Vampire Owl: I have always loved those Akshay Kumar movies, not just now, but also during the early times of Khiladi.
Vampire Bat: Everyone loves Khiladi, or at least those earlier ones in the franchise.
Vampire Owl: Then, Baby, Brothers and Airlift in the last two years – it is too good.
Vampire Bat: I have heard people say that Rustom is even bigger than the rest.
Vampire Owl: What? Are you sure that you are sure about it?
Vampire Bat: You mean to ask that I am twice sure about the same?
Vampire Owl: Are you saying it because Akshay Kumar won the National Film Award for Best Actor for this particular movie?
Vampire Bat: No, the quality of this movie was already established.
Vampire Owl: Then, I would watch this one this midnight.
Vampire Bat: I don’t see why not.
[Gets three cups of special tea with Tiger biscuits].
What is the movie about? :: During the 1950s, an Indian Navy Officer named Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar), fell in love with, and is happily married to the beautiful young lady, Cynthia Pavri (Ileana D’Cruz). But it doesn’t go that smoothly as he discovers her affair with his friend and a very rich and influential playboy, Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa), while returning from his deputation in the ship. Their servant Jamnabai (Usha Nadkarni) tells him that she hasn’t been home since yesterday, and has no idea when she will return. An angry and frustrated Rustom finds Vikram’s intense love letters to his wife, and also finds them together at Vikram’s place, much to his dismay. When Cynthia finally arrives home, Vikram shows her the letters and doesn’t let her explain. Instead, he storms out of the place, gets a pistol from the ship’s arms and ammunition, and makes a trunk call to Defense Secretary K. M. Bakshi (Kanwaljit Singh).
So, what happens next? :: Bhanabhai (Deepak Gheewala), Vikram’s servant hears three gunshots and goes to see him at his room, only to find his master dead in a pool of blood, with Rustom standing on the side with a gun. Rustom who walks out of there, surrenders at the local police station, to Inspector Vincent Lobo (Pawan Malhotra) who gets charge of the investigation of this particular murder. Vikram’s sister Priti Makhija (Esha Gupta) who is a very influential woman, with even bigger contacts than her brother, wants to have death sentence for Rustom, for which she is ready to do anything in her power. The biggest of punishments is the only thing that can make her any satisfaction, as she promises to make the man who killed her only brother, suffer the worst fate. Erich Billimoria (Kumud Mishra), the editor-in-chief of the local newspaper decides to help Rustom as he is part of the community, by continously bringing sympathetic news about him through his writings.
And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: The community itself tries to help him by bringing a reputed lawyer for him, but he decides to fight his case all by himself. He is even offered better facilities by the navy, which he also refuses. Meanwhile, his senior officer at the Navy, Rear Admiral Prashant Kamat (Parmeet Sethi) sends two people to find certain documents at his home, which they fail to do, as nothing like that is present there. Enraged by this, Rustom brings other plans for his fellow officers, and at the same time, pleads not guilty when in front of the Judge Patel (Anang Desai). Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangani (Sachin Khedekar) is confident that he would win the case despite the newspaper siding with Rustom which leads to the public being with him. His confidence only increases with Rustom fighting the case by himself. But is there something more in Rustom’s mind which he doesn’t know about? Is he good enough to win the case without any help?
The defence of Rustom :: The movie’s biggest asset, without doubt is Akshay Kumar, and there is no doubt about how good he is – he has gone through three thrilling flicks, Baby, Brothers and Airlift, his performance in the first one being as good as his work here. Ileana D’Cruz is also very good, and we see everything working in favour of this movie. The supporting cast does the job very well, including Pawan Malhotra and Kumud Mishra who deserves the special mention. The thrills are present all the time, and we have twists coming through. How things take the u-turn more than one is worth watching again and again. We also have some nice humour in between. The songs are also to be loved, and heard again. There is also a dose of patriotism in this one. And this one is smart, and so, you will need the brain to work to get through this movie, and not the heart which is reserved for your favourite celebrities. Well, Rustom is the kind of movies that could replace those unrealistic movies from Bollywood very often, and it is the main reason why this entertaining ride which goes through a realistic side is more important than any of those overrated pathetic movies that get rather too popular.
The claws of flaw :: Rustom has a rather slow first half as it seems to be peacefully moving towards the interval, and we keep wondering where this tale that focuses on adultery will lead, but it is all to change later, as you would witness. One might also feel that there is a little too much righteousness added to the main character, and fictionalised events only help in making the protagonist even a better person, as the newspapers in the movie did too. Maybe, this movie could have gone deeper to explore the rather darker areas, and might have been able to deal with the emotional side in a more personal way too. The movie is also too much focused on one character, when there could have been bigger portraits of more interesting characters, who are around him. One also wonders why the hero is always in his uniform – is it how things work when a military officer is arrested? Well, we don’t know much about the same, and so can’t comment on it. Maybe a tale on the real incident without fiction will also come to the big screen some day, but in the end, how can we know the exact truth?
How it finishes :: Rustom is the kind of movie which gets unexpectedly strong, and when you least expect it to happen, the movie is firing from all cylinders. Inspired by a court case in 1959 about Naval Commander Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja, the alleged lover of his wife Sylvia – known as K. M. Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra, and with a highly fictionalised account of the incidents and what surrounds the same, Rustom shows how well things can work out with some good creativity, and a fine cast to go with the same. The incident is also known to have inspired the 1973 movie Achanak as well as the 1963 flick Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke. But now, we have Rustom to remember related to incident rather than any other. Akshay Kumar also received the National Film Award for Best Actor at the 64th National Film Awards which were announced on the seventh of April this year – there is so much good talked about this movie, and you need to watch it at some point.
Release date: 12th August 2016
Running time: 148 minutes
Directed by: Tinu Suresh Desai
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, Arjan Bajwa, Pavan Malhotra, Kumud Mishra, Usha Nadkarni, Sachin Khedekar, Anang Desai, Parmeet Sethi, Indraneel Bhattacharya, Kanwaljit Singh, Brijendra Kala, Gireesh Sahadev, Abhay Kulkarni, Varun Verma, Sammanika Singh, Deepak Gheewala, Ishteyak Khan, Naman Jain, Subhashis Chakraborty, Vipul K. Rawal, Suresh Sippy, Rajesh S. Khatri, Samir Shah, Haresh Khatri, Nagraj Manjule, Mohit Satyanand
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.