In Vikas Bahl’s new movie, “a hero is born” and dystopian cinema dies at the altar of incompetence.

Ganapath is au courant with the two-part movie trend that has swept filmmakers. Part One is set in a post-nuclear apocalypse world. In Silver City, where the rich reside, Guddu (Tiger Shroff) manages mixed martial arts fights. Guddu is living it up, being the type who goes to bed with a handful of women and finds half a dozen more when he wakes up.

Guddu is thrown out of his paradise for reasons flimsier than a playground tiff. He reaches the outliers, where he falls in love with the rebellious Jassi (Kriti Sanon) and finds his sensei in Shiva (Rahman).

Guddu’s journey to becoming Ganapath, which has been prophesied by community elder Thalapathi (Amitabh Bachchan), is the miracle that the oppressed masses have been waiting for. Another miracle is needed to rescue the movie from its unrelenting tackiness, barely developed characters, and Bahl’s inability to maintain a basic narrative rhythm.

The attention-deficit writer-director is hard-pressed to create the emotional highs that might have made the film credible. A voiceover does the work of explaining everything to us. Repeated flashbacks remind us of scenes we might have missed in case our eyelids started drooping (a strong possibility).

The action sequences – Tiger Shroff’s speciality – briefly enliven Ganapath, but couldn’t we have watched an actual MMA tournament instead? Shroff, a rare fighting-dancing hero, is also underserved by the choppy manner in which the songs have been filmed.

Neither is the origin story strong nor is Bahl’s imagination adequate to make us believe that we are somewhere in the future. Parts of the film look like a large scrapyard. Silver City looks like the insides of a video game produced on the cheap. The 136-minute film lumbers on, like the animatronic tiger that briefly struts about and then vanishes.

Ganapath (2023).