Films based on real lives and real people have become very popular in Bollywood these days. This week's release is the Akshay Kumar starrer RUSTOM, a film that has been inspired by a 'sensational case of a Naval officer that led to the end of the jury system in India'. Will RUSTOM 'sail' its way through at the Box-Office or will it sink without a trace… let's analyse.
First things first. RUSTOM is essentially a crime thriller. While the film does not have a mystery element/ whodunit angle in the storyline, it becomes slightly predictable as it progresses. The fact also remains that, there have been two films that have been earlier made on the same premise. These films were the Sunil Dutt-Leela Naidu starrer YEH RASTEY HAIN PYAAR KE (1963) and the ?Vinod Khanna?-Farida Jalal? starrer ACHANAK (1973). The storyline of RUSTOM has been subjected to a contemporary treatment by Vipul K. Rawal, who is in charge of the film's screenplay, story and dialogues. When a film has Akshay Kumar as its hero, it's a given that the screenplay has to be essentially gripping which keeps the audiences on the 'edge-of-the-seat'. This element however is missing in RUSTOM. The film's screenplay not just slows down the film's pace, but also is very average. Had the screenplay been engrossing and captivating, it would have been a different story altogether. The film's narrative oscillates between 'convincing' and 'not-so-very-convincing'. Even though RUSTOM has been largely inspired by the famous case of KM Nanavati, the film does have its moments that make it furthermore enticing. Those who do not know anything about the (Nanavati) case, will surely take a liking for RUSTOM.
RUSTOM happens to be Tinu Suresh Desai's second film as a director (his first being 1920 LONDON). Tinu Suresh Desai has done a decent job as a director. While the film is set up in the first half, the second half is filled with court room drama galore. Even though there are moments when the film starts lagging, Tinu Suresh Desai's manages to put the film back on track towards the end. The flip side (read 'shortcomings') of his direction can be seen in the courtroom drama scenes. Generally, court room scenes are filled with high voltage drama and power packed dialogues, something that is totally missing in RUSTOM. On the other hand, it's the 'situational humour' that connects with the audience.
The film's music (Arko, Raghav Sachar, Ankit Tiwari and Jeet Gannguli) is pretty average. The film's cinematography (Santosh Thundiyil) is decent, if not superlative. The film's editing by Shree Narayan Singh is average.
On the whole, RUSTOM comes across as a well crafted crime thriller that meets expectations. It has its share of captivating moments as well as the loose ones. At the Box-Office, competition in the form of MOHENJO DARO will limit its potential. However, the holiday period post the weekend and positive word of mouth will prove beneficial for the movie.