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Shahid Kapoor Film Redefines Style; Actor Impresses With Charisma, Comic Timing

When Bloody Daddy begins, one may wonder if Shahid Kapoor’s Sumair is an extension of Kabir Singh. You may even feel relieved about finally putting all your imaginations about Kabir’s life after his wedding with Preeti to rest. The reason? Sumair dresses up just like Kabir and seems like a slightly mellowed extension of the exasperated Kabir (probably because marriage calmed him down a little bit). But no, Shahid Kapoor’s Sumair isn’t Kabir and though it might be unfair to draw comparisons, one can’t help but miss ignore the fact that there are streaks of him in Sumair that surface at irregular intervals. In contrast to Kabir, Sumair respects women. In a scene in Bloody Daddy, he is seen beating up a man who doesn’t understand it when a woman says ‘no means no’. So, we can put that analogy to rest here.

But on a serious note, Bloody Daddy is as cool as a cucumber. Before you get confused and question its angry-meets-cool quotient, let us tell you that we’re strictly speaking about the execution and the treatment. It will remind you of those slick, stylish and good-looking John Wick films. It looks and sounds international but maybe that’s also because it’s the official adaptation of the 2011 French film, Nuit Blanche. You can’t get over cinematographer Marcin Laskawiec’s lenses romantically waltzing with psychedelic neon lights at a high-profile party at a seven-star hotel in Gurugram, where the main action unfolds. Accompanying this and the stylised fight sequences, paradoxically, is hard-core Punjabi music and a cameo by rapper, Badshah.

Unlike most slick, globe-trotting actioners made in Bollywood, Bloody Daddy is very much set in the desi milieu of north India. And at the centre of it is a hero with a complicated personal life that almost tugs at your heartstrings. Almost. The film opens with the information that the story is set at a time when the country was slowly getting back to its feet following the second Covid-19 lockdown where the crime rate was quite high. In the first scene, we see Sumair and his colleague in a car racing down the roads of Connaught Place chasing another car, fighting two men and getting their hands on cocaine worth Rs 50 crore. And this sets the tone of the film. This is the just beginning and we’re told that the rest of the story has some hard-core action written all over it.

When Sikander, a drug lord and hotelier, comes to know that Sumair has beaten up his men and is now in possession of the cocaine, he abducts Sumair’s son, Atharv, who is obsessed with ‘lactose free milk’. Thus begins Sumair’s fight to bring his son back from Sikander. Thrown into this mix are Hamid, another drug dealer, and anti-corruption officials, Aditi and Sameer, who are trying to bust a drug nexus in a game of hide and seek. Soon, a cat-and-mouse chase starts but there’s more than what meets the eye. In a parallel track, we are given a glimpse of the messy relationship Sumair shares with his ex-wife, Riya, and son.

The plot might not be the meatiest or the most novel but it is the writing that deserves brownie points. Writers Ali Abbas Zafar and Aditya Basu weave together a juicy screenplay that is effortlessly peppered with intelligent humour, which will burst you into peals of laughter every now and then. The film rides high on its quirky one-liners and oddball situations. Unlike the action hero avatars we’re familiar with it, Sumair is way closer to reality. He’s not larger-than-life, he’s not perfect and may even come as a selfish and irresponsible father. His character is fleshed out in the smartest fashion and his oscillating moral compass will keep you guessing whether he is the good guy or the anti-hero till the very end. He’s not seen engaging in death-defying and anti-gravity based stunt sequences either. His fight sequences are bloody and believable and still keep you engrossed.

The first half of the film is almost perfect. It’s crisp, engaging and before you know, it’s time for the interval. But much like most films, Bloody Daddy also suffers from the curse of the second half. Suddenly, the compelling, captivating and charismatic screenplay dips. The cat-and-mouse chase becomes a bit too long-drawn and starts testing your patience. But thankfully, the makers have stuck to the core plot that happens over a span of a single night without digressing and incorporating peripheral tropes like romance and song-and-dance.

This might be a genre where director Ali Abbas Zafar’s forte lies but unlike his previous films, Bloody Daddy is modern and uber-chic. Underneath the high-octane action and gory combat sequences, lies a story of a father and a son and a father’s attempt to make his son realise that he isn’t an irresponsible, careless and indifferent dad. Knowing Ali’s strength at helming emotional subplots (Sultan, for instance), we wish he would emphasise a little more on the father-son dynamic to create a more profound impression.

Bloody Daddy belongs to its protagonist, Shahid. He’s seen exuding power in an elegant tux, revelling in his comfort zone and cracking you up with straight-faced humour. Despite it being a full-blown mainstream Ali Abbas Zafar film, Shahid keeps theatrics at bay, sticks to what he does best, underplays in most of the scenes and wins you over. In a scene, he stands atop a table and kicks around glassware as the family seated at it is reduced to tears and those involved in the drug nexus blankly stare at Sumair. In another, his conversations with a Nepali kitchen staff will make you laugh out loud. Shahid’s intense and nervous portrayal of an uninhibited and strong Sumair punctuated with these quirky comic situations are as remarkable as his scenes, though far and few, with his onscreen son, which add a whole new layer to his character.

He’s ably supported by Ronit Roy, who plays Sikander. He once again takes on the role of a baddie, this time with a subtle comic timing, and delivers an impressive act. His scenes with Sanjay Kapoor’s Hamid are pure gold. Their camaraderie is cracking and banter, exhilarating. Sanjay, Zeishan Quadri and Rajeev Khandelwal are equally impressive. Vivan Bhatena and Ankur Bhatia, though good, don’t have much to do. Bloody Daddy projects Diana Penty in a brand-new avatar but we wish she had more meat to chew.

If you want to unwind after a tiringly long week and blow off steam, Bloody Daddy is the option. It is light, breezy, fun, fizzy and pleasing to the eyes. Our biggest complaint remains, a spectacle film of this scale and elaborate canvas deserved a theatrical release. Who wouldn’t want to watch the enigmatic and good looking duo of Shahid Kapoor and Rajeev Khandelwal locking horns with one another on a 70mm screen?

Bloody Daddy is currently streaming on JioCinema.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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