Verdict: An engaging film backed by an exceptional performance by the lead actor.
With Airlift, Akshay Kumar proved that he still has a lot to offer besides those migraine-inducing comedy films that he has featured in. Forgive him for Housefull 3 as he makes a strong impact in Rustom, in which he plays the role of a respected Naval officer. Easily the best part of the film, his restrained performance as a Rustom Pavri, keeps you engaged even when the script fails to do so.
The two female leads try hard to distract you with their facial expressions, and over-the-top acting, but besides providing a few laughs (unintentionally), they add no value to the movie. The casting director makes up for this blunder by getting Kumud Mishra (last seen as Anushka Sharma‘s father in Sultan), Sachin Khedekar, Pavan Malhotra, and Usha Nadkarni to play the supporting cast. They are as good as the lead actor, in the limited screen time they get.
Rustom is backed by Neeraj Pandey, the man behind Akshay Kumar’s two best films in the recent past – Special 26 and Baby. However, in the first half itself, it’s evident that Pandey has just funded this project, as you don’t associate him with sloppy direction, poor editing, and unnecessary song-and-dance sequences. Director Tinu Suresh Desai’s previous movie was 1920 London, and that should explain a lot. But when you have a superstar playing the lead in your film that’s backed by a big studio, your expectations are bound to be high. The first half kills all the expectations you may have had after watching the crisply-edited trailer. However, the courtroom drama post interval salvages the film.
The plot is based on the K. M. Nanavati case, in which the Naval officer was accused of murdering his wife’s lover (Arjan Bajwa plays the part in the film). Knowing that the whole story is just Google search away, the writers introduce subplots to keep things interesting. Until the last 20 minutes of the film, you’re as clueless as the jury members, who can’t figure out whether the accused is guilty or not.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Just two words – Akshay Kumar. You don’t get to see the actor play such roles every day and his performance is what makes Rustom worth a watch. The movie doesn’t deliver what the trailer promised, but that shouldn’t stop you from catching it at the cinemas during this long weekend.