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Review Saaho (2019): What the hell did I just watch?

genre: action, crime, thriller

Recently a resurgence has happened where action films favour more realistic combat and stunt work like in Extraction and John Wick which in turn are inspired by old school John Woo films like Hard Boiled and The Killer. Since India is fond of action films the resurgence of that type of action would make sense. In my search for these films for some reason I came across Saaho.

And I honestly don't really understand why that is. Saaho is like a comic book film that takes itself far too seriously. It's ultra stylish and immensely beautiful to look at. The viewing experience is enhanced by well produced background tunes that ensure the ultra coolness of the film. But the simple plot it told in such a pretentious way that it becomes too hard to follow what is going on. At one point you just lose patience and tolerance for the slow moving plot. Mind you I say plot. Because events and action scenes move lightning fast. I would not have any problems with this if it weren't for the fact that the action is disappointing. It's the over the top and unrealistic kind. Sure that can be fun also in the hands of a good stunt coordinator or fight choreographer. But I guess by that time they already had spent the entire budget on the visual effects and costumes. 

But I do have to admit that the film had me going for quite some time. Until I realized it was more interested in surprising the viewer with twists and turns you will see coming from a mile away. Unless you have never seen a crime thriller before. Now why did I keep watching then? Well, like with most films they save the best for last. So I did have hope that this would be the case. That and I actually liked how the characters were portrayed. Unfortunately, the finale was only satisfying since I had decided to go along with the craziness that was displayed. 

Saaho is an example of what can be achieved when truly creative and inventive directors get the chance to materialize their vision. However it's also an example where these same directors need to be held back so that they don't lose themselves into their own pretension. 

So can I recommend Saaho? If you just want to have a good time then Saaho definitely will provide that. If you are looking for top notch action then no, you will be disappointed. 

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