Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman
Directed by James Wan
Rating: **(2 stars)
Somewhere deep in the recesses of this action-piqued satire-adventure about the exiled king of a banished underwater kingdom, I realized the plot is a straight tilt of the tiera to two classic Hindi films Deewaar and Baahubali
Two brothers Arthur and Orm hate each other’s guts while Mama Dearest, played by the super-gorgeous Nicole Kidman, tries hard not to box both the brats in their ears.Wish she had.
That Orm, the legitimate but villainous son is played by an actor Patrick Wilson far superior than Jason Momoa who plays the hero, makes the sibling conflict look distinctly disembodied.That Mama Nicole Kidman prefers the illegit to the legit shouldn’t shock those of us who have seen Raj Khosla’s Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki.
Like Nutan the mother torn between her two sons in Khosla’s film, Nicole Kidmandoes the biting of the lips and the clenching of the jaws most impressively.She is one reason to keep the faith alive in this woefully emptied-out homage to comicbook heroism where much of the action happens underwater lending to the narrative a soggy shifty unctuous feel of a Baahubali on uppers. It’s like the baby held up in Baahubali hadaccidently dropped in the waters and arrived at some hideously misgoverned water kingdom.
Part of the reason for the film’s feel of an awful hangover after a party that has gone on way too long, is the leading man.Jason Momoa plays Arthur the exiled king of thewaterkingdom with a befuddled machismo, the kind displayed by wrestlers at the WWFwho have been paid to fight but have forgotten whether they are meant to win or loose.
Through most of the film Momoa looks like he could do with a helping hand in crossing swords and knives with his enemies who pop up in droves for expertly-staged choreographed fight scenes.The trishul plays an important part in the fights.Lord Shiva would sue if he weren’t so tolerant of man’s stupidity.
In his effort to divert his karma of cluelessness Arthur gets help from a red-haired vixenMera(amber Heard). Very often I found my mind wandering to Mera’s bright-red hair. How did she keep the dye alive when she spent most of the time underwater? I didn’t quite follow how the underwater thing worked. There was a smartly-designed kingdom underwater and they all breathed easily without a glug plug , while the script writers huffed and puffed and blew the ‘hose’ down.
Staying underwater too long numbs your senses. This is what I gathered watching this moronic manual to aqueous immortality.
Watching actors like Nicole Kidman and Willem Defoe (the latter playing the loyal sword trainer Katiyappa from Baahubali) squander their talent in this drippy drivel is not my idea of an evening well spent.