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Film review: ‘Rocky Handsome’ is an amateurish remake of an ultraviolent South Korean hit

‘The Man From Nowhere’ gets the Bollywood treatment ‒ to its peril.

Rocky Handsome proves that it is possible to pay good money for an official remake of a South Korean hit rather than pilfer the plot, as Bollywood has done in the past, and still botch it up.

Nishikant Kamat’s movie is a remake of The Man From Nowhere (2010), in which a laconic loner with floppy hair and boyish features turns out to be a deadly special forces soldier who retired after the death of his pregnant wife. Plagued by her memory, the former soldier’s only friend in the world is a precocious young girl next door whose mother is a drug addict and a stripper. The mother sets events in motion when she steals a stash of drugs from a club and tries to sell it in the open market. As the drug dealers come to claim their produce, they get a true measure of the ruthlessness of the girl’s tender-skinned neighbour, and when they kidnap the girl to traffic her organs, they invite a fate worse than death.

John Abraham is co-producer and lead who plays the brooder from across the landing who dotes on Naomi (Diya Chalwad), and on the surface of it, he seems apt for the role. His combination of a severely limited acting range and striking looks have been successfully exploited in exactly one movie: Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking (2007). Abraham has never been convincing as a leading man who can express himself with anything more than his fists. Rocky Handsome should have been a shoo-in for Abraham, since he is required to do little more than look pensive and fight at will, but the movie is too ineptly adapted (by Ritesh Shah) and directed to count as a comeback for Abraham as a leading man.

Director Kamat is something of a remake specialist. Every one of his films except the Marathi movie Lai Bhaari (2014) is an unofficial or official adaptation of somebody else’s vision. Force (2011) and Drishyam (2015) were remakes that missed the fundamental essence of the original films. Rocky Handsome suffers the same fate. The complicated plot is sluggishly narrated and tackily rendered, the humour forced, the Goa setting convenient and lazy, and the villains, including Kamat and Teddy Maurya as sadistic brothers named Kevin and Luke, too buffoonish to be menacing. The overall slickness of the original and the sharply edited and beautifully lensed blood-letting are completely missing in the flat Hindi translation. Besides, no movie that sells itself as a remorseless action thriller can allow Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to rip out his vocal cords in the background.

The movie’s highlights are three action sequences that have been faithfully replicated from the original. Hamstrung by local censorship laws, Rocky Handsome has had to trim back the ultraviolence that marks South Korean crime dramas¸ but at least the movie comes to life when the death count is ticking. It’s a pity that the survivors are not as interesting as the corpses.

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Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

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With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.


So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.