Bollywood time travel romcom has iffy gender roles.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Action Replayy is an English-subtitled Bollywood romcom inspired by Back to the Future. There's occasional cursing (such as "s--t"). Large portions of the plot revolve around bickering parents and grandparents, as well as a young man who resists marriage because of the legacy of unhappy marriages in his family. There are a number of dance scenes featuring some suggestive dancing, with lyrics revolving around romantic longing. There are some fairly outdated gender roles at play, both in how women are portrayed as cruel shopaholics, as well as in the schemes concocted by male characters to win women over, such as changing their so-called bad attitudes (lack of interest) by ignoring them, making them cry, and confusing them until they can control them. This is all played for lighthearted comedy. While some of the music and visual thrills may appeal to kids old enough to follow subtitles, the underlying messages are iffy.
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What's the Story?
Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapur) doesn't want to marry his girlfriend Tanya (Sudeepa Singh) because his parents Kishen (Akshay Kumar) and Mala (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) were so unhappy in their marriage. But when Tanya's grandfather, Professor Gonsalves (Randhir Kapoor), a scientist who has invented a time machine, insists Bunty marry her or call it off, he realizes he must take action. He takes the time machine back to the 1970s when his parents were his age, and vows to make them fall in love. Soon he discovers that is harder and more complicated than he imagined.
Is It Any Good?
ACTION REPLAYY is a visual feast, full of catchy pop songs, multiple outfit changes, and over-the-top 1970s costume and trippy colors. And the idea here is fun and wholesome -- a son going back in time to make his parents fall in love so that he'll be less afraid to marry his girlfriend. With all these cylinders firing, it's a disappointment that it falls so flat in spite of the spectacle. The chemistry just isn't there, the runtime is long (over two hours), and the many opportunities for jokes about anachronisms or paradoxes created by time travel are largely missed. Most problematic is the overarching narrative that falling in love is a manipulative game -- that men prove their worth to women by treating them badly to gain the upper hand. There are enough lighthearted jokes and musical numbers to entertain kids old enough to follow subtitles, but parents may need to make clear that many of the film's attitudes belong back in another space-time continuum, too.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about time travel. If you could go back in time, what time would you pick? What would you try to change? Why?
How does the film portray women? What are some of the problems with how they are portrayed in the film? Do you think these are positive images? Why or why not?
Have you ever imagined what your parents were like at your age? Ask them to tell you.
- On DVD or streaming: December 28, 2010
- Cast: Akshay Kumar, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
- Director: Vipul Amrutlal Sha
- Studio: Shree International
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 134 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: May 7, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Back to the Future
'80s time-travel favorite; some violence, bullying, cursing.
Back to the Future Part II
Amusing futuristic sequel more dated, edgier than original.
The Parent Trap
Delightful remake is great for the whole family.
For kids who love dancing and musicals
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