Munna Michael, star-cub, Tiger Shroff’s third outing with director Sabbir Khan, takes the formulaic route we expected it to take having seen the first two. Nothing wrong with that per say. It’s just that the road taken is littered with too potholes to make for a smooth journey.
The story for what it’s worth looks at Munna (Tiger Shroff), found in a dustbin by an ageing film dancer Michael (Ronit Roy), who brings him up as his son. Daddy dancer is a big fan of Michael Jackson but oddly doesn’t want Munna to take up dancing. Munna however is a naturally gifted dancer. He throws dance challenges at others in expensive night clubs and wins big money for the same. Chased out of Mumbai by the club owners, Munna finds himself in Delhi, where he bashes up the brother (Pankaj Tripathi in a sadly forgettable role) of the city’s Don-cum-Builder, Mahendra Fauji (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Fauji, impressed by the dancing talent of Munna, wants the latter to tutor him in dance, for dear Don is madly in love with Dolly (Nidhhi Agerwal), a night club dancer aspiring to win a dance reality show. Expectedly, Dolly falls in love with Munna, who is now caught between his loyalty towards Mahendra and his love for Dolly.
To be fair to Sabbir Khan and writer Amal King, the plot certainly had potential to be a thorough entertainer. And till quite sometime into the film, the writer and director actually seem to pull it off. But once they begin to lose sight of what they had set out to make, the film starts sinking, finally drowning in a cesspool of its own making. A film that was (obviously) made to cash in on the fine dancing prowess of its lead actor, takes away the very scope of dancing from its protagonist thanks to some poor writing. Instead, the audience is treated to some very ordinary dances by Nidhi Agerwal.
In fact, there are problems galore in the writing department in Munna Michael. To begin with, we do not know why Munna needs the kind of money he bets on in the club competitions. We are also not told why his father, a hamming Ronit Roy, needs to be in the hospital eternally. As for his characterization, Munna has no goal vis-a-vis his adoration and emulation of the great Michael Jackson. When he begins to teach the left-footed Nawazuddin Siddiqui dancing, we are treated to some really lame situations in what should have been a hilarious portion of the film. While filmmaking’s biggest rule is there are no rules, some – especially in our mainstream films – need to be followed. For instance, the writing gurus suggest never changing the goal post midway through a film; I wish they had also mentioned never to change the player. Halfway through, Munna Michael becomes ‘Dolly Ka Dance’ as the audience is now abruptly expected to follow Dolly’s journey.
In terms of performances, newcomer Nidhhi Agerwal, no doubt, looks the part of a typical North Indian BTM (Behenji Turned Mod). However, on the flip side, the leggy lass’ acting is poor to say the least. One also wonders how many Meerut girls wear hot pants 24 x 7 in a city like Delhi?! Tiger Shroff, of course, is not expected to act but even what he does best – fighting and dancing – is in short supply here. If there is anyone who shines in the film, it is predictably Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Except for the half-baked Haryanvi diction that doesn’t totally succeed, he is in top form as the puny, dreaded gangster, going about his role with gay abandon.
As for the technicalities like cinematography, sound design and editing, they are strictly routine even if the film does manage to keep a brisk pace in the unfolding of it story. The music – so essential a feature for a dance based film – is surprisingly mediocre with not even a single composition worth mentioning or even worth listening to.
Go for Munna Michael strictly at your own risk. And then don’t say you were not warned.
Hindi, Drama, Action, Color