In all honesty, I consider Hebbuli to be a contrived, pandering and derivative movie. But this time, I choose not to speak from my high horse but instead I want to ask a few relevant questions about the film and hear the answers to said questions from the audience at large. I do not walk into movies to hate them religiously but I know something bad when I see it. So here goes:
- Throughout the course of the film, did you feel like your hero was ever in danger?
- Can you write 5 sentences about the heroine without mentioning the hero?
- Is this not an amalgamation of Thuppaki and Thani Oruvan?
- Will you remember either of the two main bad guys?
- Is it not pandering when the film just goes into topical mode with the surgical strike/DK Ravi suicide case without offering them the due respect? The film glosses over these two things in about 10 minutes. I feel like they use buzzwords to excite the audience. If anyone feels otherwise please let me know.
- The film does go to great lengths in one scene to show fingerprints being erased from a crime scene. But, please go back and watch the multiple other scenes which have no gloves in use whatsoever? I wouldn’t care about it if the film did not draw my attention to it.
- Isn’t the kidnapping of a child the most overused plot trope in cinema history?
- I’m just as happy as the next guy to watch the hero kicking ass but do any villains pose a real threat to him?
- Can anyone write at least 10 sentences about either of the bad guys?
- If it weren’t for Ravichandran being in the role of the IAS officer brother guy, would the role have the same impact it did? Ergo, is that role well written?
- Are the songs in the film really necessary and non-distracting?
- Does the film take the time to flesh out the relationship between the lead pair? As in, apart from being in love for the sake of being in love, do they have much in terms of a connection?
- Does Chikkana’s (who is really good comic actor) role have anything new to offer in terms of comedy? Isn’t the Nandini thing played out already?
- Isn’t the shot of Sudeep sitting on a pile of dead people a rip off of Kaththi, which inturn is a rip off of The Hateful Eight?
- How many lines are truly quotable from this film?
- The film has one of the most versatile actors in Kannada cinema with Sudeep. Why does he have only three expressions throughout the whole runtime?
I have a multitude of other problems with this film. The dead silent audience in my theater is also one of my concerns. I do not intend to diss a movie where a lot of people have put in time and effort. But, a lick of originality could have taken this film a long way. Arjun Janya is trying his best with his background score to make the film feel epic but it falls flat because of a story line that is damn near dead on arrival. People may tell me if I don’t like mass films, I shouldn’t bother watching them. I do like masala potboilers. But I know when they are done right and when they fail. I can rattle out 10 different films where Sudeep is electric on screen but this is not one of those films. This is not his best work, this is not his mediocre work even. The film can’t sell me on a supposedly awesome hairdo.
Would this film be a hit if not for Sudeep’s star power?
Answer that question for me and I’ll gladly accept that my opinion is unwarranted. Thugs of Malgudi, please don’t let me down.
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