Sexy spy-looking people putting one finger to ear and saying things like “I’m in”. “inserting you into facial recognition”. Double-cross pe double cross, code names are playing card characters.
Itna ho gaya hai ki at this point a 15-year-old can write better James Bond fan fiction. Kya hai yeh, kitna paisa hai kharchen ko?
Today we’re talking about the latest Netflix release, Heart Of Stone by Tom Harper, starring Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, and Alia Bhatt in leading roles.
The Charter is an underground, covert spy organization, with no allegiance to any country or government. Just a bunch of highly trained, beautiful people, committed to saving the world from bad guys. Literally what Citadel was in Prime Video’s Citadel. Heart of Stone also has the Citadel problem, in that, it’s not very good.
You’ve seen it all before, the zero-nonsense lady boss, the underground bunker with a tech guy going like this…like this.. ek toh please, we have been teased this future where we will all be able to walk inside a computer-generated hologram and find be able to do this, and 3 D images will appear all around us since Iron man, WHEN are we arriving at this future? Hain Musk, Twitter ke naam badalte reh bas baith ke.
Anyway, the very OBVIOUSLY attractive undercover agent, Gal Gadot here, swimming alone, as ANOTHER very HOT secret spy comes to the side and makes quips, as the film wants you to IMAGINE them having sex kyunki sab hot hain.
Beautiful aur brawny Gal Gadot ek scene mein snow covered mountain ke neeche ghista-ti hui jaa rahi hain, raaste mein, while ghistoing ek kisi ka parachute pakad ke kheench leti hain, WHILE sliding down, Kinetic energy, and gravity working together to give this gliding lass increasing momentum, she has managed to strap herself in the complicated parachute mechanism, off the cliff there she goes!
Mereko bohot Khushi hai Gal is headlining mainstream action movies like this, India mein abhi bhi hum Shah Rukh se aage nahi badh paa rahe hain. But despite the desire to cheer her on, the movie entirely lost me within the first 20 minutes. So insistent on staying one step ahead of its viewers, wanting to thwart and baffle, failing to make a genuine connection.
Screenwriter Allison Schroeder, nominated for an Oscar for her work on Hidden Figures shares credits here with prolific writer Greg Rucka who aside from books has also written many Marvel and DC comics if I’m not mistaken. Director Tom Harper has Peaky Blinders to his name, War and Peace. Means it’s a great bunch of people coming together to potentially create a narrative jismein mazey bhi ho aur pathos bhi, science fiction bhi ho aur social commentary bhi. Khoobsurat log bhi ho aur daraawne consequences bhi.
Except mostly what you get is clichés on clichés, one can tell precisely how any character’s follow-up declaration will be worded after each dramatic pause in each dramatic dialogue.
Alia Bhatt is Keya Dhawan, a 22-year-old, orphaned Techie from Pune, who wants to attain control of this McGuffin, the heart. A backstory is offered as well, AND the film ends on a note promising Keya might return if there ever is a sequel, but the lazy disdain with which this character is treated is bhaari unfortunate. Every young techie breaking into encrypted cyberspace cliché moment is utilized, including quippy one-liners funnier in the writer’s heads than the acting performance. Alia herself is underwhelming, perfectly acceptable, but that’s just not good enough for people who KNOW how much more she’s clearly capable of.
Film ka bhi dosh hai, acting ki scope hai hi kam. Aisa nahi hai ki super-hero, ya spy genre mein badhiya performances nahi ho sakti, look how Chris Pratt played Starlord, or recently Ali Fazal in Kandahar. All the actors in Heart Of Stone have all the talent one can ask for, Matthias Schweighöfer is FRESH out of Oppenheimer, but unfortunately, all of it is squandered amid “the signal is coming from within the building” level writing.
In Heart of Stone, Jaime Dornan gets to shoot two people in the middle of the night under a fountain, delivers a monologue, in what seems like a majorly residential area of some European city, aur ek second ko character nahi sochta ki AGAR kisi ne in 50 aaju baaju ki khidkiyon mein se EK bhi photo le li toh main kisi ko muh dikhaane layak nahi bachoonga? Such a fine performer also rang dekho aap from Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar and Belfast DONO ek hi saal mein release hui thi.
Look, for a 2 ghante ka, and I hate to use this term because of how insultingly reductive it is, “timepass”, sorry, this film isn’t a bad watch. Maybe there is some solace to be found in predictability also na. Dekh ke batana.
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, Heart Of Stone is……1 bad guy with blonde hair toh straight up looked like he has a Tik Tok where he plays Jared Leto playing Joker, its all so unserious yaar, stakes hi kabhi interesting nahi hote.