Shahid Kapoor has been at the pinnacle ever since Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey and Haider, where he peaked and entered his second phase as an actor. Representing himself as a serious performer, he has shed his chocolate boy image to become a menacing anti-hero in his recent films and web series. If Kabir Singh was an angry man with a thermometer and a stethoscope, Sumair, in Bloody Daddy, is Kabir Singh wielding knives and guns. The similarity is difficult to miss as you see him shouting and summoning the same rigor in his voice, even though he is placed in a completely different circumstance here. Sumair seems to have the same behavioral traits as Kabir, but when he sees a man forcing himself on a woman, it enrages him. Sumair at least understands consent. Apart from that, he is an incessantly irresponsible father and an alcoholic, and he doesn’t get punished for his behavior yet again in the end. However, keeping the Kabir Singh image aside, here is Shahid Kapoor in top form, beating everyone up with rage protruding through his eyes and his demeanor reeking of arrogance. And it’s an absolute delight to see him this way.
Bloody Daddy is a smasher of a film. Ali Abbas Zafar delivers a promising action film that gets into pace right from the first frame, never pushing you away with a dull moment. Zafar seems to have learned from his last film, Jogi, which suffered from pacing issues due to some unnecessary meddling in the backstory. The credit here also goes to the makers of the French film Sleepless Night, of which it is a remake. It follows the story of Sumair, a cop who raids a drug deal midway to steal a bag full of drugs after a clash with some gangsters. It turns out that the bag belongs to a hotel owner who is a drug lord named Sikandar. In order to get Sumair to return his bag, Sikandar kidnaps his son and asks him to swap the bag for his son. Thus begins a bloody journey into the hotel, taking place over the course of a night. Essentially, it is a father-son story, and at the center of it is the emotional bond between the two. Moving ahead with the usual backstory of separated parents and an irresponsible father, Bloody Daddy wastes no time to get into the actual conflict. While it doesn’t doesn’t directly address it in any manner, what the plot seems to convey is a sort of metaphor for parenting. Having parents who share a troubled relationship makes growing up a difficult journey for the kid, who cannot unsee what is seen nor unhear what is heard. Towards the end, as you see the boy hearing about drugs, seeing people kill each other, and being threatened, you can already foresee the kind of trauma that will be a part of him for the rest of his life. He is scarred forever. I couldn’t help but see beyond the nitty gritty and look at the film as a reflection of this through its plot.
The best part about Bloody Daddy is that it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. There are genuine moments of brilliantly executed dark humor that go on to elevate the mood of the film without having to sound forced. Small moments like pulling the gun out of a water heater where it had fallen during a fight scene or the kind of dialogue exchange happening between the gangsters, aim to bring out comedy even in the tragic circumstances. It is all well-written and crisp, coupled with some stylistic visuals that manage to hit the ball out of the park! Sumair is no John Wick or Bryan Mills from Taken, who carry a certain menace through just the way they move. Sumair is a proper Hindi film character who is a cop with the ruthlessness of someone who bends the law while sitting on the inside. He has some morals and feelings that largely seem manipulative, but he is not a likable character all the time.
In the shady universe of the gangster and cop, Sumair sits in the middle. He is a cop who behaves like a gangster. All of these work in favor of Bloody Daddy as he goes on a rampage to save his son from the clutches of the drug lord. Shahid Kapoor is optimal as Sumair. He is aggressive and full of energy while embodying the character with ease, staying within the boundary of humor and menace, and also bringing emotions whenever needed. He becomes the character, and no longer do we see Kapoor. Ronit Roy is sincere as the hotel owner, and it is refreshing to see some charm given to the antagonist instead of blindly painting him with bad traits. It is a treat to watch him in some of the comic scenes with Sanjay Kapoor, who also plays a drug lord. Rajeev Khandelwal and Diana Penty make the most of their screen time in their respective roles and shine without a hint of error. But it is an out-and-out Shahid Kapoor film, and he is present in almost all of the scenes, and it is a pleasure to see him carry out the action in style. He manages to make you feel for the character deeply through his performance. It is a relief to see him doing action flicks that really go along well with his body structure and screen presence.
Bloody Daddy is a well-executed thriller from Ali Abbas Zabar that is engaging throughout. The action never feels out of place and remains a worthy companion to the plot, never stealing focus from it. Action films have to follow a certain rhythmic pattern and a good screenplay in order to pulsate the hearts of the audience. In the dearth of good action films in Hindi cinema, Bloody Daddy surely remains a worthy addition that is not going to disappoint you for the 2 hours of its runtime.