Akshay Kumar has been on a decent streak lately with his Airlift and Housefull 3 doing well this year. He is back with his third movie (not counting Dishoom in which he was hilarious) of the year Rustom. It is based on the famous Nanavati case and is set in a historical time period. It’ll be Akshay’s second film of the year which is based on true incidents. Is Rustom a taut thriller like Airlift and will it become Akshay’s third success of the year? No better time to find out than now.
Story: Rustom (Akshay Kumar) is a naval officer who married Cynthia (Illeana D’Cruz) against his father’s wishes. When Rustom was away on a trip, Cynthia and Vikram (Arjan Bajwa) come close and have an affair. Rustom returns and is furious to find out about the affair. He confronts Vikram, who is killed in an ensuing scuffle. Rustom is tried for murder in court, with defence and prosecution lawyers fighting it out. Is he let off or is he given a prison sentence?
Rustom Review: Tinu Suresh Desai who made 1920 London this year, manages to inscribe his touch into this movie but it eventually doesn’t feel enough. There are some cool transition effects between scenes and he tries to maintain a uniformity. But that’s about the only good or innovative thing about this vapid courtroom historical drama which does nothing to thrill and just like the time period it is situated in, it only takes Bollywood back to an age where the details feel half baked, the characters are sleazy stereotypes and the twists are uninspired. The fictional retelling of real life incidents could have been dealt with a lot more maturely and a flawed character like Rustom shouldn’t have become a jingoistic patriot who can do no wrong. The second half where most of the action shifts to the courtroom isn’t thrilling and pacy enough.
Rustom feels uneven inspite of the director’s constant efforts to maintain uniformity, that’s because of the patchy production design, clichéd costume design and bad vfx. The editing could have also been more snappier and the important courtroom scenes feel daft and slow because of the amateurish editing. The music of Rustom is good and the songs stick with you. The romantic ballad Tere Sang Yaara is the pick of the lot.
Acting: Akshay Kumar is a solid casting decision as Rustom Pavri, and he maintains his stoic expressions as the doting navyman who loves his country throughout the movie. We like the choices he’s been making lately, but the movie Rustom lets down the character Rustom Pavri. Ileana D’Cruz plays the cheating wife who becomes a doting wife with a lot of grace but she comes up short in the acting department. Arjan Bajwa tries his best to play the most stereotypical character in the movie. Esha Gupta is made to show her cleavage and her body more than logic suggests but she shows her acting skills whenever given the chance. Pawan Malhotra, Usha Nadkarni and Kumud Mishra all excel in their respective characters.
Conclusion: Rustom feels quarter baked, and the thriller courtroom drama lacks thrill, and lacks uniformity. It fails miserably in the details department and it doesn’t come together in the end as a movie. Akshay Kumar gives it his all but the reinterpretation of such a famous real life story leaves a lot to be desired. It is boring, takes a lot of time to get to the point and feels like a big disappointment. A lot could have been done to make the story taut and engaging. Airlift worked because it didn’t make its main character a flawless hero, and Rustom doesn’t work because of the exact opposite reason. Having said all that, Rustom will be liked by a section of the audience becsuse the basic story it is telling is a very interesting one. You can give it a watch and decide for yourself.
- Akshay Kumar’s casting and his acting
- Innovative transition between scenes
- The supporting actors act well
- The music is good
- The details are let down by production design and costume design
- The editing is not snappy enough
- Ileana and Esha Gupta are objectified
- The uniformity that this movie required is absent
- It’s boring and lacks the thrill that the promos promised
- Vfx is awful and messy