Rowdy Rathore – * * 1/2- Fun While it Lasts

Bollywood has suddenly woken up to the power of mass hysteria, and of the movies across the vindhyas.  And like all the bandwagon marathons in the world, it is good as long as it lasts, the trendsetter being the director’s own earlier venture Wanted.

Though Rowdy is bigger in scale, and well, more rowdy. You already know what to expect, and what not to look for – logic, a coherent storyline, sense, and subtlety. The story is about the 2 Akshay kumars (Shiva, and Vikram Rathore) , one a petty thief and another an honest cop, and a lawless village near Patna where the local don Baapji maintains his regime of terror, with the help of a demon of a brother by his aide. Typical 80s. Yeah, Retro is in vogue these days, but the director probably forgot the difference between retro and regressive. Many parts of the movie seem stuck in the 80s, very dated.

Though like most of the action potboilers these days, the movie doesn’t expect much from you, and hence works as a decent timepass. The first half meanders in some pointless sequences, mainly involving a still-stuck-in-dabangg-mode Sonakshi Sinha and the uninspiring love track. But some time before the interval, the movie gains momentum and generally holds it till the end. The second half is engaging, though has a very strong Singham hangover. The action sequences undoubtedly are the biggest strength of the movie, with Akshay back in his Khiladi avatar, and he passes the muster there, if not excels. His characteristic brand of slapstick and deadpan humour is intact, and manages to get a few laughs, and he is as ferocious in the action scenes as in the 90s. Sonakshi Sinha however, needs to choose her roles more wisely, rather than just being their fir baring her midriff. The 3 item girls manage to gather more attention (and whistles) than her. The girl playing the daughter is probably the cutest on screen kid ever, and the antagonists though impressive, look straight from a South movie set, rather than from the badlands of Bihar. But then, this holds for the entire movie- a very strong South Indian flavor trying to pass on as Bihari. The song and dance sequences are fun.

Actually, some movies are just custom made to set the cash registers ringing. Purists be damned, art and cinema flag bearers may flinch in disgust, but at the end, if movies are just about having a good time, with or without your brains, this is it.

Just one word, did we see Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s name as the producer! Jesus, now that one was one sensible and aesthetic filmmaker we had!

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