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Shiva (Akshay Kumar) is a small time conman in love with Paro (Sonakshi Sinha), a pretty girl whom he met at a wedding he wasn't invited to. Into this picture perfect world enters six year old Chinki who inexplicably believes Shiva to be her dad! And if this wasn't bad enough, Shiva also becomes the object of a series of life threatening attacks by a gang of deadly criminals who seem to know something he doesn't. While trying desperately to save his life and love, Shiva stumbles upon a deadly secret. A secret that will take him to a small town in Bihar; a town terrorized by a ruthless politician and the mafia he controls; a town whose inhabitants only hope for redemption is ... Shiva!Written by
Watch it for its second half like a Manmohan Desai masala film made in South.
A regular film-goer can recall several films from the recent past with a great first half and a not so happening second. And in most of the cases such films fail to make any major impact on the viewers as well as on the box office. But if a film goes the other way round then it has the most favourable chances to win over the audience.
Luckily Prabhudeva's second directorial venture in Bollywood, produced by UTV and Sanjay Leela Bhansali comes in the latter category of movies with a fairly good second half as compared to its first. Following the sole motive of entertaining the viewers (keeping aside the logics), the director is mostly successful in its aim due to many engaging sequences post intermission full of action. And that is what actually saves ROWDY RATHORE from going on to a negative path.
An almost exact remake of Telugu Hit VIKRAMARKUDU (2006), which was also remade in many other languages, RR strictly follows the path of its original without any new or major alterations made by Prabhudeva. He remains focused on the entertainment factor throughout but in the process makes an uneven film before and after the interval which drops at several places when it comes to emotional drama in the script.
To explain the experience of watching it in its two halves, just imagine sipping an above average soup before going for the main meal at your dinner table. So, the first half of RR is like an OK starter with three fine toppings of a fresh & ravishing Sonakshi Sinha, few comic sequences of Akshay and 3 enjoyable well choreographed songs which don't let you write off the film right away. It starts off with a calm first hour stressing more upon the romance and less on the basic plot. But then Prabhudeva comes up with an energetic 15 minutes just before the interval which pull everyone back into the film forcing them to expect something much better in its next hour.
Post intermission RR suddenly becomes an enjoyable ride with some well directed action sequences reminding you of the good old cinema of 70s which followed entertainment without any logic. In fact this better part of the film can easily be compared to a Manmohan Desai kind of attempt made in the South with fast paced sequences coming one after the other without giving you any time to think. For instance, the conman replaces the Inspector (Akshay in double role) without any hassles or questioning, the heroine follows him to the same small remote area as her parental town, the child simply accepts the second Akshay as her father without raising any doubts, there is no information given about her mother and the villains are easily beaten badly by a single man with his amazing power. But despite of all these glitches, the narration keeps you entertained with its funny one liners and well edited action scenes, not giving you anything to complain particularly in its second half. So if you love watching escapist kind of cinema, just for entertainment as earlier seen in Rohit Shetty's SINGHAM, then you would love Akshay returning to his action mood. Yet ROWDY RATHORE is not another WANTED delivered by Prabhudeva with a weaker first half.
Therefore as a director, I cannot comment upon Prabhudeva's ability since he has only made "Strict Remakes" in Bollywood till now. The dancing maestro very well knows how to keep the viewers engaged and entertained in his movies. But how he would handle the same entertainment quotient in his own original project remains doubtful. Nevertheless in RR he takes ample support from both the fine cinematography and an energetic background score to generate a universally likable impact till the end. Also the action showcased in the film further helps him in generating a positive final result in a big way.
Musically Sajid-Wajid have done a nice job but again they cannot take the whole credit here as the main track of the film "Chinta Ta Chita Chita" remains a true adaptation of its original Telugu song from VIKRAMARKUDU (2006). However both singer Mika and the Choreographers (Saroj Khan, Prabhudev & Bosco Martis) really deserves a special mention here, since the songs become hugely watchable just because of their great dancing steps complimenting the beats.
Akshay returning to his favourite action genre entertains the masses both as a conmen and a police officer. But undoubtedly, he makes a much better impact post interval in all those action and confrontations scenes. Still, RR may not be able to generate the same response for him as WANTED did for Salman (which was appreciated by both critics as well as masses). The pleasant package of the film is Sonakshi Sinha who looks ravishingly fresh & beautiful on the screen, more than her pictures circulating in the print media. She definitely has a strong screen presence but only requires a good author backed role to prove her acting talent. Nassar once again excels in his role of the main villain with a superb portrayal of the Bad Man. Mushtaq Khan provides few lighter moments in the second half and Yashpal Sharma impresses in his helpless character. Both Paresh Ganatra as Akshay's friend and Gurdeep Kohli as the lady inspector are fine but Gurdeep surely becomes a victim of step treatment given by the writers.
In all ROWDY RATHORE satisfies you mid-way with only a great & entertaining second half wherein Akshay performs in his full form as the action hero. But with less romance and more action thrown in the first half it could have been another WANTED for the director without any doubts. So for now, it may get a mixed response with a particular section of viewers (who love watching Manmohan Desai kind of cinema) appreciating it a lot and another slamming it down for its logics taken for a ride.
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