Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Esha Gupta, Ileana DCruz
Director: Tinu Suresh Desai
What’s Good: Akshay Kumar in Navy uniform! An entertaining yet riveting plot keeps you well-hooked to your seats.
What’s Bad: Rustom claims itself to be a work of fiction and hence glamorises Rustom’s character overtly. His character seems too angelic.
Loo Break: In between a song would be a good time!
Watch or Not?: Yes! Rustom is recommendable for a weekend watch. It’s best if you watch this murder mystery thriller without its references to the Nanavati case.
Rustom Pavri is a commander with the Indian Navy. He is a celebrated officer and is known for his unabashed nature when it comes to putting his country first.
Based on the 50s explosive case of K.M Nanavati, the makers issue a warning at start that it is not a biopic and only a fictional representation of the case.
On his early return from his duty, Rustom finds his wife Cynthia missing at home. He soon learns about her affair with popular car dealer Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa). Hurt and angered by his wife’s infidelity, Rustom shoots Vikram with 3 bullet shots and even surrenders for his crime.
The case further starts to get twisted when, Rustom pleads not guilty in court. Is he guilty or not is what lies ahead.
Rustom Review: Script Analysis
This film’s script comes across like a Special 26 or A Wednesday with only one angle in aspect. In all these films you are rooting for the criminal. They make the lawless ways look just by their execution.
In Rustom, the protagonist’s character is written with such a lot of sugarcoating that you hardly find him to be a murderer.
The film’s story has been crafted well with good twists, turning points. The cinematic liberties that the makers have taken are clearly crowd-pleasing and in the lieu to pack this film as an entertaining watch.
What they stray away from, is making this film a juicy tabloid affair which could’ve easily been the case considering the story’s basic elements involving an extra marital affair and a murder.
Sadly, to make it crowd pleasing, the writers give up on the opportunity to develop a point which was most obvious in the story. They fail to show how justified it is for a Navy officer’s wife to stray away into adultery given the circumstances. Instead, they portray a weak woman who is ashamed of her affair and also back it up by showing her lover to be a bast*rd which justifies her to be pulled into a situation and not because of choice. One would definitely question this to be different from the real case.
The side characters are much more well-written. We love the ‘maid’ who shouts in favor of her employer in court without the fear or knowledge of being held in contempt. Also Kumud Mishra’s tabloid owner character is extremely enjoyable.
The representation of a young kid selling the newspaper by giving juicy dialogues worked for me really well.
The courtroom scenes are dramatic and they even pull off self-jokes on their TV-serial type drama. This self-joke kind of thing seems like a very smart writing move.
Towards the climax, the plot falters hugely. The jury deciding their decision is a terrible scene.
Rustom Review: Star Performance
Akshay Kumar as commander Rustom Pavri looks deliciously handsome in the uniform. I wouldn’t think of cheating on him! (Wink!). He does a good job all through, but in a few courtroom scenes, his straight-faced expressions and stance make him look like a wax statue. In terms of performance, there is nothing challenging here for him, so he is good enough.
Ileana D’Cruz who plays the ‘sorry’ wife is like a doll in this film. Her perfect hair, perfect dressing and perfect tears are the only thing you will see.
Esha Gupta has a resting bitch-face all through the film. She is unnecessarily seductive with those low-cut outfits that would excite none. The only action she does in the film is hold that cigarette holder and smoke!
Arjan Bajwa as Vikram Makhija is uninspiring. He is made to look like a 50s villain with hideous flashy bathrobes. Coming to his act, there is nothing noticeable.
Pavan Malhotra as the investigating officer on case does a good job.
Kumud Mishra in his teensy role too manages to impress us.
Rustom Review: Direction, Music
Tinu Suresh Desai had previously helmed 1920 : London and I was quite surprised at him coming up with a film like Rustom. Of course, if he would have actually delved into the case or the fact that it was the last one to have a jury trial, it would have been ambitious. He sticks to getting us a formulaic murder mystery drama that has its second half as the courtroom proceedings with a crowd pleasing climax.
In terms of execution, the interrogation scene worked out well. Also, the courtroom sequence is slightly witty and hence seems better than many that most Bollywood films have.
What doesn’t work is Arjan and Akshay’s hand to hand combat. It looks completely shady. Also the special effects used to portray the naval base, and certain to represent old establishments are not upto the mark.
The music of the film is already popular and Tere Sang Yara sounds beautiful in the movie hall.
For a regular movie goer, Akshay Kumar will be the highlight of this film and it will have to ride on his shoulders alone to work at the box office.
Rustom Review: The Last Word
Rustom is a one-time watch. For those who just want to catch a flick without its relation to Nanavati case, it makes up for a decent watch. I plead guilty that I suggest this film! A 3/5 for Rustom.
Rustom releases on 12th Aug, 2016.
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