It's well known that dancing star-turned-director Prabhu Dheva transported the popular South-styled stunts and Southern zest back in Bollywood with WANTED. Above and beyond attaining huge box-office records and giving Salman Khan's career the much-desired triumph, the motion picture ignited a trend of recreating movies from South in Bollywood.
ROWDY RATHORE, a remake of the Telugu smash hit VIKRAMARKUDU , marks the return of Akshay Kumar in the action genre after a hiatus. Directed by the supremely talented and super-successful S.S. Rajamouli and starring Ravi Teja, the movie was a gigantic victory at the turnstiles. It was later remade in Tamil as SIRUTHAI, in Kannada as VEERA MADAKARI and in Bengali as BIKRAM SINGHA: THE LION IS BACK. The Telugu film, VIKRAMARKUDU, was also dubbed in Hindi as PRATIGHAT - A REVENGE.
So is ROWDY RATHORE a replica of VIKRAMARKUDU? Like WANTED, director Prabhu Dheva scrounges the essence, retains the distinctive design of the quintessence, but alters it slightly. But what doesn't change is the intent of making a full-blown masala entertainer. Yes, ROWDY RATHORE is vintage masala fare that has a larger-than-life hero, who triumphs against all odds.
Final word? Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment thy name is ROWDY RATHORE.
Shiva [Akshay Kumar] is a small-time con man who falls in love with Priya [Sonakshi Sinha]. Into this picture perfect world enters six-year-old Neha, who inexplicably believes Shiva to be her dad. And if this wasn't bad enough, Shiva also becomes the object of a series of life threatening attacks by a gang of deadly criminals who seem to know something he doesn't. While trying desperately to save his life and love, Shiva stumbles upon a deadly secret. A secret that will take him to a small town in Bihar; a town terrorized by a ruthless person [Nassar].
Vivid colors, rustic background and conventional dance routines... ROWDY RATHORE follows the existing trend to create more homespun, home-flavored desi movies rather than pursue the money-spinning NRI souk that has, until recently, been the order of the day. While the central plot is pretty commonplace, the screenplay packs a solid punch, with several clap-trap situations interlaced in the narrative, though it slips into the knowable zone at times. Sure, there are a few limp moments, but a swift narrative outweighs this inadequacy. Besides, stability is maintained in both halves of the film. While the first hour of the film is replete with entertainment, the second half gets into the action mode [the flashback portions are outstanding], but the entertainment values are maintained at the same level. This one is the emblematic formula movie with distinct essentials that Indian masses yearn for.
Prabhu Dheva's spirited execution of the subject forms another USP. His handling of the dramatic sequences deserves brownie points. Also, he proves with ROWDY RATHORE that WANTED was no mere stroke of luck or just a flash in the pan. Santosh Thundiyil's cinematography is first-rate. Music composers Sajid-Wajid deliver yet another charming album. 'Chinta Ta Ta' is the pick of the lot and the presence of leading actors Vijay and Kareena Kapoor and Prabhu Dheva himself gives it an edge, while 'Dhadang Dhang Dhang' and 'Aa Re Pritam Pyaare' are lively, full-of-zest tracks as well. The background [Sandeep Chowta] score is electrifying. Dialogue [Shiraz Ahmed] are excellent. The witty and sober lines are written with equivalent flamboyance. The stunts are, of course, the hallmark of the enterprise. Note the fight at the interval point, during the flashback portions and also towards the climax. The masses are sure to go into raptures!
Akshay is cast in a double role -- one as a cop and the second one as a petty thief -- and both the roles are custom-made for the endearing actor. As Shiva, he entertains the masses, whereas as Vikram Rathod, he aims at serious movie lovers. The movie bestows Akshay with abundant opportunity to flaunt each shade of his skill. Sonakshi plays a lovable, charming yet impish character very well. You will see the voluptuous side of Sonakshi in this film and the character she portrays has tremendous mass appeal. Also, the desi girl image suits her impeccably.
Nassar is superb as the antagonist. Ditto for the actor who essays the part of his brother. He's venomous to the hilt! Mushtaq Khan provides a few laughs. Paresh Ganatra, as Akshay's buddy, is truly funny. Yashpal Sharma is top notch. Gurdeep Kohli is first-rate. Anant Jog and Darshan Jariwala are adequate. The child artist portraying the part of Akshay's daughter is really cute.
On the whole, ROWDY RATHORE is designed to magnetize the masses in hordes. The accurate blend of action, emotions, drama and humor, besides a superlative performance by Akshay Kumar, makes this motion picture an immensely pleasurable and delightful movie watching experience. If you savor typical masaledaar fares, this one should be on your have-to-watch listing for certain. Dhamaal entertainer!