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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009


    Default 'Rowdy Rathore' is a mindless film

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    Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha
    Director: Prabhu Dheva

    Rowdy Rathore is the kind of movie that's made by people with a cash register in place of their brain. Because no legitimate reason, other than financial gain, can justify why this movie was made – it has no story or plot whatsoever, the characters are entirely forgettable, and it's so long and loud and silly that the laughs dry up early on. That the film has such impressive pedigree – it's produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, directed by Prabhudeva, and stars Akshay Kumar – is both baffling and shameful.

    The premise is a familiar one: a small-time crook, Shiva (Akshay Kumar), feels obliged to step into the shoes of his doppelganger, a lookalike cop named Vikram Rathore, when the fearless officer dies trying to rescue a village from its despotic gang-lord.
    Remade from a super-hit Telugu film, but with no attempt to tailor its aesthetics or its sensibility for a new audience, Rowdy Rathore is packed with brutal action scenes shot in slo-mo, low-brow humor, and regressive drama. The problem isn't that the film is merely mindless, but that it revels in making you squirm uncomfortably. In one scene, after his wife has been kidnapped and raped by the villain's son, a helpless police officer accompanied by his little kids begs for her release, only to watch the rapist tell his father that he isn't done with the woman yet, and will return her to her husband in two days.
    The heroine, and Shiva's love interest, a buxom Sonakshi Sinha, seems to exist in this film only to have her midriff repeatedly pinched by Akshay Kumar, and he refers to her on at least three occasions as "mera maal".
    At 2 hours and 20 minutes, Rowdy Rathore is excruciatingly long. The one-liners have little impact and make no sense, and the action has a been-there-seen-that feel to it. A few jokes work because Akshay Kumar does goofy well, but this film doesn't have half the energy of Prabhudeva's last directorial outing in Hindi, the Salman Khan starrer Wanted.
    Aside from a few moments of inspired lunacy from the film's leading man – who can do this part in his sleep (and probably did!) – Rowdy Rathore comes off as nothing more than a cheap attempt to rob moviegoers of their money! I'd have bet Sanjay Leela Bhansali has no idea what he's produced, except that the film's outtakes reveal that he did in fact visit the set, and hence more than likely knew exactly what film he was making!
    I'm going with a generous one out of five for Rowdy Rathore. Surely there's a better way to spend a lazy weekend!

    Rating: 1 / 5
    ...being a human...

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009


    Default Review Round-Up: Why So Rowdy Mr. Rathore?

    What would you do if a six-year-old girl walked up to your doorstep and claimed you were her long lost father? That’s pretty much the theme of this week’s Bollywood release, “Rowdy Rathore” starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha.

    Chaos and confusion ensue as the father in question, Shiva, happens to have a lookalike: a fearless cop called Vikram Singh Rathore.

    The film, in which Mr. Kumar plays both Shiva and Rathore, was hotly anticipated as it was expected to mark the star’s return to action cinema. Some critics have hailed it as an action-packed entertainer, but a few others have dismissed it as loud and inconclusive. Here’s a roundup of what critics had to say:

    “Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment thy name is Rowdy Rathore,” film critic Taran Adarsh wrote on Bollywood Hungama.

    Labeling the movie as a “full-blown masala entertainer,” Mr. Adarsh praised its “swift narrative,” “spirited execution,” “charming” score and “witty” dialogues.

    “The masses are sure to go into raptures!” he wrote, adding that the stunts were “the hallmark of the enterprise.”

    Impressed with the star cast’s “superlative” performances, Mr. Adarsh gave the movie four stars out of five. “On the whole, Rowdy Rathore is designed to magnetize the masses in hordes… If you savor typical masaledaar fares, this one should be on your have-to-watch listing for certain. Dhamaal entertainer!” he concluded.

    A review on Sahara’s One India Entertainment website said the movie is a “must watch.” It adds that an in-form Mr. Kumar provides raw action while Ms. Sinha plays a “lovable, charming, yet impish character very well.”

    Though the review noted that the film came to “illogical” conclusions, it argued that its “desi packaging,” zestful score and action packed sequences overshadowed its narrative flaws. Rowdy Rathore “will surely impress you with [Mr. Kumar’s] desi punches, colorful songs and lots of romance,” the review read, adding that it “has the potential to set the cash registers ringing.”

    But not everyone was impressed.

    Shomini Sen of Zee News found the film “too rowdy.”

    “Yes, the action is there. In huge dollops, but somehow lacks the punch,” she wrote, adding the movie as “a typical south Indian pot boiler.”

    Ms. Sen thought the narrative was slow paced and criticized it for taking “too long to establish the main plot and too little time to establish the love story.” “Most of the scenes lack logic. The violence is gory and in some places cringe-worthy.”

    While the critic thought Ms. Sinha’s performance “fails to make any sort of mark,” she was impressed with Mr. Kumar’s flamboyant role. “Watch it for Akshay if you must. But don’t expect his usual antics, it is clearly not there,” she concluded.

    NDTV’s film critic Saibal Chatterjee found the “shrill” action film “riddled with an array of loud, lame and specious contrivances.”

