Much earlier, in my review of Prabhudheva’s maiden venture Wanted, which got Salman Khan back in the game and allowed him to do many more masala entertainers and South remakes, I had stated that I love masala entertainers. Trust me, there’s nothing better than a cocktail of genres defying your otherwise potent logic when you leave your overworked brains behind to enjoy a movie that should provide nothing but (in the language of the well-remembered Silk, played by Balan in The Dirty Picture) “entertainment, entertainment, aur entertainment.”
And that’s exactly why I haven’t really shoved Sajid Khan’s outspoken logic of his films working, because he knows exactly what he’s doing when he’s making films that don’t require logic. With Akshay Kumar’s last Housefull 2 raking in huge moolah after Desi Boyz having decently performed at the box-office, he’s obviously expected to keep his record consistent after many pitfalls in the last two years. And this is when Rowdy Rathore makes its entry in a safe zone. And why do I say that? Well, the IPL season is over, and so movies can safely release without any fear of focus deviation (though this season we have also had some back to back hits like Vicky Donor, Ishaqzaade and Housefull 2). So does RR manage to win the hearts of the audience like Wanted did?
Set in Mumbai and fictional Devgarh, the movie talks about Shiva, who’s a thief and has a weird fetish for women’s waists. He’s a manipulator and lives with a friend he regularly manipulates. He meets Paro, they dance for a while, and he keeps touching her waist (for some odd reason this gets annoying). From nowhere, a girl comes in the picture and mistakes him as her father. Then there’s a double role, a misunderstanding between lovers and other stuff. And you can predict the ending. I know the synopsis sounda pretty ironic to say the least, as the story offers nothing new, but honestly enough, the tight screenplay by Shiraz Ahmed was engaging enough to say the least, even though the story was beaten to death.
Director Prabhudheva’s execution of the material didn’t waver to give it a Hindi touch though; I still felt like I was watching a South masala film, and this was probably what really put me off. Comparing the execution to his last Wanted, this one was typically South and though Akshay Kumar was back in form, the whole ‘borrowed’ element was kinda spoiling the fun. Also with the first hour being as cheesy as the definition of the term cheesy can get, all through till the intermission point, I was wondering where was this going, until the second hour actually came by to break the monotony with Kumar’s traditional comic timing and action, all melded into one entertaining package.
Akshay Kumar is in full form here. After delivering a critically decent Patiala House and a commercially decent Desi Boyz, and starting this year with a bang in the form of Housefull 2, rest assured, this role is tailor made for him, and he gives it his best. Sonakshi Sinha proves here that she can act, but the annoyingly weird focus on her midriff was something she definitely deserved; of course, she should have gotten a role much better than what she was offered. Nasser is powerful, but that accent for a Bihari goon – that’s a fail. What on earth was Kareena Kapoor doing in that weird 10-second cameo? Others are decent.
Overall, the movie’s a perfect masala-entertainment package, with all the ingredients fitting in well to gel with the audience in India universally. But for a man who’s already impressed in his first outing in the Hindi film belt, this one’s slightly weaker. With the box-office opening and the thundering collections speaking for themselves, I don’t need to say a lot, but unlike Wanted, Dabangg or Agneepath’s revamp for that matter, this one lacks that X-Factor. Bhansali though can breathe a sigh of relief, as his second production can finally break even and give boost to his production house. A one-time watch only!