It is the season to be jolly. And boy oh boy, if itâ€™s a festive fiesta of flamboyant filminess that youâ€™re looking for, then Action Replayy is your one-stop masti mela. Itâ€™s is a feisty feast,
as splashy in colour and mood as itâ€™s tangy in flavour and fervour. Serving up its delectable back-to-the-future core idea from H G Wellsâ€™ Time Machine, Action Replayy is a tongue-in-cheesy retro-romp
replete with ostentatious replicas of the 1970s which make us smile and chuckle and sometimes groan and gasp almost simultaneously.
In many ways, the filmâ€™s over-the-top zip-zap-zoom zest and rippling ritziness resonate the sparkling era-aura of V. Shantaramâ€™s cinema where the art director was allowed to go amok with the colours all in
the name of art. If Shantaram had his roots in Gujarati theatre, he would have happily made Action Replayy, though heâ€™d have probably titled it Jhanak Jhanak Pritam Baaje.
The filmâ€™s team, and that includes Pritam Chakrabortyâ€™s hummable score, goes blissfully berserk with the light sound fury and action.
Regrettably, there are passages of conversation that do not work their mirthful magic. Aatish Kapadiaâ€™s writing skills seem to slacken in the dialogues. For a film thatâ€™s so funny in its theme, the treatment
needed more spicing in the spoken words. The humour is more of a transient humour than a hardcore brush with bravura and bacchanalia. The lines are so corny at times you wonder if they are meant to be
homages to the 1970s or are just plain trite illustrations of uninspired dialogue-baazi.
A lot of the filmâ€™s chirpy chutzpah emanates not from the spoken words but the innate charm of the principal players. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-Akshay Kumarâ€¦gosh, could it get any more inviting?! It does!!! The
young semi-debutant Aditya Roy Kapoor (he was seen earlier in a small part in Vipul Shahâ€™s London Dreams) with his unruly mop of hair follows no set patterns of film acting. He is a reveller without a
pause He chooses to be a natural in a film where artifice and affectation is the key to effectuality.
Akshay and Aishwarya get it right. From playing the cranky quarrelsome couple in contemporary times to playing the flirty frisky eyeball-rotating archetypal â€˜Kishenâ€™ and â€˜Malaâ€™ in the 1970s, the two
super-charismatic stars seem to have a ball sinking their glistening teeth into a lost word retrieved restored and saturated in flamboyant colours. Aishwarya looks like a long-lost dream. Akshay,
deliberately echoes a fashion nightmare from the 1970s.
Apart from the three principal actors (Maa, Baap and Bitter) the other characters are just not fleshed out in any detail. A pity. Vipul Shah is adept with incidental charactersâ€¦remember Katrina Kaifâ€™s
boyfriend(played by Upen Patel) in the directorâ€™s best work Namastey London? The guy was so not-there he registered for not being there.
Action Replayy gives you no opportunity to look around at the non-pivotal peripheral people. It swamps your senses with its over-saturated canvas of lights, colours, sounds and visuals.
So who says life in the 1970s was bereft of bustle? While Sejal Shahâ€™s cinematography and Aparna Rainaâ€™s art work is more provocative than evocative, Shabina Khanâ€™s costumes indicate she hasnâ€™t really seen
the 1970s. Maybe she shouldâ€™ve traveled back in time with Aditya Roy Kapoor, quite comfortably the male discovery of the year.