    “Rowdy Rathore employs narrative elements that hark back to a bygone era of Bollywood potboilers: two men who look like each other without any apparent reason, a bunch of baddies that snarl and snap at the slightest provocation… Cops [who] shiver in front of [Mr. Kumar] and his lecherous men.”

    Slamming the film’s only romantic track as a “mere window-dressing” to stage romance between the lead pair, Mr. Chatterjee went on to call the first half of the film “insignificant.”

    “Go for it if you must, but don’t expect the earth from it,” the reviewer concluded, giving it just two stars out of five.
    ...being a human...

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009


    Default Rowdy Rathore By Taran Adarsh

    It's well known that dancing star-turned-director Prabhu Dheva transported the popular South-styled stunts and Southern zest back in Bollywood with WANTED. Above and beyond attaining huge box-office records and giving Salman Khan's career the much-desired triumph, the motion picture ignited a trend of recreating movies from South in Bollywood.

    ROWDY RATHORE, a remake of the Telugu smash hit VIKRAMARKUDU [2006], marks the return of Akshay Kumar in the action genre after a hiatus. Directed by the supremely talented and super-successful S.S. Rajamouli and starring Ravi Teja, the movie was a gigantic victory at the turnstiles. It was later remade in Tamil as SIRUTHAI, in Kannada as VEERA MADAKARI and in Bengali as BIKRAM SINGHA: THE LION IS BACK. The Telugu film, VIKRAMARKUDU, was also dubbed in Hindi as PRATIGHAT - A REVENGE.

    So is ROWDY RATHORE a replica of VIKRAMARKUDU? Like WANTED, director Prabhu Dheva scrounges the essence, retains the distinctive design of the quintessence, but alters it slightly. But what doesn't change is the intent of making a full-blown masala entertainer. Yes, ROWDY RATHORE is vintage masala fare that has a larger-than-life hero, who triumphs against all odds.

    Final word? Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment thy name is ROWDY RATHORE.

    Shiva [Akshay Kumar] is a small-time con man who falls in love with Priya [Sonakshi Sinha]. Into this picture perfect world enters six-year-old Neha, who inexplicably believes Shiva to be her dad. And if this wasn't bad enough, Shiva also becomes the object of a series of life threatening attacks by a gang of deadly criminals who seem to know something he doesn't. While trying desperately to save his life and love, Shiva stumbles upon a deadly secret. A secret that will take him to a small town in Bihar; a town terrorized by a ruthless person [Nassar].

    Vivid colors, rustic background and conventional dance routines... ROWDY RATHORE follows the existing trend to create more homespun, home-flavored desi movies rather than pursue the money-spinning NRI souk that has, until recently, been the order of the day. While the central plot is pretty commonplace, the screenplay packs a solid punch, with several clap-trap situations interlaced in the narrative, though it slips into the knowable zone at times. Sure, there are a few limp moments, but a swift narrative outweighs this inadequacy. Besides, stability is maintained in both halves of the film. While the first hour of the film is replete with entertainment, the second half gets into the action mode [the flashback portions are outstanding], but the entertainment values are maintained at the same level. This one is the emblematic formula movie with distinct essentials that Indian masses yearn for.

    Prabhu Dheva's spirited execution of the subject forms another USP. His handling of the dramatic sequences deserves brownie points. Also, he proves with ROWDY RATHORE that WANTED was no mere stroke of luck or just a flash in the pan. Santosh Thundiyil's cinematography is first-rate. Music composers Sajid-Wajid deliver yet another charming album. 'Chinta Ta Ta' is the pick of the lot and the presence of leading actors Vijay and Kareena Kapoor and Prabhu Dheva himself gives it an edge, while 'Dhadang Dhang Dhang' and 'Aa Re Pritam Pyaare' are lively, full-of-zest tracks as well. The background [Sandeep Chowta] score is electrifying. Dialogue [Shiraz Ahmed] are excellent. The witty and sober lines are written with equivalent flamboyance. The stunts are, of course, the hallmark of the enterprise. Note the fight at the interval point, during the flashback portions and also towards the climax. The masses are sure to go into raptures!

    Akshay is cast in a double role -- one as a cop and the second one as a petty thief -- and both the roles are custom-made for the endearing actor. As Shiva, he entertains the masses, whereas as Vikram Rathod, he aims at serious movie lovers. The movie bestows Akshay with abundant opportunity to flaunt each shade of his skill. Sonakshi plays a lovable, charming yet impish character very well. You will see the voluptuous side of Sonakshi in this film and the character she portrays has tremendous mass appeal. Also, the desi girl image suits her impeccably.

    Nassar is superb as the antagonist. Ditto for the actor who essays the part of his brother. He's venomous to the hilt! Mushtaq Khan provides a few laughs. Paresh Ganatra, as Akshay's buddy, is truly funny. Yashpal Sharma is top notch. Gurdeep Kohli is first-rate. Anant Jog and Darshan Jariwala are adequate. The child artist portraying the part of Akshay's daughter is really cute.

    On the whole, ROWDY RATHORE is designed to magnetize the masses in hordes. The accurate blend of action, emotions, drama and humor, besides a superlative performance by Akshay Kumar, makes this motion picture an immensely pleasurable and delightful movie watching experience. If you savor typical masaledaar fares, this one should be on your have-to-watch listing for certain. Dhamaal entertainer!

    ...being a human...



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