Super 30 movie reviews: Critics say Hrithik Roshan film is all over the place, lacks soul
Hrithik Roshan's Super 30 released Friday. Critics say the film's biggest strength is Patna math whiz Anand Kumar's unfathomably rich career as an IIT entrance exam coach to underprivileged students, but that's also a major weakness. Here's what Super 30 movie reviews are saying.
Critics have been less than welcoming to actor Hrithik Roshan's new film, Super 30. It was released on Friday, July 12, two years after his last movie, Kaabil, hit the big screen in January, 2017. For Super 30, Hrithik underwent an extensive makeover to fit into the shoes of mathematician Anand Kumar. The biopic follows the Bihar native's decades-long career of coaching underprivileged students to crack the notoriously difficult entrance exam for IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). Super 30 is inching closer to box office glory, as the film has collected an estimated Rs 50 crore at the box office, in its first weekend. A Box Office India report said the film made an estimated Rs 20.5 crore on Sunday, after opening on Friday with Rs 11.83 crore. According to Trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the Hrithik Roshan film had especially strong showings in tier-2 cities. Take a look at Taran Adarsh's tweets on the box office numbers of Super 30, which also stars actors Pankaj Tripathi, Nandish Singh, and Amit Sadh in pivotal roles:
#Super30 has a turnaround on Day 2... Witnesses super growth at plexes of Tier-2 cities and also shows an upward trend in mass circuits... Will score big numbers on Day 3... Eyes ₹ 50 cr [+/-] weekend... Fri 11.83 cr, Sat 18.19 cr. Total: ₹ 30.02 cr. India biz.— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 14, 2019
#Super30 goes from strength to strength in key circuits/territories... Fri and Sat biz in some circuits...— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 14, 2019
Mumbai: 3.71 cr, 5.79 cr
DelhiUP: 2.40 cr, 3.85 cr
Punjab: 1.02 cr, 1.70 cr
Rajasthan: 0.53 cr, 0.79 cr
CP: 0.52 cr, 0.74 cr
Mysore: 0.74 cr, 1.30 cr
Bihar: 0.38 cr, 0.49 cr
However, despite the boost in ticket sales, some critics slammed Super 30—directed by Queen filmmaker, Vikas Bahl—for being “dull and disappointing”. While one critic said Super 30 was worth a watch, “simply because it was the story of a teacher who triumphs over the many challenges that life throws at him,” another wrote that it "captures Kumar’s remarkable journey, warts and all”; however, there are some critics who beg to differ. The 155 minute-long drama received ample criticism for its casting alone, with the headline of NDTV's Super 30 review reading, "Hrithik Roshan Is Horribly Miscast In Another Botched Bollywood Biopic."
Critics have largely agreed that while the film tickles the mind and the emotions thanks to Anand Kumar, and his self-devised educational program, Super 30, it is not effective enough to fully engage them. Common complaints are as follows: the movie lacks soul, and Hrithik Roshan as the Patna math whiz misses the mark. A few critics even opined that for the most part, Super 30 is exactly the kind of biopic one expects from today’s Hindi film industry, where acting is arch, dialogue is impossibly dense, and characters have the depth of a wafer. Others remarked what Super 30 sorely lacks is a sense of why the man (Anand Kumar) took up the cause (coaching underprivileged students for IIT) so forcefully.
Here is what the critics are saying, so far:
Overcooked, sloppy, inordinately stretched-out drama
NDTV's Saibal Chatterjee in his 2 stars (out of 5) review, wrote: "Hrithik Roshan is horribly miscast in another botched Bollywood biopic that never gets its arithmetic right... The precision of numbers eludes the Vikas Bahl-directed film by a significant margin, resulting in an overcooked, sloppy, inordinately stretched-out drama that never gets its arithmetic right despite its topicality. That isn't surprising. Mumbai's mainstream moviemakers, trapped in a web of old habits and outmoded notions of commercial viability, are terrible at capturing the nuances of personalities who still live, breathe and work in our midst. Super 30, which is another botched Bollywood biopic, not only does nothing to dispel the well-founded fear, it vindicates it no less than Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mary Kom did."
Hrithik Roshan blends into an aam-aadmi role convincingly
News 18's Priyanka Sinha Jha wrote: "Connecting the dots of this feel-good story and filling in the colours is actor Hrithik Roshan along with a talented ensemble of actors. I was unsure if Roshan with his famed Greek-God looks would be able to blend into an aam-aadmi role convincingly but to his credit, he does. Roshan delivers on the promise with sincerity and turns in an admirable performance – earthy and real. As for the accent, being a bona fide Bihari myself, I am likely to nitpick, but it would be fair to say that for the most part, it lands on the right spot. It helps that the ensemble cast around Roshan is pitch-perfect in its grasp of dialects and nuances. The old dependable Pankaj Tripathi as the grubby politician despite his brief appearance is once again a delight to watch on screen. Mrunal Thakur as his love interest, Aditya Srivastav as Lallan Singh, Virendra Saxena as Kumar’s father Ishwar and Nandish Sandhu as his brother Pranav Kumar make for a good supporting cast."
Super 30 pushes Roshan into awkward directions
Hindustan Times' Raja Sen in his 2 stars (out of 5) review, wrote: "Hrithik Roshan isn’t bad, though his problematic brown face-paint is inconsistent to the point of distraction. The actor plays guilelessness with charm in Super 30 as a Patna boy hungry for the most advanced mathematical equations he can lay his hands on, a boy who hides a smile about a girl shyly behind a gamchha. His eyes gleam only when discussing numbers and talking to students, but Super 30 pushes Roshan into awkward directions — like a nutty Paisa-Paisa song where he’s briefly corrupted by money and tight shirts — and hands him too much melodrama. And, as we all know by now, whenever Roshan needs to dial it up a notch, he lets his nostrils do the emoting."
There's a lack of research and investment into the characters
Film Companion's Rahul Desai wrote: "Hrithik Roshan’s bhojpuri accent and tanned complexion aside (out of context, you might imagine that Arjun is back from his Spanish sojourn in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) – there’s a clear problem with the tonality of Super 30. A children’s film can be innovative. But some directors tend to embrace this patronizing tone – usually passed off as ‘a homage to 70s Bollywood’ – to compensate for a lack of research and investment into their characters. For the most part, Super 30 seems like that kind of misfire. The melodrama and operatic noise are a front to hide how little it cares about a fascinating subject. It isn’t even convinced of its own form, thereby assuming the look of different genres every other scene. There’s no tangible reason to tell an adult story through a kiddie lens; you suspect that the mere presence of children’s institutions in a film often confuses the makers. He (Hrithik Roshan) oscillates between magician (Guzaarish) and magic (Koi…Mil Gaya) – traits that make the teacher more of a PG-13 cartoon hero than an iconic personality. He tries hard to do a silent Will-Smith-in-Pursuit-of-Happyness celebration after achieving two separate miracles, but there’s a sense that his brief simply reads as “brown Mary Poppins without the umbrella”. Which is a pity, because if there was any one actor who could really dance to entertain, it’s Anand Kumar."