The road sure seemed like a longer one between now and last year’s Toronto premiere for Vasan Bala’s The Man Who Feels No Pain. The reason for such windows apart from any sort of meticulous and otherwise necessary film bureaucracy is beyond me, but at long last, moviegoers are just a few weeks away from seeing Abhimanyu Dassani and actress Radhika Madan light up the big screen, Rope-A-Dope style through the efforts of action stylists Eric Jacobus and Dennis Ruel.
In this Bollywood-infused action film from Vasan Bala (Peddlers), a young man quite literally born with the ability to feel no pain strikes out on a quest to vanquish 100 foes.
Our own Alex Chung, who himself is a stunt performer and independent filmmaker, was able to attend TIFF last year and catch up with his own review. In his critique, he especially heralded the action with respect to the wholly able-bodied principal cast, calling the fight scenes “fun and fluid but never detracting from the story” and also praised the film’s use of parody and pop culture references, the music and set pieces therein. He then wrapped up his analysis with the following:
The audience at the screening I attended seemed unanimous in its enjoyment. It’s silly. It has heart and wit. It has some of the most engaging fight scenes I’ve seen in a while. It’s something to be enjoyed by all, regardless of where you come from.
The general consensus is pretty clear at this point. The fact that it was director Bala who sought after Jacobus to lend his services to a Bollywood film, spawning Jacobus’s own innovative action design application called “Vertical Intergration”, makes The Man Who Feels No Pain truly not just any other Bollywood actioner, but a genuine treat to endulge through and through; One other person I know of online who astutely covers Indian cinema as much and as well as he does is Josh Hurtado at ScreenAnarchy. Citing other regional action films like Kenny Basumatary’s Local Kung Fu and Local Kung Fu 2, he talks up the genre’s progress brought further about in Bala’s The Man Who Feels No Pain, writing in part:
…Gone are most of the obvious, physics defying wire gags that plague much of Bollywood’s action, replaced by full impact face kicks. This evolution in and of itself is a monumental step forward for a mainstream Bollywood product, albeit a low budget one.
So there you have them – a reason to not only support The Man Who Feels No Pain when it opens in two weeks as of this article, but also, effectively bolster up proper, quality and celebrated low budget Indian martial arts films. Kind of a win for indie martial arts films everywhere in a sense. Not to mention that this film also comes out the same weekend as the VOD release of Jesse V. Johnson’s Triple Threat should also keep you and yours quite busy, and all the more entertained. Sounds like a great Spring weekend to me.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.