Akshay Kumar, Ileana D'Cruz, Esha Gupta
Neeraj Pandey, Aruna Bhatia, Nitin Keni
Tinu Suresh Desai
Vipul K Rawal
3 shots that shocked the nation. Patriot? Traitor? Murderer? Inspired by true incidents… Well, the trailer and all the brouhaha over Rustom, which is inspired from the infamous Nanavati case, indeed held many promises.
However, Rustom which comes from the makers of Special 26 and Baby — two pretty good films of recent times — fails to deliver on all the high expectations it had built.
Part crime thriller and part courtroom saga, Rustom starts with style and assurance, but soon descends into a mass of weary long shots, prolonged slow paced scenes, some caricaturish characters and a thin plot, which is kind of predictable.
Rustom is a fictionalized version of the 1959 scandalous case of K. M. Nanavati, starring Akshay Kumar in the titular role. Rustom Pavri is a commander with the Indian Navy. He is a decorated, honest officer who is deeply in love with his pretty wife Cynthia (Ileana). On his early return from the ship, Rustom finds Cynthia missing at home and is informed that she has not returned home since the previous night. Rustom figures out that his wife is having a clandestine affair with the rich womanizer – Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa). Enraged, Rustom goes to his Naval base collects a pistol, shoots his wife’s paramour with 3 bullets and surrenders for his crime.
While it seems a straightforward enough case, the twist in the tale comes when Rustom pleads not guilty in court and thus begins the second half of the film.
As the courtroom fest slogs its weary way home, we are introduced to many more characters some of whom simply elicit laughter with the way they are projected, especially Esha Gupta’s character – Preeti. Right from her stance to her unnecessarily low-cuts outfit to her constantly puffing on a cigarette, instead of a bitchy sister who is all out there to take revenge for her brother’s death, Esha’s character turns out to be nothing but comical. The quirky tabloid editor (Kumud Mishra), quintessential maid (Usha) and the prosecuting lawyer (Sachin Khedkar) bring some genuine comic relief.
Directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and written by Vipul K Rawal, the film has a weak script and many flaws. Tinu has overlooked many loopholes not only in the script but even simple details such as Ileana’s make-up, which is patchy and in some scenes completely off. As mentioned earlier some of the shot-taking and scenes just makes you restless with its length.
The show stealer, and the reason why Rustom is bearable is Akshay Kumar in the uniform. He delivers yet another memorable performance. Right from perfecting the mannerisms of a naval officer, to a doting husband to a vulnerable victim of infidelity, a patriot and a murder – Akshay undoubtedly is the USP of the film. Ileana looks pretty and does her part well. Pawan Malhotra as an investigating officer is impressive. Arjan Bajwa is decent and so is the rest of the supporting cast.
To sum it up Rustom is based on an interesting plot, but turns out to be an ordinary average film with some decent performances.