The uproar that began with Dabangg continues to rock the box office with Rowdy Rathore. In the former, we saw Salman Khan playing a cop who is ever-ready to beat the wits out of the criminals but turns into mush when he sees his sari-clad love interest (played by Sonakhshi Sinha). People loved the romance, the music and the exaggerated fight sequences, which made it the blockbuster it is now considered. On the other hand in Rowdy Rathore, it’s the king of action Akshay Kumar himself, with a similar pointed moustache to Khan’s, falling for Sinha but with better stunts.
The story revolves around Vikram Rathore, a brave cop whose aim in life is to fight the evil gang leader Nasir. Rathore is killed but his lookalike Shiva takes his place later to fight with all the goons of the town.
Although the music of the film has not done extraordinarily well, the film itself has received an amazing response at the box office and this could be, according to the film gurus, the first blockbuster of the season. The action-thriller is actually a remake of a Telugu movie Vikramarkudu and is directed by Prabhu Deva and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansaali (the last person you’d think of producing such a film in Bollywood).
This is not the first film Prabhu Deva, who is usually known for his dance moves and choreography, has directed. Earlier he directed Salman Khan-starrer hit movie Wanted, which was also inspired by the exaggerated action sequences and dance moves in South Indian cinema.
One would think that the critics will not give a high rating to a film which is so far off from the kind of art cinema that usually gets critical acclaim. However, surprisingly Rowdy has managed to impress the critics and receive good reviews from most of them. Times of India summarises the characters of the film in an intersting fashion. “Akshay Kumar is charming as Rowdy and commanding as Rathore. He also pulls off the action convincingly. But there is much more to the actor’s potential that the script fails to tap. Sonakshi Sinha plays the quintessential heroine whose biggest task is to put her midriff on display.”
One can’t help but feel that Sinha is not getting the kind of space a young, talented star should be getting. The fact that she is the only young actress who hasn’t been casted with her male contemporaries is worth pondering over. Both Khan and Kumar are at least 10 to 15 years older than Sinha and are powerhouses in themselves, which is why they easily managed to overshadow the female lead in both her films. In the future, Sinha should work with someone with equal screen presence so that she doesn’t get overshadowed.
The movie is expected to join the big films of this year such as Agneepath and Housefull 2 by entering the one billion league. However, it’s too early to say anything and only time will tell whether a film like Rowdy Rathore has a similar effect on the box office as Dabangg and Bodyguard. If it manages to beat any one of them then the newly discovered money maker of Bollywood, Salman Khan, has a competitor who is definitely more skilled if not equally buffed up.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2012.
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