Details: In Cinemas 15 June 2012, India,
Synopsis: Rowdy (Akshay Kumar) is a small-time thief and crook who is crazy about acts of daredevilry. One day, he gets the shock of his life when a young girl turns up and claims him to be her father. After recovering from the stunning blow, he slowly starts to find out the truth behind the claim. It turns out that the girl is the daughter of IPS Police officer Vikram Singh Rathore (also Akshay Kumar). Vikram is the long-lost twin of Rowdy. After the two meet, in an excitement shock, Vikram Rathore is confronted by underworld-gangsters who then murder him right infront of Rowdy, and therefore Rowdy has to fill into Vikram's position in the police force as-well as his home, and find out who his murderers' were and why they killed him.
A fun Bollywood film with the lot.
The plot mixes chases, dance numbers, tragedy and sentiment in about equal portions
An instant hit in India on release just a week ago, Rowdy Rathore is the first time major star Aksay Kumar has appeared in an action pic in seven years. In it, he plays dual roles. One character is Vikram, a habitually unsmiling tough cop, who uses feet and fists of fury to strike fear and loathing in the hearts of bad guys. Kumar also plays Shiva, a thief. He is… well, a little goofy. He smiles a lot, sings and dances, and is irredeemably cuddly in his roguishness.
Directed by Prabhu Deva, Rowdy Rathore is actually a remake of Vikramarkudu (which I haven’t seen). The plot mixes chases, dance numbers, tragedy and sentiment in about equal portions. It’s been described as a ‘masala’ movie (meaning I assume that’s it got a bit of all Bollywood genre pics in it). Anyway, it’s fun.
What’s interesting about the film is its mood swings. At first, knowing really nothing about it, I thought the film was going to be a wild comedy, based on its opening passages. Prabhu Deva piles on the pratfalls, the jokes, and the comic switches as we watch Shiva ply his trade, delivered to the screen in a barrage of directorial techniques. Deva uses fast motion, slow motion, fast tracks, sweeping camera moves, and lots of digital effects to get his comedy rolling. And there’s another trick here used in the sound design which I’ve seen quite a bit in recent Bollywood films where, when a significant bit of drama occurs, there’s a sharp blast of music or sound to punctuate its significance. I saw this film in a public session and, for what it’s worth, the crowd loved this stuff.
The film also makes much use of ‘replays’, but in a really inventive way. I particularly liked a bit of playful business where Shiva’s character sort of takes over the ‘direction’ of the film; it’s a variation on the comic ‘double-take’. Shiva will see a bit of action and, not quite certain he’s taken it all in, will put a finger to his head and twist it. This gesture is accompanied by a ‘click’ (like a tape machine/DVD player re-winding perhaps?). All the on-screen action freezes, rewinds, and when Shiva twists his finger again (playback machine sound again!), we watch the same bit of action but from a slightly different angle. It’s a clever idea; Shiva might seem a little silly, but he doesn’t miss much, and as the stakes hit critical mass in the film’s second half, we can trust him to use his wits to defeat the bad guys.
Abbreviating the plot for the sake of a short review is tough since the film is so full of characters, incidents and subplots, and misunderstandings, it’s a virtual maze. But basically it hinges on a case of mistaken identity. Chinki, the little daughter of tough cop Vikram Rathore, believes Shiva is her father, since they appear to be identical. Vikram earned the wrath of crime boss Baapji (Nassar), who lords it over a small town, and we learn that the tough cop is in all likelihood dead… or is he?
The second half of the film, by comparison to the film’s bubbly first half, turns grim. In a flashback, we see just how bad Baapji’s bad guys actually are: rapists, murderers and thieves.
The climax has Shiva impersonating Vikram. (Just how this came to be is a bit of a plot spoiler which I’m not going to reveal even if countless other reviewers have.) The very funny and charming Sonakshi Sinha, by the way, plays Shiva’s romantic interest. But the love story seems much less important than the mayhem.
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