In 2014 came out the action blockbuster Bang Bang, a film more than average but has had some success with its choice of cast and good promotion. And producers seem determined to continue the adventure but not with a direct sequel. Indeed, Fox Star Studios has decided to create a franchise with Bang Bang, changing cast each installment.
Fox announced that Bang Bang 2 will set the bar higher than what has been done before in India in terms of action and special effects. So who will be in the cast? Against all odds, this will not be accomplished superstars but young rising stars. Hrithik Roshan is replaced by Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif by Jacqueline Fernandez and the villain will be played by Rajkumar Rao.
A very promising trio, especially since we rarely see Rao in a commercial cinema. Bang Bang 2 will be the first role in pure action of Sidharth Malhotra's career, even if the actor was tried in a dark and muscular role in Brothers.
The cast of renewal is also behind the camera since Siddharth Anand will be replaced by Raj & DK duo to whom we owe the excellent Go Goa Gone and Shor in the City. Filming should begin in June and will be released next year. It must be admitted that all these changes intrigue me in the right way.
Bang Bang released in theaters in 2014 is to date one of the most expensive films of Bollywood. It must be said that the producers relied heavily on the star duo Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif and on the profusion of cascades and exotic decorations. Official remake of American action film Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Bang Bang did not explode the box office as hoped but also was not a failure.
Without offering a dazzling story, the film offers a moment of well-calibrated entertainment with a much more credible scenario than many Bollywood works of the genre.
In London, the terrorist Omar Zafar (Danny Denzongpa) is detained by the British authorities. The valorous Colonel Viren Nanda announces that he will soon be extradited to India for execution. Before he had time to finish the discussion, Zafar's men penetrate the scene and massacre all the police officers present. On the verge of death at the hands of Zaffar, Viren Nanda promises his enemy that he will one day meet the eyes of a courageous man who will take his life.
To prevent the signing of an extradition treaty that would undermine his plans, Zaffar seeks to revive diplomatic tensions between India and the United Kingdom. He offers a reward to the thief who will steal the Kohinoor, a legendary Indian diamond that fell to the British during the colonial period and now mounted on the crown of the Queen of England. Rajveer Nanda (Hrithik Roshan) answers the call and steals the jewel but is not satisfied with the amount of money offered by Zaffar and refuses to hand him his loot.
Pursued by the terrorist and the authorities, Rajveer flee to Shimla where Harleen Sahani (Katrina Kaif), a bank receptionist with a routine life, lives. Worried about staying single all her life, Harleen is preparing to dine at the restaurant with a certain Vickie, whom she has met through a dating site.
Attracted by the beauty of the young woman, Rajveer poses as Vickie but is found by his pursuers during the appointment. Under the charm of this mysterious man, Harleen realizes that he is a criminal only when he disappears by abandoning him in the hands of the authorities. When she crosses path again, she does not know if Rajveer is dangerous or a trustworthy man and finds herself involved in a chase to which she was unprepared.
Bollywood used to draw heavily from foreign films without calling them a remake, but here it is indeed an official remake. Unlike unofficial productions, Bang Bang scrupulously takes some scenes and dialogues elements of Night and Day, including details such as the existence of a vintage car inherited by the heroine.
Unfortunately, Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan are very different from Cameron Diaz (June) and Tom Cruise (Roy). It would not be a problem if the film had taken more distances with its model. However, for a faithful remake, choosing main actors so different makes lose their meaning to certain scenes that have been copied as they are. The character of Harleen is thus much less independent than that of June. The Bollywood version turned her into an erased girl who needs a charming prince to spice up her existence where June did not seem to mop over the boredom of her life.
Conversely, Rajveer's character lacks coherence throughout the film. While Roy's scary side made him comical, Rajveer at first seemed unsympathetic and arrogant, whereas a failing Roy did not at all. But this does not prevent the sweetness and sensitivity of Hrithik Roshan to quickly dispel our doubts about the integrity of his character, making it more predictable but also more endearing.
Moreover, the relationship between Harleen and Rajveer is somewhat unbalanced. Rajveer allowing himself to take lessons from Harleen and ask her for kisses while Roy was written with more class and naiveté than that. The relationship between June and Roy had an improbable side that made us smile while the Indian version seems to have sought to make their couple much more classic and obvious. And that pretty distorts the essence of Knight and Day.
As a Bollywood production Bang Bang unfortunately does not really convince on its musical part. The choreographies, the sets and the melodies do not stick with the genre of the film and do not bring much to the story and worse somewhat distort the atmosphere. Something much more fun, adult and energetic could have been imagined. The ending song that appears in the credits is more satisfactory at this level but has not been integrated into the story.
Moreover, one of the main interests of the couple Hrithik Roshan/Katrina Kaif was to be able to associate the two best bankable dancers of Bollywood. Yet if Roshan is largely under the spotlight, Kaif is confined to performing some simple movements following his male partner. I really dream of a movie where they could dance side by side, displaying their talents in full light without one eclipsing the other. On this point, Bang Bang is a disappointment.
If one takes the film independently of its model, it remains an entertaining production that gives itself the means to charm the viewer with beautiful waterfalls, a scenario rather credible, attractive decors and a star couple to dream. Bang Bang is not an unforgettable film either. It deserved its mixed success, which illustrates the feeling that one feels in the credits.