It's hard to hide my excitement about Vasan Bala's upcoming action film, The Man Who Feels No Pain (Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota). Recently selected as the first Indian film ever to earn a spot in TIFF's venerable Midnight Madness genre film spotlight section, Bala's film is definitely this year's highlight for me for a number of reasons.
Bala is a very savvy filmmaker whose first film as a director, the amazing Peddlers, was featured at Cannes' Critics Week in 2012 and at TIFF in that same year, but after a healthy festival run never actually received an Indian theatrical release. He has a great grasp of genre cinema and has worked as a writer and assistant director on films like Anurag Kashyap's Raman Raghav 2.0 (Psycho Raman) and Bombay Velvet.
The Man Who Feels No Pain is the story of a man who is literally born without the ability to feel pain who learns martial arts and goes on a quest to vanquish one hundred foes. Starring unknown performers Abhimanyu Dasani and Radhika Madan, the film is about as indie as they get, with Bala focusing on the action and vibe of the film in matching with his unique sensibilties built on decades of imersion in Indian action films and others from around the world.
This trailer looks like a ton of fun, and even the VHS label-styled subtitles are incredible. I think this could be a breakout work for Bala, for whom I've obviously been in the bag for years now. Check it out below and let us know what you think.