Continuing Akshay Kumar's impressive run as Bollywood's new age poster boy of patriotism, good virtues and faith, RUSTOM is in no way hum drum thanks to the grace and poise of Akshay Kumar as the dashing suave Naval Commander that saves this stylish, ambitious but tedious thriller inspired from the famous 1959 Mr Kawas Nanavati murder case.
A happy marriage gets polluted by a wealthy Casanova, a cheating partner, an honest naval officer and a loving husband who fires bullets into the chest of the Casanova, its circa 1959 - those black ambassadors, yellow fiats, long pipe cigars, radio, black telephones - Mama Mia its time for reverting cinema my dear but alas all is not clear.
Writer Vipul K Rawal like Neeraj Pandey's previous accomplished works - A WEDNESDAY, SPECIAL 26 repeat the same formula of having a protagonist who has taken law in his hand and justifying his act in the end.
Surprisingly, the K Nanavati case had all the material to turn it into a time bomb on screen which could have made a comment on marriages and relationships but unfortunately the writer misses this opportunity in this Tinu Suresh Desai (1920 LONDON previous) directed period thriller that thrills but in periods (phases).
RUSTOM would have been much better if the makers have had stuck to the basic plotline inspired from the 'real' incident but unlike Bollywood's previous inspirations from the said case - YEH RASTEY HAIN PYAR KE (Sunil Dutt, Leela Naidu, Rahman) and ACHANAK (Vinod Khanna) which more or less stuck to the basic plot, RUSTOM goes overboard and needlessly ambitious in adding that 'nationality' angle.
Giving a feeling that the release date was first decided and the script came running after to cash on Akshay Kumar's growing popularity as Bollywood's new age Manoj Kumar to yield maximum returns in this extended Independence day weekend?.
Anyways divulging more will make me guilty of doing a crime of becoming a spoiler, this period pot boiler shows Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) as a super dude-he is a decorated naval officer who shoots his wife's (Cynthia - Ileana D'Cruz) lover Vikram (Arjan Bajwa) and surrenders to police inspector Lobo (Pawan Malhotra) and in the courtroom within snap of a moment turns into a brilliant lawyer making Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangan (Sachin Khedekar) ashamed.
Though Akshay Kuamr fans will be awed and the theatres especially the single screen may burst with taalis and citis (claps and whistles), the thinking audience may wonder the need for the exercise to make Rustom Pavri so noble.
Ironically, the humour during the court room interrogations is more interesting like Jamnabai (Usha Nadkarni) pushed into prison when she interrogates the judge on adultery.
It's an out-n-out Akshay Kumar show in which the actor dominates right from the word go with his winning grace, poise and swagger as Bollywood's most dashing and suave Naval officer wearing his character perfectly and neatly as his uniforms and wins hands down.
Ileana D'Cruz is a disappointing example of bad casting. Arjan Bajwa is decent, Esha Gupta turns out to be unintentionally hilarious (the court scene with her in the witness box is shot from a surreal angle and it's a bad attempt of seduction). Kumud Mishra cannot be blamed for turning into a caricature in his role as the Parsi newspaper editor, though he does well. Pawan Malhotra as the police officer is competent as ever. Parmeet Sethi and Kanwaljeet Singh as senior officials are fine. Anang Desai as the judge has his moments. Usha Nadkarni is good.
Vijay Ghodke and Abdul Hamid's art direction is a hit-and-a-miss. While the cars, telephones, Parsi milieu are commendable. The colour tones and interiors of Rustom Pavri's house are off putting.
Vijay Ghodke and Abdul Hamid's editing is fine but the non linear pattern is no longer happening.
Tinu Suresh Desai's narration is stylish but turns tedious towards the end. Santosh Thundiyil's cinematography is glossy. Production values are rich. Music by Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly, Raghav Sachar and Arko Pravo Mukherjee is poor failing to make us sing along.
RUSTOM certainly has a style and with an explosive subject like this, a lot more was expected from Neeraj Pandey.
Ironically it's more an escapist lesson on how to be a good husband then a captivating substance as a film but the power of Akshay Kumar as Bollywood's most dashing and suave Naval officer makes this sail through resulting in a decent one time watch. Watch it for Akshay Kumar.