Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 14 minutes Censor Rating : U/A

Production: Ronnie Screwvala Cast: Abhimanyu Dassani, Radhika Madan Direction: Vasan Bala Screenplay: Vasan Bala Story: Vasan Bala Music: Karan Kulkarni Background score: Karan Kulkarni Cinematography: Jay Patel

Vasan Bala's Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (MKDNH) literally translates into 'The Man who feels no pain', a name as generic as the name of the film's hero, Surya (played by Abhimanyu Dassani) and his motive, to punish every crook in the city of Mumbai. But what separates Surya from other Masala-film heroes and MKDNH from a normal Masala potboiler is the fact that he is grounded by a disorder that propels him to be a super fighter with inherent setbacks.

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is about Surya's tryst with overcoming Congenital Insensitivity to Pain by devoting himself to martial arts against his father's will (even the Indian version of Superman can't escape from dad issues), an idea that sparked within him after he sees a VHS home video titled Hundred Man Fight, featuring his one-legged Sensei Mani aka Karate Man (played by Gulshan Devaiah). The video was a nod to the generic Ilayaraja BGM of percussion-ridden music present in every eighties-Tamil film fight sequence. Surya is thrown in a mix of revenge and breakneck action as he gets involved in the tussle between Mani and his twin brother Jimmy (also played by Gulshan Devaiah) when he reconnects with his childhood friend Supri (played by Radhika Madan).

What makes MKDNH more fun to watch is that the film wears the masala film templates up its sleeve, so the writer gives us enough opportunities to play a  "Spot the cliche" game with the audience (the film even literally introduces Mani and Jimmy as the two "cliches" of the film). MKDNH allows the audience to laugh with the outrageousness of a potboiler, not at it. Though MKDNH displays a lot of fanboy moments, these instances are rooted in a more real, relatable world. The film is an ode to the Mumbai-living Middle class (There is even a joke involving a residential building) and throwing us some traditional Bollywood-ish sequences (like the "Jaa Simran Jaa" moment of Supri) in such a mileu makes the homages even more genuine.

MKDNH is adorned with easter eggs and homage, without the burden of being too showy. Surya's childhood is filled with VHS viewing of Kung-fu classics his "Enter the Dragon", 'Project A' and Indian blockbusters like Sholay and Geraftaar (a film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan, a helluva cinematic treat for any North India-born South Indian kid in the eighties, like the director Vasan Bala  himself). There is a hilarious homage involving Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth, the superstar rivals of Tamil cinema(The homages in the film require another article itself, so let us restrict to these).

Even the song's lyrics gives a nostalgic trip for action movie nerds, with generous throwbacks to the golden era of Indian Television and Hong Kong cinema and "Life mein fair chance" plays out like an SPB crooned retro number. A major aspect with films like MKDNH must really walk the tightrope between reality and fantasy to provide a crucial suspension of disbelief, and MKDNH  accomplishes it so well by giving us a combination of visceral action sequences with a restricted amount of gravity-defying moments whilst existing in an outlandish universe of crazily written characters and situations.

MKDNH is packed with so many good performances, with painstaking acts from lead actors Abhimanyu Dassani, Radhika Madan and Gulshan Deviah, who deliver a punch (literally) without the aid of gimmickry, as they pull off the action sequences with utmost amounts of believability. The experience of watching MKDNH is equivalent to flipping the pages of a comic book where the scenes involving the least number of fights are rushed for the action sequences to arrive. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is a masterclass on how to make an awesome genre film through heartfelt, personal filmmaking. Vasan Bala's tribute to eighties pop culture is so contagious that you will walk out reminiscing about your heydays of consuming entertainment with joyful abandon  


Verdict: A must watch terrific action-comedy that caters to all set of audiences.


3.25 5 ( 3.25 / 5.0 )



Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (aka) Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hotaa

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (aka) Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hotaa is a Hindi movie. Abhimanyu Dassani, Radhika Madan are part of the cast of Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (aka) Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hotaa. The movie is directed by Vasan Bala. Music is by Karan Kulkarni. Production by Ronnie Screwvala, cinematography by Jay Patel.