This Friday (August 12) there is a big fight between two huge Bollywood movies – Akshay Kumar’s Rustom and Hrithik Roshan’s Mohenjo Daro. But with the trailer of each movie itself, it was clear who the winner will be, at least in the audiences’ hearts. Without even watching Mohenjo Daro, and having watched Rustom now, we can say that Akshay Kumar will beat his junior Hrithik Roshan in the acting department! Akshay Kumar is in a class of his own now and knows when to give a restrained performance. He is not hamming it in Rustom, not even in one scene! We can say that this man is getting better with each hatke film of his and the three Khans cannot do anything about it! Let’s take a look at what Rustom is all about.Also Read - Bell Bottom Trailer Out: Akshay Kumar Launches Covert Operation To Save 210 Hostages Hijacked Inside Plane | Watch
Everybody knows Rustom is based on the infamous Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati case wherein the decorated naval officer murdered his wife’s paramour. The court case and the jury at the time was much talked about. Rustom the movie twists the tale a bit, with a slightly different ending to the one in real life. Also Read - Vaani Kapoor Reveals Why She Agreed to do 'Small But Impactful' Role in Bell Bottom Opposite Akshay Kumar
The Story: So Akshay Kumar is this navy officer Rustom Pavri, an officer of integrity and honour. Rustom returns home early one fine day only to find his British wife Cynthia (Ileana D’Cruz) is away for two days with his friend Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa). Rustom finds Vikram’s letters to his wife and is shattered with the love affair. He goes to Vikram’s house and kills him at point blank range. Also Read - Bellbottom New Release Date: Akshay Kumar Starrer to Hit Theatres on THIS Date Worldwide
The movie unveils this story in the first half itself, quickly taking us through the love story of Rustom and Cynthia and then their separation when he goes away on the ship again for six months. The interval happens when the twist in the tale is to come. What happens after that is the true story and not necessarily the extramarital affair, which Akshay Kumar had said would be the hallmark of Rustom.
Rustom is quite gripping for the first one-and-a-half hours but becomes a drag later. But the twists and turns keep you interested enough to finish it through. Did Rustom kill Vikram because he loved his wife? Or did he kill him because he was his business partner? Or is there something more to the tale? Well, no Abbas Mustan style vague plot twists in Rustom, but a true story with some cinematic liberty and some facts left hidden. (ALSO READ: Rustom vs Mohenjo Daro: Is Hrithik Roshan being sidelined by Bollywood? Or is Akshay Kumar not confident of Rustom, so gathering support?)
Production Values and Music
The look and feel of Rustom was appealing right from when we saw the trailer. There is attention to detail in the sets and Rustom feels like a delicious film from the era it represents. First-time director Tinu Suresh Desai does a good job, and the editing between shots is decent. But the length of the film could’ve been chopped further – not at the editing table but at the script level.
There are no songs in the movie that disturb the proceedings. Only two that help one understand the characters and their circumstances better. (ALSO READ: After ‘unfollowing’ Shah Rukh Khan & Aamir Khan, Rajinikanth wishes Akshay Kumar success for Rustom! Here’s why!)
Like we said, Akshay Kumar is in a class of his own now. The once action star who moved on to masala romantic films and then nondescript comedy is still doing that commercial cinema, but with movies like Airlift, Baby, Special 26 and some more, he has proved that he can perform simply with his expressions, minimal body language and at times no dialogues. With Rustom again Akshay Kumar will be appreciated for his acting, even if the movie may not make Rs 100 crore at the box office.
Ileana D’Cruz has done a decent job but she needs to do more films or acting workshops to get the nuances of the character and the situation right. She looks pretty but in that department Esha Gupta, who plays the victim’s sister, will take the credit. Arjan Bajwa satisfies in his performance as Vikram Makhija.
Pavan Malhotra as the cop Vincent Lobo to whom Rustom Pavri surrenders to is awesome, and so is Sachin Khedekar as the Sindhi public prosecutor. But that was expected, as both actors are seasoned at their job. The other character actors – the havaldar or the housemaid – do their jobs perfectly on screen. Parmeet Sethi and Kanwaljeet Singh have only special appearances, and Kumud Mishra tries his best to look like a Parsi newspaper editor, with a voiceover by Cyrus Dastur.
Rustom is a compelling courtroom drama, something which will help Akshay Kumar in his upcoming Jolly LLB 2 where he will be playing a lawyer. And we are saying that because, Rustom Pavri does not opt for a defence lawyer and fights his case himself in court. The character and integrity of the navy officer also comes across in every small thing he does or the way he reacts to a situation. In the end, it’s a true story and like the Nanavati case verdict was delivered by a public jury, so you can judge whether Rustom Pavri was guilty or not. Akshay Kumar has truly delivered an award-winning and nuanced performance. Watch the film for him!
Rating: 3.5/5 (an extra 0.5 for Mr Akshay Kumar.)