When I watched Once Upon "Ay" Time in Mumbai Dobaara I said sometimes when you step out of the theater, you can tell that a film will flop. Now, I would say sometimes you can also tell a film will be a hit. Boss will definitely work with the audience. Chalo hit chhodo but kya film fit hai? While the makers would say who cares! Certain section of the audience does and it would come as a surprise that the film is indeed entertaining and not besharamly repulsive. It is funny and sufficiently likeable.
Okay let me stop and tell you what I loved the most about this film. Akshay Kumar on whose shoulders the success of this film rests; who is publicized as the only hero in the film without a female lead; who should apparently be in every frame of the film, is NOT in every frame of the film. In fact, the star makes an appearance half an hour into the film. Yes, we see him after 30 minutes! Why, you ask? The other characters and the story is being set up. Yes, that can happen in a masala film. Watching this, in a film that could have easily not done so, won me over. Kumar also gets to make a typical movie star entry. Haven’t seen those done well in a while (outside of Salman Khan). The opening credits say Akshay Kumar “In & As” Boss. Haven’t seen that in a while as well. While I was busy spotting the 90s Bollywood touches (Danny Denzongpa for starters), a flashback comes smack in the middle of the film. Surprisingly, it works too.
Boss, apart from being a comedy, is a solid father-son melodrama like Agneepath with violence everywhere. There is also a scene with a teenager being attacked viciously. Although, due to Akshay Kumar’s presence there is some comedy to make things light. The comedy is perfectly low-brow that does not have wit in its checklist but belly laughs. For example, there is a human rocking chair and cheerleaders in lehenga. There is also a catchphrase “Apne ko kya hai, apne ko toh sirf paani nikalna hai” which I confess, made me laugh every single time. Except once, which was surprisingly heartfelt and came out of nowhere.
Akshay Kumar owns the film. He combines the comic timing he had in Singh is Kinng (2008) with the masala outpour of Rowdy Rathore (2012). While, he is certainly why the film ticks, there is no denying that the supporting actors lend a big hand. Mithun Chakraborty, Danny Denzongpa, Shiv Pandit and Aditi Rao Hydari are all competent. Ronit Roy plays the villain – Ayushman. Most cop films these days show the cops as heroic do-gooders while the goons are the bad guys. Here, this notion is reversed. With the help of the Joker theme from The Dark Knight (2008) and obviously Roy’s acting skills, the villain is not a caricature. Well he sort of is, but not a caricature we have been seeing over and over again. The only actor I wish was utilized better is Johnny Lever.
There are two remixes - Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta and Apdi Pode, both could have been better. The two songs I find myself listening to a lot are the title track and Party All Night. Party All Night is perhaps the most fun song you will dance to all year. I am a fan of Honey Singh’s music and this, my humble mitron, is the real deal. (There is a tiny moment where Mr. Singh is warming his hands with the invisible heat generated from the hotness of a lady. That’s right.)
As you can see I have expressed surprise a lot during this review. Well, the surprise is not out of cringing. I was mainly surprised at a commercial film catering to the masses but not being a substandard product. It is a product, still, but carefully assembled and not haphazardly thrown together. The film is not great but it works. The reason why it works is because it remains consistent. It keeps providing the goods at regular intervals and rarely goes overboard making sure it stays away from being unwatchable. It could have benefited with a better ending but Boss is never boring and mostly enjoyable. Going by the state of a million masala film imitators today, I say that’s not a bad thing at all.view less