Friday, 12 August 2016

Rustom review

Matlab baazi jeetne se hai, phir chahe Pyaada kurbaan ho yaa Rani, was the most powerful dialogue of Rustom's trailer but the game which was played to symbolise this dialogue was utter nonsense. Though the audience won't mind it(because they won't get it), an average chess player will laugh inside. The game showed that Inspector Vincent Lobo, just knew the rules of the game but not the tactics and strategy. Or maybe Rustom Pavri was over-confident to assume that the poor chap has never played chess before. But criticising director for this would be really harsh, as he has only two and a half hour to tell the story whereas Vishwanath Anand and Magnus Carlsen can keep on going for six hours and still come up with a draw. So I am actually not complaining but setting you up for right expectations from Rustom. Script definitely had promising elements but alas those were not developed to the potential.

Why this story has to be based on 1959 KM Nanavati murder case? The only reason can be to insist the audience on believing such a plan(well planned murder) can be successful. KM Nanavati case was famous for the role of media, that successfully swayed the sympathy of  commoner, jury alike in favour of the decorated Naval Officer. This could have been used to understand the people, society structure and institutions of India in post freedom period. How psychologically and institutionally India has changed since then. Indians who had Ram and Sita as their idols were shocked to hear about the affairs of such high profile people. Even in an era devoid of social media, this news became a part of household discussions. How such a big loophole in judiciary system was exposed? Well, some of them are addressed. Yes. Even in those times, news were not provided but sold. Newspaper was the only source of information and if you want a first hand account of a case then you line up on the premises of the courtrooms. People at high posts were corrupt. Scams took place. Use of the Uniform and the patriotic card to gain the sympathy was for everyone to see. Disgusting look on women's face for Cynthia without knowing the background of her story was evident. Wife felt guilty, confessed to her husband and the thing which we don't see today.. the Man pardoned her. 

Now coming to the film and the performances, Akshay Kumar is a complete actor. By now, one must not doubt the above statement, not even for a second. Two things make Rustom a good one time watch -  first, there is no melodrama(credit to Tinu Desai)  and second, the terrific Akshay Kumar. Body language(he has the personality of a man in uniform) and dialogue delivery aside, the emotions and sincerity towards his wife is remarkable. Even when you as an audience don't feel for Cynthia, you can see Rustom's love for his wife. Yes, you can see. He never speaks but his eyes convey it all the time. This is what screen presence is, you speak all the time. Sometimes lips and sometimes eyes. You always look at him, whenever he is in frame he holds your attention. And one more thing, Rustom is Akshay's preparation for Jolly LLB sequel(watch it to know why). Ileana is not a seasoned actor to handle such a role, flawed characters are not easy to play and she is a total miscast. Esha Gupta, plays sister of Vikram Makhija who is reduced to a caricature of sort. Kumud Mishra as a newspaper editor is fantastic, he provides comic relief along with Jamnabai. Pawan Malhotra as Vincent Lobo is good but his role could have been given more importance. Sachin Khedekar aptly presents an unintelligible lawyer or a besharam lawyer. Arjan Bajwa works well as a seducer and perfectly cast. 

Courtroom drama is good but lacks the punch of Jolly LLB kind. Jury discussion is so lame, actually it was not shown properly. 12 Angry Men, a 1957 film is a benchmark of how a jury discussion is done. No points were made and the matured members were fighting like emotional kids. The classified document thing does not integrate well with the main plot. Don't have high expectations and you can enjoy it. At least, an Akshay Kumar performance makes sure of that.

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