There are at least four instances during the two and a half hour screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s co-produced ROWDY RATHORE wherein the director Prabhu Deva (known more for his dancing and choreographic skills) gives the viewer hints on how his second directorial attempt in Bollywood (the first was the Salman starrer WANTED) needs to be watched. The first instance is when soon after Akshay Kumar (who plays a double-role) in his avatar as a petty thief comes across the lead actress Sonakshi Sinha (her second Bollywood movie after her hugely successful debut in DABANGG) and so smitten is he that with a reverse twist of his finger pointed at his temple, he reverses the immediate past sequence of events to relive that joy. There are two more such hints, one played again by Akshay and the other played out by Sonakshi when she is also smitten by him. If that wasn’t clear enough to tell audiences that they must rewind the timeline to a past period in Bollywood to enjoy the movie, Prabhu Deva has in a few scenes displayed walls with posters of Deewar and Aradhana stuck on them to make sure that the viewers understand the real purpose and some amateur viewer does not pop a silly critical comment on the non-existence of mobile phones then!!
If you accept that ROWDY RATHORE needs to be viewed and compared with the Bollywood hits of Shammi Kapoor (comical gestures), Jeetendra (jumping and engineered dance moves) and Dharmendra (one-man villain demolishing squad), you will still find the violence gory and the colours extremely garish. But if you can put the blame of these aberrations on the Telugu original, accept the contrived and cliched story as a given for the masala movies of those years and watch it as though you were in the seventies, you will enjoy the rollicking fun ride. And for that reason, ROWDY RATHORE will turn out to be a super duper hit, particularly amongst audiences in the semi-urban and rural areas.
Akshay Kumar relishes his comic and action sequences; Sonakshi does her bit by ensuring a twelve inch gap between the bottom of her blouse and the top of the saree; Nasser and his bunch of villains look suitably unrefined and loud and Prabhu Deva uses dance based choreography in the fight sequences. Sajid-Wajid come up with at least one tune which will become the signature tune for a number of mobiles. Sonakshi has her birthday coming up tomorrow (June 2nd) and there can be no better birthday gift for Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter than to be greeted with the news of this box-office success. After all, the only “realistic” part of the movie is when she airs the dialogue: I am from Patna!
RATING: 3 out of 5
June 1, 2012