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Rowdy Rathore

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Rowdy Rathore

By Joginder Tuteja, 6 Aug 2012

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Nasser, Supreeth Reddy
Director: Prabhu Dheva
Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ronnie Screwvala
Music: Sajid-Wajid
Lyrics: Sameer, Faiz Anwar, Shiraz Ahmed, Sajid


Ok, so let the fact be stated here. There isn't anything which is truly rowdy in the film. In fact the film's very setting (UP-Bihar) doesn't really warrant anyone to be addressed as 'rowdy'; after all the very term is more prevalent in South India. Hence it is obvious that since the film is the remake of a South film and has a South Indian director at the helm of affairs, the film has been titled so. In fact there are a couple of points where Sonakshi does try to emphasize on Akshay being a rowdy but then well, we will let that go.

What can be definitely embraced though is that the film does full justice to the catchy title here. There may not be any rowdy-ism at display here since even most of the action has an element of light-heartedness to it. However from the perspective of giving audience some non-stop entertainment, Rowdy Rathore earns very good marks for itself.

It is the entertainment quotient that was definitely an endeavour of producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali when it came to Rowdy Rathore. This means he was willing to give up the sensitivity of Guzaarish or Black and was more than happy to embrace the world of 80s/90s when 'masala' like this ruled. Of course there is a segment of media which is hell bent of comparing Rowdy Rathore with a Dabangg or a Singham. However let the fact be stated that 'masala' entertainment like this was never out of vogue, it was just sidelined at the advent of the 21st century.

So while films like 'Thandedaar' (Sanjay Dutt), 'Gopi Kishen' (Suniel Shetty) and 'Jai-Kishen' (Akshay Kumar), to name a few, followed a similar formula, there were countless films with actors like Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty and Anil Kapoor in lead that were cast in the same mould. No wonder, the setting is similar as well in Rowdy Rathore which follows the basic rules of action masala affairs to the T. There is a villain, his henchmen, a couple of muscle men, a corrupt system and then a hero in the middle of it all. Not to mention the staple diet of the era gone by which was centred on 'gaon waalo, jaao thakur ka anaaj loot lo'!

In this endeavour of the makers, even Akshay Kumar goes all out as he leaves behind the relatively serious characterisation from the world of Desi Boyz and Patiala House and just goes all out to step back into the world of Aflatoon and the likes. In fact I do wonder that it wouldn't have been a bad idea to rechristen the film's title as 'Khiladi Rathore' because that would have truly justified the essence of both characters.

So while the happy-go-lucky-small-time-thief Akshay dominates the scene from start to finish, his cop counterpart 'Rathore' could be tagged as an extended guest appearance. Yes, he is definitely integral to the film's plot and in fact also delivers a crackling interval point. However one wants to go back to the 'rowdy' at play because he is the one who entertains for a better part of the film. This means right from the start where he gets into his 'haath ki safai' mood (truly laugh inducing) to his wooing of Patna-ki-gori Sonakshi to the entire second half where he lets himself lose on the villains (headed by Nasser), he is fantastic.

The only place where you just want the film to get into a fast forward mode? The middle of the first half when the film tries to take an emotional journey. Yes, the bonding between the girl child and Akshay was important but then it is a little too stretched what with the song 'Chandaniya' playing far too many times. Also, since there was so much fun before that and you are waiting for the action to unfold all over again with villains returning to the scene, you are not really patient enough with a relatively stagnating narrative.

Moreover a couple of other things that make the film a little too unbelievable are a well-to-do Sonakshi falling in love with a thief and then the entire plot setting behind 'rowdy' Akshay being the chosen one as a foster father. It leaves a lot to be explained. To add to that, Yashpal Sharma is unintentionally funny when he gets into the flashback mode. He tries to do a Vinod Khanna from Wanted but isn't successful.

Thankfully, you don't ponder much over such blemishes because Prabhudheva keeps the pace of the film fast enough to make you quickly move on to the next scene. There is hardly any time given to the audience to think about what really transpired since immediately there is an item sequence in the offering. Moreover Akshay's superbly convincing act, especially as the 'rowdy', is the mainstay of the film and he is especially tremendous in the first and last 30 minutes of the film. Ditto for Sonakshi who is loveable in the limited screen time that she gets, though she hardly has a scene or two in the second half.

Add to this Sajid-Wajid compositions that come at just the right time (except for 'Tera Ishq Bada Teekha') and with good enough pace (especially 'Dhadang Dhang', 'Pritam Pyaare') that only help in accentuating the narrative further. Not to mention the action sequences which are well choreographed and boast of sheer raw appeal with bone crunching and breaking skulls being the order of the day.


The film's duration is 143 minutes


- Making of the film

It is actually surprising to see that for a movie which has action as its core, the 'making' segment is aimed at being funny and humorous, what with Akshay, Sonakshi and Prabhudheva coming together on a common platform and sharing various anecdotes around what went behind the scene. There are wisecracks being made even as Akshay in particular continues to pull Sonakshi's leg.

Yes, there are quite a few making shots as well, especially the action sequences, which make this segment pass by comfortably. However one does miss Sanjay Leela Bhansali coming in front of the camera and talking about what went in his mind before he consented to work on a film like this after Guzaarish and Saawariya. Now that indeed would have made for a good watch, unlike Shabinaa Khan's brief commentary which is pretty copybook.


- 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
- Subtitles - English
- Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo


Rs. 299/=


It is the vintage quotient that ensures that Rowdy Rathore doesn't have a single dull moment, especially in its second half, when the narrative just goes ahead in full pace. So much so that you don't even realize a little over an hour passing by before the frame freezes and it's time for the lead pair (Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha) to wave goodbye. With a first half that had ample comic and naughty moments coupled with the second half which was as action packed (though with it's fun quotient intact) as it gets, this Prabhudheva film has its eye on the masses without really worrying about the purists.
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