Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan, Amy Jackson, Jas Arora, Nikitin Dheer, Asif Basra, Seema Biswas, Paresh Ganatra
Sports comedy drama
A classic underdog sports’ tale usually can’t go wrong; though predictable they somehow manage to touch a chord with the audiences. However, Freaky Ali, despite adhering to this formula fails to hit a winning stroke.
With the extremely talented actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing the protagonist Ali — a chaddi (undergarment) seller-turned-extortionist-turned-golf champion; Freaky Ali, from its trailer, certainly boasted of a sense of appeal, and a chance to see the ace actor once again in top form, but the film falls short of all those expectations.
Written and directed by Sohail Khan, Freaky Ali opens with Ali selling undergarments and failing miserably at it. Within minutes into the film it is established that Ali is sacked from his job, is raised by a foster Hindu mother (Seema Biswas), is an exceptionally brilliant cricketer and has now turned into an extortionist to earn quick bucks thanks to his friend—Maksood (Arbaaz Khan), who works for the comical Danger Bhai (Nikitin Dheer).
It is during one of his visits to extort money from a rich man that Ali stumbles upon his true calling — Golf. His talent is spotted by Kishan Lal aka Old Monk (Asif Basra), who convinces him to leave the kala dhanda (extortion business) and pursue golf, as Ali, according to old monk, has the potential of becoming the Sachin of golf.
But there is one problem, golf is the sport reserved for the higher echelons of the society, not for chaddi sellers like Ali and this fact is hammered so many times into the audiences’ psyche by the extremely arrogant reigning golf champion – Vikram Rathore (Jas Arora) - that it becomes annoying.
Nevertheless, our underdog is determined and soon earns a name for himself in the golfing circuit by winning several tournaments. But he won’t be a true winner unless he beats the egoistic Vikram in the final game. And how Ali does that despite the many odds like Danger Bhai who doesn’t want him to win, because his boss – Bade Bhai has betted money on Ali’s failure (guess what> match-fixing happens in golf too (haha)) and a broken hand forms the crux of the second half of the film.
And yes, then there is the pretty Amy Jackson, who is mesmerized by Ali’s golfing skills, from being Vikram’s arm candy promptly becomes Ali’s muse.
Amidst the backdrop of several other colorful characters, whose presence in the film you fail to understand, this occasionally funny film sluggishly moves forward.
The major problem with Freaky Ali is its weak screenplay. It’s lacking in real plot and though it has some funny moments, the humor is dated and forced, unless, of course, you are still a fan of the ‘shut-up and pants down’ jokes. Just like too many cooks spoil the broth, here too many unnecessary characters take the punch away even from some good wisecracks. The film does have some entertaining sequences but fails to build the energy of a sports drama. The protagonist has no characterization to him and Freaky Ali fails to explore Ali’s relationship with Arbaaz, Amy or even his caddy played by Asif Basra, which ultimately keeps the film on a shallow level, making it absolutely difficult to connect with any of its characters.
Nawazuddin delivers an effective performance despite the weak character sketch, the man has the talent and it shines through every frame he is in. Arbaaz is good but again the various shades of his characters are hardly explored in depth. Amy Jackson is pretty and holds herself well alongside Nawazuddin. Seema Biswas is good and the rest of the cast including Jas Arora, Nikitin Dheer and others deliver an average performance.
On the whole, Freaky Ali has nothing freaky about it that could catch your fancy and it falls flat despite the presence of a powerhouse performer like Nawazuddin Siddiqui.