Thoughts on ROWDY RATHORE, DEPARTMENT, BLOOD MONEY
ROWDY RATHORE: We’ve seen Aamir ace it in GHAJINI, Salman get the crowds pouring with WANTED, DABANNG, BODYGUARD and Ajay roaring in SINGHAM, it was only a matter of time before Akshay jumped on the Southerly resurrected masala bandwagon, though he’s been on the more cautious side getting in on this wave maybe due to a bad run in the 90’s with films like DAAVA, TARAZU, LAHU KE DO RANG etc. However with Prabhu-Devaa handling the affairs after WANTED, ROWDY RATHORE turns out to not only be an outright winner, but the best masala addition to date since GHAJINI with remains the most authentic. ROWDY RATHORE works for two reasons, firstly, it manages to successfully recreate the magic and aura of yesteryear “double role” films (the one where neither of the look-alikes are related so), and secondly because Akshay Kumar is in absolute top form playing both the roles. The pace is slicker than Devaas last film WANTED and the action is absolutely top-notch with Akshay getting his hands dirty with some vintage, good-old fashioned masala action which is pretty much what a lot of his core fans have been waiting for. He plays both parts with absolute flair and I couldn’t help but wonder what a DON remake within this world would’ve looked like. The film at its best of times has glimpses of a Bachchanesque mould and parts of the film even managed to evoke a SHOLAY homage in flashes. Sonakshi Sinha sizzles yet again after DABANNG and shares fantastic chemistry with Akshay. Nasser is a scene-stealer in what has so far been Prakash Raj territory so far in most of the remakes from WANTED, DABANNG to SINGHAM. His showdowns with Akshay are a riot in the film. The songs are racy and the action is completely in sync with the mood of the film and its star. This is the film TASHAN should’ve been for Akshay Kumar. After a 100 CR Grosser in HOUSEFULL, ROWDY RATHORE well on its way to hitting that figure, one expect Akshay will strike a hattrick if ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI 2 hits the bulls-eye
DEPARTMENT: A RGV film in the crime and criminality genre is always awaited. With a cast boasting of the Big B and Dutt, DEPARTMENT looked more like an untold tale in the SARKAR series. However DEPARTMENT is a much slower paced film which operates (contrary to its trailers) more like a Tarantinoish-noir film than a hardcore action film- majority of the film is heavily dialogue driven with a colorful cast of Rana Daggubatti, Vijay Raaz and Abhimanyu Singh . While the content is a rehash of previous RGV films and doesn’t provide anything new, the character of Big B is both towering and magnetic, as Sarjerao Gaikwad, a gangster-turned politician who reminds one of a much more flamboyant version of Subhash Nagre (more Nicholson in vein than Pacino by any means) coupled with some rather interesting camera work and some solid action sequences ensures this one watch, though sadly, both Dutt and Rana could’ve been a lot better here. DEPARTMENT has its fair share of moments for fans of RGVs work and the Big B.
BLOOD MONEY: The Bhatts launch another protege director with Vishal Mahadkar who makes his debut with BLOOD MONEY which was earlier titled KALYUG 2. The film is a combination of Bhatts own films like NAAM and JANNAT as well as a dash of the Hollywood Hit BLOOD DIAMOND. Despite best efforts from the director, the entire film has a Deja-Vu feeling throughout though both Kunal Khemu (as the aspiring young entrance into the corporate world) and Manish Chaudhary ( as Khemus mentor ) rise above the script to leave their mark. The film isn’t a bad one by any means, it’s just not a very original one.