Film: ‘Sooryavanshi’ (Running in Theatres)
Duration: 145 minutes
Director: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh, Jaaved Jaaferi, Gulshan Grover, Abhimanyu Singh, Jackie Shroff, Sikandar Kher, Nikitin Dheer, Vivan Bhatena and Kumud Mishra
IANS Rating: ***1/2
With the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai as the starting point, Rohit Shetty’s ‘Sooryavanshi’ traces the terrorist activities of a militant group whose chief, Omar Hafeez (Jackie Shroff), remote-controls their actions from Pakistan.
How DCP Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad, along with his team, prevent Hafeez’s sons and the sleeper cells based across India, who are galvanized into action to destroy India, particularly Mumbai, forms the crux of this film that extends to two hours and a half.
While the narrative is strongly reminiscent of Rohit Shetty’s earlier films in terms of flavour and feel, this one is unadulterated entertainment with action, drama, and even a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. There are trite moments when the unity of India and its secular fabric are forced down one’s throat, courtesy of DCP Sooryavanshi’s sermons.
The film, expectedly, belongs to Akshay Kumar, who with his commanding screen presence, credible action, and charisma, hooks the viewers as Sooryavanshi. He may not be offering anything new by way of histrionics, but there is comfort in his familiar style and his action scenes are a treat to watch.
The scene where he is chasing Sikander Kher and lifts him onto a flying helicopter from a speeding motorboat is superbly choreographed.
Akshay Kumar is ably supported by an ensemble cast of actors which includes Kumud Mishra as Bilal Ahmed, Vivan Bhatena as Vivan and Gulshan Grover as Kadar Usmani, all of whom perform well, enhancing the quality of the film. Abhimanyu Singh as Riaaz Hafeez, the key leader of the mission and Jackie Shroff’s son, delivers a strong performance. Katrina Kaif as Sooryanshi’s wife, Dr Ria, merely adds to the glamour quotient.
Sleek action and daring acts with cars overturning and structures being blown off characterize the film, in Rohit Shetty’s inimitable style. Of course, one must not stop to analyse or seek rationale, else disappointment sets in.
The dialogues are powerful, hard-hitting, and seem real in the given context, and at times even succeed in arousing a patriotic fervour.
The background score, with ‘Sooryavanshi’ pounding your eardrums when Akshay Kumar is on screen, is a bit overdone, but the rest of the music, especially ‘Tip tip barsa paani’ from ‘Mohra’, is a mellifluous experience.
Other policemen from Shetty’s cinematic universe — Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Sangram Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh) — also make an appearance. The duo is actively involved in the action, albeit a bit mindless and overextended, in the last 15 minutes of the film. Ajay Devgn is his usual self, although Ranveer Singh’s forced goofiness is a tad annoying.
In its entirety, ‘Sooryavanshi’ is a thorough entertainer and Rohit Shetty’s indelible stamp is etched in every scene. If you love hardcore action drama, this one is for you.