Plot line :-
Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) a reputed soldier of higher rank in the Indian Navy returns home after a long duty off shore and finds out about his wife Cynthia’s (Ileana d’Cruz) affair with his friend Vikram (Arjan Bajwa). Devastated and infuriated he issues a gun from the navy armoury, goes to meet Vikram and shoots him three times. He surrenders to the police soon after the murder. In an open and shut case where Rustom is clearly guilty and should be convicted, certain events which involves the Indian Navy prompts him to plead NOT GUILTY in the court.
Then follows a courtroom drama which unveils the case in expected forms which will decide the fate of Rustom.
Positive points :-
- A strong storyline with Akshay Kumar in it is enough to pull the audiences to the theatres.
- Music of the movie is pretty good though the songs haven’t been used thoroughly in the movie which I feel is a good move as it wont distract the audiences from the story.
- The movie is intriguing !!! The audiences is kept hooked to the seats throughout the movie. What else do you need in a murder mystery !!
Negative points :-
- There is no performance in the movie that is outstanding. (Although almost every actor does a decent job. Kumud Mishra however does a good job in his comic stint.)
- The courtroom drama is not appealing and the comic portions in such a serious courtroom drama is rather disturbing (though some people may find it as a respite from the ‘not so impressive’ courtroom proceedings).
- Esha Gupta’s acting.
- The weakness in the prosecutor’s (Sachin Khedkar) fight. It seemed as if the writers had put no efforts in making the prosecutor look challenging. Rustom seemed to have the case in his hand from the very beginning.
- Several obvious loopholes in the movies such as What was Cynthia doing for over a night with Vikram if she wanted to break her relationship with him, Why didn’t the judge dismiss the case in Rustom’s favour when he found that the prosecutor was framing the evidences and the witnesses, etc.
- The Nanavati Case (on which the story is loosely based on) is more appealing that the storyline on Rustom.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities :-
Tinu Desai does a fine job with the direction. He manages to make the courtroom drama look good even though it has been botched up by the script. He has done a good homeworking in convincing the audience of the late 1950’s backdrop of the storyline. The scuffle between Rustom and Vikram is however a weak point in his direction and it could have been more convincing such that the audience is convinced about the ‘towel not slipping theory’.
The script is fine in the beginning but the untimed comedies and the immature courtroom drama would let you down. The character of Rustom has been highly glorified which howver isn’t new in Indian Cinema. On the brighter side the story takes good twists and turns and is engaging. The writers however failed to show how obvious it is for a naval officer’s wife to get into adultery provided the circumstances. The writers have focused more on Vikram’s womanizing attitude rather than Cynthia’s plight which made her to cheat her husband (although in neither case adultery is justified). Cynthia has rather been portrayed as a weak lady and is cleared of her adultery by the writers.
In case of technicalities the special effects could have been better. For instance the airplane in the scene in which Vincent Lobo (Pawan Malhotra) goes to Delhi is clearly fake and unconvincing. The editing and the cinematography are good and add to the positivity of the movie.
Almost all of the actors give a decent performance and have done justice to their characters except Esha Gupta. Akshay Kumar doesn’t do anything new from his previous serious roles though it’s commendable that he neither underacted nor overacted in any of the scenes. Ileana seems to be improving with every new film in her bag. She is good in the emotional scenes and is convincing as Cynthia. Arjan Bajwa does a decent job in his brief stint. Esha Gupta is irritating in both her looks and her act.
Other supporting actors like Parmeet Sethi, Sachin Khedkar, Anang Desai, Pawan Malhotra, Usha Nadkarni and Kanwaljit Singh do justice to their characters. Kumud Mishra is probably the only one whose act can be claimed to be above a decent performance. He impresses with his brief comic stunt and it seems he might turn into one of the greatest actors of the present time.
Final Verdict :-
Rustom is good due to its intriguing pace in spite of its obvious fallacies. I would recommend it as a decent one time watch although Movie Freaks won’t find anything memorable in it.
RATING : 2.5/5