Let’s get one thing straight: I’m aware of the fact that the movie under review has probably raked in a few hundred million rupees so far and is raking in more and more dough even as you read this.
I am also not blind to the fact that the so-called ‘entertainment-hungry’ crowds are lapping it up like starved cats with a bowl of cream.
In light of this, making an effort to explain just how ridiculous this film really is seems slightly pointless.
The essential problem with Rowdy Rathore is that it wears its insanely silly, blockbuster-recipe masala-ness with much pride. That would be a great thing if the silliness was fun to sit through and if the packaging was clever.
Sadly, It is not fun or clever, simply because the film aims to take you back to the cinema of the 80s — possibly the worst era for Bollywood, and a time best forgotten.
This is the sort of film that became outdated in the early 90s, in which a visibly plump heroine resurfaces once every twenty minutes only to get her belly pinched by the hero, a sequence that appears about ten times in this film and is cue for a song to begin out of nowhere.
The story revolves around two Akshay Kumars (cue the ’80s double-role fixation) with a difference in the shapes of their moustaches serving as the only distinction between them.
Somewhere in this tale of identity confusion, is a villain who looks like a South Indian Tarzan and what is possibly the dumbest Indian heroine of the year so far.
This latter role is played by Sonakshi Sinha, who seems content being part of blockbuster films which don’t demand any acting skills.
Akshay Kumar does reasonably well with both the characters and the brief moments of intermittent relief offered by the film work entirely due to the little bit of star charisma and timing that Kumar can still boast off.
However, even that much is taken away from the audience midway through the film once Kumar is made to take care of a little girl who considers him her father.
During the climax, his goofy grin does attempt to make you forget the massive gaffes of the film itself, but this is a role he can do in his sleep. In fact, he probably did.
Overall, Rowdy Rathore is as silly as it gets, can hardly be called a film and certainly does not pass off as an ‘entertainer’.
Yet, if you dig the Housefull movies, love the Salman Khan brand of entertainers and find fun in the blatantly offensive, you might just enjoy this one too. The rest of us cinema-lovers, however, deserve better.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 17th, 2012.
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