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Arnold vs Vidyut: Has India got a new action hero?


Updated: April 14, 2013, 10:00 AM IST
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Arnold vs Vidyut: Has India got a new action hero?
Jamwal's physique and training in Kalaripayattu are his best assets, he has a good voice as well.

New Delhi: What Arnold Schwarzenegger achieved or what Sylvester Stallone accomplished as an actor is a far fetched idea for Vidyut Jamwal now but the actor has shown promise to evolve as a pure action hero in 'Commando - A One Man Army'.

Jamwal's physique and training in Kalaripayattu are his best assets, he has a good voice as well, so his personality has all the essential ingredients of a good Bollywood actor but breaking into the league of former commandos like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Stallone requires a lot of special talents.

Vidyut is good at stunts especially fist fighting, something Sylvester Stallone mastered during his stint as a troubled Vietnamese war veteran in 'Rambo'. The machines that were used for bodybuilding during 1980s were probably not that much sophisticated, neither they were as precise as today's equipments. This reflected in the bodies of the actors as they looked more like wrestlers than actors. Can you imagine any normal human being conquering Arnold?

Physical fitness got a new name in Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris but their range as actors was limited. Jamwal on the other hand is capable of doing both negative and positive roles. 'Force' and 'Billa 2' are the examples of his acting prowess; in fact he is the one who carries 'Commando' on his shoulders despite not being given many lines to speak.

'Rocky' or 'Rambo' or 'Commando' became global phenomenon due to the social conditions of those times, plus the subjects of these films were directly related to the upper strata of the American middle class.

Political ideas were propagated in these films to suit the contemporary mindsets which were capable of influencing the third world as well.

On these fronts, Vidyut's 'Commando' lacks the punch because the story is very simple and involves people whose issues are confined to a small area and are not of much global importance.

Playing a commando is probably not about looking macho only but is also about becoming the ray of hope for a suppressed society. Dilip Ghosh, the director of 'Commando - A One Man Army', understands this fact and this is the reason of him giving Vidyut a long speech in the end to provoke the oppressed people to come out of their shells, but India is currently not facing the similar political problems that America was facing during 1980s.

It's a common mindset among the filmmakers that army is directly related to patriotism while police system is linked to corruption and this is evident in 'Commando' as well. So, a trained military person is naturally expected as a patriotic person but then he should also have a clear vision and motive. Vidyut's 'Commando' becomes very flat at this point and remains trapped within the boundaries of popular Bollywood filmmaking.

Nobody can deny Vidyut's spontaneity in action scenes but he would need assistance from smart writers to evolve as an action hero who knows what he is doing. Let him take his time as he is much younger than the established mid 40 action heroes of the Hindi film industry, with a hope that he gives Indians their own Schwarzenegger or Stallone as soon as possible.

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