As the tagline goes, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is the story of an army personnel for whom duty and patriotism is the key motto of life.
Virat Bakshi (Akshay Kumar) is a Captain in D.I.A, a wing of the Indian Army. He comes to Mumbai to enjoy his leave with his family and go on a bride-hunt. But destiny has something else in store for him. His short Mumbai visit soon turns into a full-fledged mission to save the city from the terrors of a ‘sleeper cell’ headed by Farhad Daruwala and Zakir Hussain. Whether Capt. Virat is able to save the city? Or is the ‘sleeper cell’ able to accomplish their plans? All this mixed with drama, action and romance is what Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is all about.
Akshay Kumar‘s smart, yet rough and tough look has always worked wonders. As a Captain/Special Agent from the Indian Army, he synced perfectly with the character. Sonakshi Sinha had limited screen space in this flick, with nothing much to contribute. The bubbly actress definitely looked cute but the costume designer could have done a better job for her. The actress, however, needs to raise the standard of the roles she portrays on the silver screen. Sumeet Raghavan of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai fame was a sheer delight to watch. He played along with his character, shining through his scenes. Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty has introduced a new talent, Farhad Daruwala. His menacing role as the ‘sleeper cell’ leader was delivered with grace. The newbie delivers a promise to perform better with prominent roles. Ace actor Zakir Hussain was seen in this almost 3-hour long flick for hardly 3 minutes. His existence remains an unanswered question for the audience. Our beloved Govinda aka Chi Chi made a special appearance in the film. His presence added the charismatic charm to his role, but was totally out of place. Rest of the cast was just above average.
After a hiatus of almost 6 years, director A R Murugadoss offered two remakes to Bollywood. Jai Ho (earlier this year) and Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty follows the critically and commercially-acclaimed Ghajini (2008). All three are a remake of much popular South Indian counterparts. Ghajini was a remake of a Tamil film of the same name. While Jai Ho was the Hindi version of Telugu flick, Stalin. Holiday is a frame-to-frame copy of 2012 Tamil movie Thuppakki.
Though not as thrilling as Ghajini, Holiday was fun to watch in bits and pieces. The intellectual proceedings between the hero and the antagonist is quite absorbing. The action sequences will keep you at the edge-of-your-seats. But there are several elements in the movie that may be a let-down. Firstly, the length of the movie could have been cut short avoiding unwanted scenes and shots. The storyline and several scenes are quite unbelievable. An Army officer gets involved in a mission, while he is on leave. He goes on a hurting, amputating and killing terrorists spree, without getting noticed even once. And the weirdest scene of the lot, the hero knuckle cracks his right arm and the broken arm is back in shape, all by itself.
Nonetheless, one mustn’t forget that Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is meant to be a pure masala Bollywood entertainer. This film is definitely not meant for those who use their mind and try finding logic behind what unfolds on the big screen. Statutory Warning: Leave brains and logic at home before heading to the theatre to watch Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty.
The technical aspects apart from the action sequences were just above average, leaving nothing memorable for the audience to take back with them. The music is composed by Pritam. Apart from the song ‘Tu Hi Toh‘, rest two tracks are not even worth humming.
Why should you watch this film?
If you are a 3A fan – Akshay, Action and Adventure, then this is a recommended watch for you. Rest all, please take a pass on this Bollywood movie. Yet another reason why you must watch Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, is the beautiful message with which the movie ends. Dedicated to all the Army personnel and their families, the movie salutes every person serving in the Defence forces keeping the nation safe and secure.