Rohit Shetty couldn’t resist it, no? All the action set-pieces, all the elaborate entry sequences for its three heroes, the punchlines, the monologue about Hindustani Musalman by a Hindu policeman, the token female character’s tears… it’s all packed into the 4-minute Sooryavanshi trailer. Shetty’s film has been one of the most-anticipated films in 2020, and yet Shetty doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. What does such a shamelessly spoon-feeding trailer indicate? Insecurity or arrogance on the filmmaker’s part? A belief that the audience will come to watch irrespective of knowing the story, or showing them everything so as to ensure that they do come.
Rohit Shetty, in spite of being one of the most successful directors in the industry, is so basic in terms of craft that his films end up being (unintentionally) comical. The in-jokes about Ajay Devgn stepping down from a swerving car, while Akshay Kumar hangs from a helicopter… aren’t particularly imaginative action set-pieces. Especially considering how Shetty made his foray into Bollywood as an action director. The Scorpio flips, the “explosive” action sequences… they’re all so dated that one simply cannot watch it again without groaning at its blandness.
Shetty, like his producer Karan Johar, has always maintained that he would rather make a successful movie over a ‘good’ movie. It’s sad that both of them think that the two are mutually exclusive concepts. With a trailer that is nearly twice as long as usual trailers, Sooryavanshi is Rohit Shetty is confidently assuring us that his genre of films will never grow up.
If you thought that Shetty had made his most brazen film with Simmba, where he unapologetically champions fake encounters to deal with crimes against women, one simply cannot wait to see his ‘solutions’ to cure this country’s rampant Islamophobia. Of course, he’ll lecture bearded men about how to be a ‘good Muslim’.
But wait, let’s not even pull him up for his problematic politics, can Shetty make an even fairly ‘entertaining’ film without banking on superstar cameos and repetitive action set-pieces. Is there a way to innovate even within the Rohit Shetty cinematic universe. The Sooryavanshi trailer suggests otherwise.
Watch the feature-length Sooryavanshi trailer here: