Before we begin, this isn't really relevant to the review, nor is it of significance, but we can't stop ourselves from mentioning this - it's about time that words like "pelli", "malli" and "vellu" in movies are pronounced with a folded tongue. This is not really difficult, you know, and besides, we don't think Telugu movies should be promoting incorrect Telugu.
Now on to Heart Attack. Puri Jagannath's usual style is to follow a formula - a hero, a heroine, a villian, a set of comedy sequences and fight sequences, and then string them together with a story. The director himself had said a few years back that he prefers to stick to a formula, since "he can't play with the producer's money".
But therein lies the test, because the story, or the string as we would like to call it, can make an impact only if it is well-established, plausible and impressive. Formulas, when they work, do so mostly with big stars and lavish production costs. But in the end, all the producer wants is returns, and we would like to think that a sensible story - treated right - can do so too.
There was a time when Puri Jagannath made interesting films like Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi and Pokiri
(followed a formula, but an effective one). Not that Heart Attack doesn't have anything satisfying to offer, but the problem is that it isn't engaging enough to glue you to your seat for 2 hours and 20 minutes. There are moments when you think of opening your eyes wide, but this idea is pretty soon thwarted with a dull moment that follows.
Heart Attack is the story of a hippie and traveller, Varun (Nithiin), who is attracted to a girl, Hayati (Adah Sharma). But his attraction is a "no strings attached" one, and he doesn't want to involve himself in a relationship of any sort - all he wants is a "kiss".
The inevitable happens, and Hayati is in love with him in spite of knowing that her feelings won't be returned. Then, after her tearful goodbye, and a few days later, Varun realises that he has fallen for Hayati too. But he doesn't know where she is, and has to find her. The rest of the story focuses on how he finds her, the problems he faces, and how he overcomes them.
If this is a love story, the chemistry between the lead pair isn't crackling. Except for a "1-hour-3-minutes-kiss" that "burns around 3,000 calories", and reminds us a bit of a scene in Aashiqui 2
, there aren't many moments of passion in this film.
The problem with Heart Attack is that it doesn't hold you for long at any point in its entire length. The drama that is required in a film like this is nowhere to be found, and most moments pass by without touching you. The film is reminiscent of many of Puri Jagannath's previous works, and has a huge hangover of his most recent movie, Iddarammayilatho
But Nithiin does weave some magic into his role, and he partially reminds you of Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
. However, you can't miss the fact that his previous 2 performances could easily overshadow his act here. In Heart Attack, he's the typical Tollywood hero, whose punch can break bones, and whose stalking the heroine would automatically make her fall for him - because that's the formula, remember? There are flaws in his acting, but his good looks make up for it.
Added to Nithiin's histronics are Adah Sharma's good looks. But her assets don't end there, and she can emote pretty well. Then again, as in most Telugu flicks, the dubbing spoils the fun - it seems fake and, at times, irritating.
The rest of the cast - Brahmanandam, Ali, Ajay and a few new faces - do what they are required to, i. e., give dimension to the formula.
The director, whose knack for tongue-in-cheek dialogues and sequences is well-known, doesn't offer much here. And this doesn't help the screenplay, which falls flat. There are twists and turns, but nothing riveting and engrossing.
Also, although this is not new to our Telugu film industry, we do regret that filmmakers use racism as a way to invoke laughter. In this movie for instance, Brahmanandam says that he hates "everything" black, and it is implied that he won't be accepting a "black" son-in-law either. However, the fun doesn't seem to end there, and later Nithiin declares that fat women are "unfit" to be wooed.
Well, in spite of all the ifs and buts, Puri's sense of style is impressive. The foreign locales, the fight sequences and the actors all look elegant and sophisticated.
Anoop Rubens' music is trendy and peppy. The songs aren't extraordinary or incredible, but are easy on the ears. They have a 1960s feel, with a hint of Latino added. However, the background score, that manages to elevate a few sequences, is a turn-off at places, as it sometimes dominates the scenes.
Now that everything else is discussed, let's move on to the title - Heart Attack. The only reason you would associate this movie with a heart attack is during the scene in which a guy is being hit with a hammer - on the spine, and the neck too.
On the whole, Heart Attack is a visual treat, which could have been a completely different film had it received better treatment. Towards the end, you just wish that the movie was more of what the promos promised, and less of what it proved to be.