The Power is an action-thriller film directed by Mahesh Manjrekar and stars Shruti Haasan, Vidyut Jammwal, Jisshu Sengupta, Prateik Babbar, Sachin Khedekar and Mahesh Manjrekar in the lead roles.
The problem with Hindi gang-related movies is that they take themselves too seriously. With generic scripts and lacklustre acting, most of these movies turn out to be duds and repetition of things we have seen too many times before. Add to that stupid characters who grunt and make idiotic decisions without rhyme or reason, and you have movies that are big on the muscle power and severely lacking on brainpower.
What makes these gang movies click, for me, are smart decisions and twists that might just make you lose your mind. They grip you from the first moment and leave you breathless throughout. For Mahesh Manjrekar’s The Power, a movie all about gang wars and the politics of the underworld, it’s something that starts off interestingly enough with a host of well-known actors, but sooner than expected turns into an already-seen bore-fest.
The Power follows Devi, the youngest son of a powerful crime family comprising of two other siblings, his parents, and a brother and sister-in-law. When his father gets attacked and is severely wounded, things take a horrifying turn for everyone in the family and his relationship with his girlfriend Pari is also severely affected. Will he be able to get out of this problem?
The problem with The Power is its premise – we have seen this before too many times. As one thing leads to another, you’d be able to understand what comes next because it’s something we have seen time and time again. However, what ticks you off as to how annoying some of the characters are and how naïve and stupid the others’ decisions are. I understand Devi is the cool-headed planner and all that, but that doesn’t mean Ram has to be a complete idiot incapable of making smart decisions.
On the other hand, what also ticks me off when it comes to movies that tackle these themes are how utterly stupid the female characters are made out to be. Sure, Pari takes out a gun at the drop of a hat but when it comes to analytical thinking? Nope, she is absolutely incapable. Her character and the motivations behind her actions will utterly confuse you.
On the other hand, Ratna, the daughter of the Thakur household, gets beaten up by her husband, but just can’t think of one way to defend herself. I don’t understand the disparity between the handling of these two characters. Why can’t both of them be strong, independent characters capable of making their own logical decisions and taking action?
On the other hand, The Power introduced a gay lover thing which was so poorly executed that it made me cringe. That mention had no bearing on the story as a whole and was disappointing, to say the least. Although the director showed us a reversal of power roles in the household, with Pari managing the “business” and Bobby taking care of her son, it somehow strengthens how gender roles work in the family.
It’s a trope with crime movies that the “good” crime bosses never touch drugs. Gambling, liquor, prostitution? A-ok. But drugs? Never! Hey, I am not saying any criminal activity is good. But my question is, what makes drugs the bad guy and everything else the sensible and moral thing to do? I don’t understand the logic and the movie doesn’t let us know either.
The dialogue delivery and especially the dubbing is horrifyingly bad. Most of the time I could make out the disparity in the dubbing and the dialogue delivery is absolutely all over the place. The acting, although good from the principal characters, is spotty when it comes to the supporting cast. And why does Prateik Babbar always get characters like this?
Summing up: The Power
The Power cannot make use of the premise that it starts with and after a while, you’re left to wonder what the point was in introducing something that is not taken forward. Devi is shown to be a rather “soft” boy as a youngster, but he turns into a ruthless gangster as soon as he lands in Mumbai (or wherever, we don’t really get to know for sure). The pacing is all over the place and things happen as the speed of light.
The movie, although with its moments, isn’t something that will entertain you much. If anything, it might make you groan at the familiarity of it all.
The Power is streaming on Zee Plex for INR199.
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