems
tailormade for him. He's good, not excellent.
One does miss his fiery outbursts, synonymous
with the roles he plays. He seemed to have
worked hard on his get-ups and that's
Preity Zinta is competent, radiating charm all
through. Priyanka Chopra's role could've been
properly developed. Yet, despite the
shortcoming, the newcomer oozes confidence.
Amrish Puri excels. Kabir Bedi is equally
convincing. Rajpal Yadav is passable. Shahbaaz
Khan is fair. Khalid Mohammed is first-rate.
On the whole, THE HERO has gloss and hype as its
trumpcards, but comparisons with GADAR will go
against it. THE HERO lacks in emotions, music
and a taut screenplay. At the box-office, the
opening of the film is fantastic and keeping in
view the vacation period, will only add to its
grand opening, giving a respite to the
drought-stricken industry. Also, with no big
film scheduled for release in the coming weeks,
the film will get an open run, which should
prove beneficial to its investors.