It’s been a very long time since we saw John Abraham on screen. And no, we are not even considering last year’s Welcome Back which was, at best, a jokey trivia.
Absence and abstinence seem to have done wonders to John’s screen presence. In the trailer of Rocky Handsome he is seen back in action, and how! His intensity pulverises every malevolent element including villains who laughs hyena-like at the hero’s discomfiture when a 8-year old girl Nayomi (Diya Chalwad) is kidnapped.
Some of the footage in the new trailer is devoted to John’s mysteriously quiet character, developing a bond with the little girl. Chalwad chatters and asks annoying questions like, ‘Are you a gangster?’ and shares her career plans of becoming a nail artiste, before being kidnapped.
The emotional detailing in this predominantly action-driven trailer is arresting. John had earlier mentioned that the audience will warm up to his bonding with the little girl the way they had warmed up to Salman Khan’s bonding with little Harshaali Malhotra in Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
I don’t know if that is going to happen. Rocky Handsome seems way too violent, too brutal, dark and ominous to be accepted in the same spirit of bonhomie as Barjangi Bhaijaan. John does the loner act effectively, and he fights like a wild animal who knows the only way to survive in the jungle is to hit at your enemies where it hurts them the most.
John is cast in a role of a nowhere man. “Age 30s mein hai , Killing 70s mein…no drugs no criminal record urine saaf,” informed a voiceover in the first trailer.
The new trailer takes on the brisk task of putting forward the plot at hand. John takes on the drug mafia and is seen babysitting a 8-year old. Or wait, is she babysitting him? There is an enticing ambivalence to the characterization that director Nishikant Kamat underscores by using light to shed darkness on the proceedings. The camerawork is showy but not a distraction. This a film designed to grab our attention without resorting to cheap gimmicks.
John is shown doing the kind of action that mixes the martial arts of Bruce Lee with the rapid fire salvos of Jackie Chan and comes up with an interesting stunt concoction. In one shot he somersaults off a highrise and is seen descending with blazing guns.
Impressive. No doubt the action scenes are the highlights of the show, much in the same way as John and director Nishikant Kamat’s last outing in Force. Except this time the action seems to govern the emotions, spinning a lean mean saga .
Oh yes, Shruti Haasan also appears for a romantic song with John. Wonder how Yami Gautam missed out on this one. Yami, for those who entered late, is our cinema’s favourite dead-after-song romantic interest.