Heart Of Stone(Netflix)
Rating: * ½
You need nerves of steel to sit through the tortuous trashiness of Heart Of Stone. Fans of Gal and our own gal Alia Bhatt are especially advised to stay away: it may be a while before you would want to revisit their films again.
Gal Gadot plays Rachel Stone (don’t miss the sloppy pun in the title) a member of an elite task force named the Charter . Which is basically assigned to save the world from several undesirable forces including topnotch hacker Keya Dhawan.
This is as good a time as any to let you know that Alia comes into the picture an hour into the story , and even then she is uncertain about what she is supposed to do. Or say.She drops in and out probably wondering if it was worth it.She rattles of her lines as though reading from teleprinter. It is the only way she could get away with all the technical jargon on how to hack into classified information without getting caught.
For a film meant to be seen at home, Heart Of Stone seems to be location-heavy. Paris and Spain are on the anvil. London and Lisbon also fly by without adding anything substantial or even coherent to the hackers’ hackneyed plot.
What I did gather after almost two hours of plodding is that Gadot and her team are wannabe Mission Impossiblers,possibly on the lookout for their espionage franchise. But sorry, Gadot is no Cruise, although she tries hard. The stunts are strictly for the fans. I mean, every time Gadot somersaults, I didn’t flip. She didn’t give me reason to.Her manoeuvres are purely green-screen antics.
If the action sequences are meant to be so oafish, why spend so much money going to various countries?And who are these selfimportant aspirational 007s? I am clueless.The script is so underwritten it seems every episode is over-written to cover up the emptiness of the goings-on and the characters who are more sinned against than sinned.
The screenplay by Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder plays it by the numbers. One big sequence spirals into another even before the body-count is determined. During one such interlude Gal Gadot and her team are dancing in a rented apartment when everything explodes.
I wish I could tell you that Heart Of Stone is filled with surprises. But that won’t be true. The ‘surprises’ are orchestrated for impact and a there is feeling of inertia in the plot although the story and the characters are constantly moving.
It’s like going to a ‘surprise’ party you already know about.The performances are strictly functional, with Jamie Dorman trying to play mysterious when his personality is the opposite of secretive. Gal Gadot is sexily mysterious but here she resembles Priyanka Chopra in Citadel and not in a good way.
As for Alia Bhatt, the biggest mystery is why she agreed to be part of this film which is neither mysterious not engaging.Just bland and jaded.