Action Replayy (film review)

Action Replayy Bollywood filmThe glorious technicolour titles for Action Replayy, leaning heavily on an Austin Powers idea of retro, promise much more than the film can deliver.

In a little over two hours it under-performs with its script, jokes, songs and acting. And yet it still proved to be an enjoyable ‘time pass’, though unlikely to meet its billing by a lonely Amazon reviewer as one of the best Bollywood films of 2010.

But, rewinding the (ahem) action a little and, with no chance of a repeat of last year’s Channel 4 Christmas Bollywood season, I chose to browse YouTube’s free Bollywood films listings, finally alighting on a title I recognised.

Action Replayy film posterIt also helped that Action Replayy stared one of Bollywood’s elite (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) and one of its wanna-be-elites (Akshay Kumar).

Its story, leaning heavily on Back To The Future, has Aditya Roy Kapoor’s Bunty traveling back in time to make his warring parents (Rai Bachchan and Kumar) fall in love in the past in order to avert the present-day disintegration of their marriage.

It’s not exactly the best of films, suffering from problems with (deep breath) a script that lacks tension, too many convenient plot devices often used to overcome inexplicable story holes, too few jokes (two catchphrases and a covetous eye on Om Shanti Om’s retro stylings do not a comedy script make) and unmemorable songs.

But despite underperforming on many levels – and it would need more than numerology to make it a classic – Action Replayy did manage to hold my attention for the duration. In fact, watching it over two evenings I even found myself looking forward to the second half, so it certainly seemed to overcome its deficiencies.

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