Heart Of Stone Movie Review: Alia gets a meaty Hollywood debut, but plot falls prey to predictability
Heart Of Stone
The plot revolves around intelligence agent Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) who is also an undercover member of the Charter on a quest to protect the powerful and invincible element called 'The Heart'. However, she finds a conniving opponent in Keya Dhawan (Alia Bhatt).
- Tom Harper
- Gal Gadot,
- Jamie Dornan,
- Alia Bhatt
The Tom Harper directorial Heart Of Stone gives you all in the surface. Adrenaline thumping action sequences, utilisation of high-tech alrogithms and a devious but invincible MacGuffin which forms the main crux of the story and characters who have theit hearts on the mission be it moral or immoral. However, just when we expect the screenplay and the plot to engage us as much as the action aesthetics, we are disappointed.
The plot revolves around military intelligence agent Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) who also works as a secret member of a peacekeeping operation known as the Charter keeping her dual identity hidden from the world. All hell breaks loose when an anti military organization has its eyes on a mysterious element known as the Heart which is extremely indispensable and is under the protection of the Charter. While Rachel is on a mission with her team members, Parker (Jamie Dornan), Yang (Jing Lusi) and Bailey (Paul Ready), she also locks horns with Keya Dhawan (Alia Bhatt) a hacking and tech prodigy with ulterior motives.
Tom Harper curates a pretty much black and white world in the backdrop of crime, betrayal, destruction and elements which can shatter the very foundation of humanity. The writing by Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder has its heart on the right place (pun intended) and the characters as well as their motives well placed. However, what is missing is that spark and relatability with the situations and the characters. Except for the antagonist, one does not seem to connect with Rachael's character in an emotional level. Gal Gadot is in her superwoman avatar punching blows on the bad guys and performing daredevilry with the vehicles. But what made her into Nine Of Hearts or her vulnerable moments are gravely missing. Apart from her developing a soft corner for her MI6 members, we cannot see a profound character development and are left to hail her as a badass female protagonist.
The plot also gets laboriously predictable. The meandering twists and turns do not create a huge impact since we see ourselves already awaiting this plot or character development. It would've been interesting to witness the foundation of the Charter and it's impact on Rachel's life. The relationship and loyalty of Stone towards the Charter which was connected to her past was not etched intricately as it should've been.
Talking about the performances, Gal Gadot does full justice to her central role. She especially shines in the action sequences looking slick and badass in all it's glory. A better arc and writing of her character would've enabled her to add more depth in the performance. Jamie Dornan is a treat to watch and adds the right intensity and intrigue to his character. He manages to stand out from the cast in some of the scenes. All eyes of the Indian fans are on Alia Bhatt's Hollywood debut with this movie and I can happily say that the concern over her screentime and characterization totally vanishes once you watch the movie.
The actress' role is meaty and adds several layers to it. She delivers her best, only struggling in some scenes which required her to be smug and complacent. However, it would've been more interesting to witness a the grey shade to her character evolve a little more. But overall this was truly an apt debut for Alia Bhatt in Hollywood. Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighofer, Jing Lusi and Paul Ready also do full justice as the supporting star cast.
The technicalities when it comes to the action sequences and the cinematography are very much the saving grace of Heart Of Stone. The slick action sequences are a visual delight and gives you all the adrenaline rush. The cinematography by George Steel meticulous especially while capturing the locales of Iceland.
Heart Of Stone makes way for a one time watch and could've created a bigger impact with a strong plot and screenplay. Nevertheless, it'll definitely make all the Gal Gadot fans happy. Plus, the project can certainly pave the way for Alia Bhatt to explore meatier roles in Hollywood in the near future.