Rustom is a crime-mystery film written by Vipul K Rawal and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai. It features Akshay Kumar and Ileana D'Cruz in the lead roles. It is based on the real life incident of Naval Officer K.M. Nanavati.
Rustom is a crime-mystery film written by Vipul K Rawal and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai. It features Akshay Kumar and Ileana D'Cruz in the lead roles. It is based on the real life incident of Naval Officer K.M. Nanavati. less
“Rustom is an intriguing ride that you’d only want to hop on once!”
Akshay Kumar is under a murder trial that visibly extends to several weeks. He chooses to advocate himself and volunteers to spend all his time in police custody. There’s just one costume he’s seen wearing through the film and that is his white naval uniform. However, here’s what that personally bugged me throughout: Every time he appears on screen with his uniform on, he seems like coming straight out of an advertisement for one of the best detergents ever!
And this where Rustom despite being an engaging thriller at large, annoys you for packaging itself as an out and out masala entertainer!
As much as it engulfs you through its purposefully laid twists and turns, the temptation to overtly wrap it around as a stretched drama dilutes the fun. While Indian cinema for a number reasons, cannot seem to dodge this lure, Rustom was the kind of product that probably needed to do away with it.
You sit through the first hour telling yourself that the film is merely an extended version of its trailer that has lately been kind of a trend. However, the film unleashes its uncharted side and starts surprising in its second half. Loosely based on the Nanavati case of 1959, Rustom draws a fictional picture of the incident with arguably consumable elements, however it starts running on its own theories as if it’s asking us to not make any predictions. This is where it grips you with its tension.
Starting with Akshay discovering that he’s been cheated on by his wife to completely shifting focus to the court room drama, there are enough moments in Rustom that make way for a taut thriller. What keeps hampering its smooth narration though is the visibly miscast ladies Ileana D’Cruz and Esha Gupta. Performing like they are acting in a 60’s opera, the ladies wake us up to notify that we shouldn’t be getting carried away by all the hard work that’s put in by others. There’s virtually no frame in the film where a remorseful Ileana isn’t shedding her big tears that strangely never disturb her heavy make-up and Esha isn’t being a daily soap vamp! A slightly better trace of reality and refraining from dragging melodramatic sequences could have made Rustom exactly the kind of thriller we needed.
Having said that, the movie ends up with more high scoring points than what it falters on. We know Neeraj Pandey is a ‘Hero’s’ man and that clearly surfaces in its treatment. However, filmmaker Tinu Suresh Desai takes it up as his personal product and handles it in his own style. It is probably after a long-long time that and an entire script is based on a court room drama that inherently comes with the offer of delivering rigidity. Rustom doesn’t fail there!
Despite unabashedly favoring a point of view and being predictable in its method, the bits and pieces of being a nicely thought thriller makes Rustom the kind of popcorn watch we need. While it subjectively doesn’t focus on a single character, the contribution by established actors like Kumud Mishra, Pawan Malhotra, Anang Desai, Sachin Khedekar and Parmeet Sethi help it sail as an outreaching creation. Not trying to pretend like it’s based on a real life incident, Rustom tempers with its overall appeal and infuses entertainment as its core value. While the very factor would work for most, some (like me) would consider it a lost opportunity.
With a plain, laid back and yet extremely sharp character of Rustom Pavri that Akshay plays, comes across as a fresh and interestingly improvised version of K.M Nanavati. The actor who’s made a ritual of projecting himself an ‘India endorser’ lately is in his shell again. If only he got ample support from someone like Ileana, things would have looked pretty solid! Regardless of that, Rustom ends up being an Akshay Kumar film in all goodness.
It doesn’t try too hard to project itself as something that it’s not. The film with a very engaging backdrop sets out to grip us through its honestly stretched runtime of 2.5 hours and pretty much succeeds in doing so. Yes it falters, but the kind of popcorn entertainment it bargains with, you can easily overlook its imperfections and sit through it painlessly.
But wouldn’t Jolly LLB 2 be a better court room drama with Akshay in the lead? Let’s not jump the gun!