14 August 2016 | sowvendra
Good one-time watch
The Nanavati case of the 1950s seems to be hot on the literary and film scene in India right now. Just a few weeks ago I read R. Raj Rao's novel, Lady Lolita's Lovel, a clever and entertaining juxtaposition of the Nanavati case and D. H. Lawrence's novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover. Rustom, inspired by the Nanavati case, is entertaining to say the least. Just like Akshay Kumar's previous films Holiday, Baby and Airlift. And because Akshay Kumar seems to have mastered the formula of creating fast-paced thrillers with quick lessons in patriotism and nationalism, even Rustom, apparently inspired by an incident of adultery, too has been injected with liberal doses of patriotism.
Most things work for Rustom. Though the period setting does not really impress, the writing does. The courtroom scene, especially, has been written quite well. There is humour in it, and a tongue-in-cheek feeling.
Akshay Kumar, despite being the lead star, is not the best thing about Rustom. It is the supporting cast. Be it Pavan Malhotra as the investigating police officer, Kumud Mishra as the newspaper editor who turns the public opinion in Rustom's favour, Usha Nadkarni as the Pavris' domestic help, Sachin Khedekar as the prosecution lawyer, or Anang Desai as the judge➖the supporting actors have been given opportunities and they have delivered.
The weakest thing about Rustom is, perhaps, its female lead: Ileana D'Cruz. Maybe the cue given to her was "look sad", so she has a crestfallen appearance throughout the film. Esha Gupta is better, though quite over the top. With a Zeenat Aman-ish appearance, Esha Gupta brings a certain femme-fatale-ish glamour to her character➖her fashion style and poise, breathing fire in anger at the murder of her brother (played by Arjan Bajwa) at the hands of Rustom Pavri (played by Akshay Kumar), smoking a cigarette through a long holder while being given a back massage by a young man, reacting furiously in the courtroom, vowing to get Rustom Pavri hanged, etc.
Not perfect - in fact, far from being perfect - Rustom is a good one-time watch.