Bollywood icon Akshay Kumar goes the doppelganger route in the action comedy that starts out funny before going a seriously violent route that still holds up well.
Shiva is a con-artist in Mumbai who steals from unsuspecting victims along with his best friend 2G. However, when he meets local rich girl Paro, he decides to pull off one last robbery before giving up the game for good in the name of love. However, when he steals a trunk as part of his heist, he learns a little girl is inside the trunk. The girl, Chinki, thinks Shiva is her father, to which he is shocked at the thought because he never imagined a little girl was in the trunk as well as thinking she is his daughter. However, all is not what it seems.
Chinki’s real father is one of the most feared and respected cops in the land, Vikram Singh Rathore. Apparently shot down months earlier, it is believed that Rathore is dead, much to the delight of Baapji, a local crime lord who cannot stand Rathore. However, when Rathore’s grave is revealed to have been emptied, in a case of mistaken identity, Shiva is mistaken for Rathore but offers to pass himself as the feared cop to scare Baapji. However, when Shiva must face Baapji and his brother Titla, revelations will change this one-time thief’s fate once and for all.
This is quite an interesting Bollywood film as it starts out as a comedy of sorts in the first half of the film. It is all in part to the acting style of Bollywood icon Akshay Kumar, who has proven his chops in his two and half decades as an action star, a dramatic actor, and even a comic actor. He proves his versatility here in the first half of the film as conman Shiva, who poses as a cop to capture 2G, played with comedic spunk by Paresh Ganatra, who is actually his best friend. After one of their con jobs, a musical number (typical Bollywood stereotype) breaks out in which Karisma Kapoor makes a cameo appearance.
Instead of a three act film, we have a two-half film here as the film looks like it plays off as a romantic comedy about the thief who gives up his life of petty crime in the name of love. Sonakshi Sinha plays the love interest Paro, a rich girl who learns of Shiva’s life and shuns him for it, not falling for his charm. However, it is when he decides to give up his life of crime for Paro and the appearance of Chinki that really sets him on the straight and narrow that brings a bit of comic relief expected in another music number for the former and the typical change from man who can’t stand kids to having a heart subgenres that come into play here.
The second half then delves into nearly full-blown action mode and it starts with a flashback of Shiva learning the identity of Chinki’s father. Kumar now plays the role of the feared and respected cop Rathore, who vows to put an end to the corruption and crime of crime lord Baapji. This is especially noticeable when he is responsible for the death of the crime lord’s arrogant son, who decides that because of who his father is, he can get away with anything he wants. When that’s not the case, Rathore finds himself nearly killed by the monstrous Titla, played well by Supreeth Reddy. This leads to Shiva having to pass himself as Rathore, with a bit of comic relief to show that this is still an action-comedy, only to find himself in a rut when he faces off against Baapji’s men only to have the real Rathore show up and basically sacrifice himself to help Shiva and even have the one-time thief learn his true destiny.
Half comedy and half violent action, Rowdy Rathore is truly fun, even with the level of violence it conveys. Akshay Kumar brings both his action style and comic wit to the dual roles in this film and if you like the Bollywood icon, this is definitely one of his best films.
WFG RATING: A-
UTV Motion Pictures presents a SLB Films Pvt. Ltd. production. Director: Prabhudeva. Producers: Ronnie Screwvala and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Writer: Shiraz Ahmed; story by K.V. Vijayendra Prasad. Cinematography: Santosh Thundiiayil. Editing: Sanjay Sankla.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Nasser, Ananya Nayak, Supreeth Reddy, Paresh Ganatra, Jayant Gadekar, Raj Arjun, Yashpal Sharma, Gurdeep Kohli, Shireesh Sharma, Mushtaq Khan.