Film: Rowdy Rathore
Director: Prabhu Deva
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Paresh Ganatra
Watching a Bollywood masala flick in a single screen theatre has a charm of its own. The whistles, catcalls, hooting and applause accompany and enhance the grand entries onscreen. The effect at Matunga’s Star City for Rowdy Rathore is the same as it is when watching a Rajinikanth movie at Aurora.
Prabhu Deva (returns as director after Wanted) brings to the table the look and feel of a South Indian film, while setting it in Bihar.
Shiva (Akshay Kumar) is a smalltime conman in Mumbai, assisted by S2 (Paresh Ganatra). A BMC bench, hospital beds, postbox, railway clocks, donation box, cab door and a security entry are embellishments in their modest home in a Malad locality.
Meanwhile, in Bihar’s Devgarh town, a gang of local goons is readying to kill Assistant Superintendant of Police Vikram Rathore (Akshay again), Shiva’s doppelganger. Shiva hates kids and when he finds himself stuck with a little girl Chinky is when the real ‘story’ unfolds.
Staying true to his South India roots, Prabhu Deva ropes in Tamil actor Vijay and shakes a leg with him in Chin ta ta ta. Kareena Kapoor also makes a cameo in the same song. After meandering aimlessly for most of the first half, Rowdy Rathore gathers steam just before the interval and the second half makes for entertaining viewing. Not because the plot is so cool, or Akshay is so funny. They aren’t.
Rowdy Rathore has some very well-executed action scenes. There’s no doubting that the fun in these remakes of South films is directly proportional to how many and for long a hero can beat up rogues. To be rolling on the floor laughing would be asking for too much. A lot of the comedy seems forced and Akshay tends to ham too. In terms of acting, two years on and Sonakshi’s Dabangg hangover is still on. She does nothing much except for some deadly pelvic thrusts in the song Dhadang Dhadang. Hers is more of an ornamental role, while Akshay steals the show. The one-liners aren’t supremely impressive, but ASP Rathore’s screen presence is. Sanjay Sankla’s editing screams for attention, so do Akshay’s multi-coloured pants.
A lot in Rowdy Rathore defies general logic, but who goes to watch these movies for smart repartee anyway. Shiraz Ahmed’s dialogue is passable, nothing much too memorable to take home. Even the music isn’t worth raving about. After a while, the Chin ta ta induces the some effect the Salman’sTeao teao teao ringtone did in Bodyguard. Every single song in Rowdy Rathore only adds to the runtime. Watching Prabhu Deva making his moves is like therapy, sadly it comes too early on in the film.
Akshay’s me-too is fun while it lasts. Watch it for him, lest he feels bad for jumping on the South remake bandwagon too late to get any attention.