Producers: Ronnie Screwvala, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Paresh Ganatra, M Nasser, Mushtaq Khan, Yashpal Sharma, Anant Jog, Darshan Jariwala
Music: Sajid, Wajid
It’s no secret that Rowdy Rathore is a remake of a South and a Bangla film. It is also nothing but a rehash of old Hindi movies like Kaalicharan, Don and Sanjay Dutt-Anita Raj starrer Jaan Ki Baazi. Like these films, this one also has two lookalikes, one dies and the other takes his place.
But the surprise package in this film is the presentation, that is, the way the story has been told and the way leading man Akshay Kumar has been presented. It’s a colourful ride and rich in content. Even though the film is filled with histrionics, the movie is enjoyable and very funny. Since the main objective of this film is to entertain, the film is a winner in this department. It’s a total entertainer with all the commercial ingredients of a masala film.
Even in his first Hindi film Wanted, Prabhudheva as a director presented his main protagonist in flamboyant colours. He’s done the same in Rowdy Rathore. It is Prabhudheva’s way of showcasing the hero that makes this film a joyride. The hero acts, emotes, dances, fights, flirts and cries, and during this crazy routine, he entertains the audience.
The film opens with Shiva, a conman. He meets Paro, who is in the city to attend a wedding. They fall in love and Shiva decides to give up his crooked ways. Soon, he comes across a child who addresses him as her father. There’s chaos and Paro decides to leave him. Shiva must find out who this child is. While looking for her real father, he gets trapped into a deadly plot.
Apart from being a true entertainer, the best part of this film is that it’s pacy and stays that way unlike most Hindi films, which start on a high note and then nosedive either pre-climax or climax. Rowdy Rathore maintains the tempo and is peppered with entertaining scenes. But the story really picks up just before the interval. That’s a tantaliser and keeps you guessing!
The writer and director do not disappoint in the second half, which includes even more fun elements and drama. Though Shiva turns into Rowdy Rathore, he does not behave like him. He always maintains his own style and reserves the action for the very end.
Despite being a joyride till the very end, there are a few lacunae in the film. Why did Rowdy’s aide initially conceal details from Shiva? Why do they cook up a ploy to make Shiva meet the girl? Also, the love interest between Shiva and Paro is cute but it unfolds so fast that it’s incredulous. The relationship between the child and Shiva becomes better and better as they get to know each other but the same cannot be said about the relationship between Shiva and Paro.
Also, in the second half, the way Shiva teaches the goons a lesson is hilarious but if it were so easy, why couldn’t Rathore manage. Shiva puts all the goons behind the bars, and the politician comes to rescue them, but he does nothing. Paro, who suddenly disappears from the movie, arrives just as suddenly in the village. If she is from the same village, why didn’t she know about cop Rathore? Though the running time of the film is reasonably good, the film could have been a little crisper. Also, the first half has three songs back-to-back. And which city allows 50 armed men to roam on its streets?
Still, the film is a true joyride, which makes you ignore the loopholes. The fight sequence before the interval and the one during the climax are the highlights of this film.
Director Prabhudheva is in his elements. First with Wanted and now Rowdy Rathore, he declares he’s a director who believes in pure entertainment. Santosh Thundiyil’s cinematography is superb. Dialogue is a highlight. Background score is terrific.
Music by Sajid-Wajid is good but not great. Chinta ta ta is the best song. Aa re pritam pyaare has catchy lines but it is the picturisation of the song that is more impressive. The action is another highlight.
Performance-wise, Akshay Kumar delivers one of his best performances. If he is hilarious as the conman, he is powerful as a cop. His look and walk (different for both the characters he plays), and dialogue delivery are major attraction of the film.
Sonakshi Sinha has nothing much to do in the film. She appears in the beginning and then re-appears pre-climax. But the dialogue she’s been given during the climax, at the villain’s den, and the way she acts is fantastic. M Nasser is first-rate. Paresh Ganatra makes you laugh. Yashpal Sharma is good. The child, however, fails on the acting front but is sweet. The actor who plays Nasser’s son and the one who plays his brother are good.
Verdict: A winner all the way!