Director: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh
Honestly, I was really excited to watch Sooryavanshi on the big screen, around strangers in a hall almost eight months since Mumbai Saga (the last Hindi film to be released in Mumbai). We know the template of Rohit Shetty remains the same. Cars somersault, guns blaze, cops sail through the air, there are either terrorist or gunda and a few other bad men (‘Bad man’ Gulshan Grover in the case of Sooryavanshi) who disguise as godmen. And the filmmaker has never shied away from stating that he makes films to entertain the audience. But this time around, the filmmaker’s latest family-friendly piece of entertainment was a bit underwhelming.
Sooryavanshi is an addition to the long list of Akshay Kumar’s deshbhakti movies. This time the actor dons a khaki-vardi as he plays the titular character of Veer Sooryavanshi. His smashing entry certainly attracts some whistles and cheering as one can’t ignore the fact that he looks dapper at 53.
Just like Shetty’s previous cop drama Simmba, even this action saga is narrated by Ajay Devgn, who reminds us of the several terrors attacks that the city of Mumbai has encountered since the 1993 serial blasts to the 26/11 terror attack. The story in film unfolds as the biggest attack is yet to happen in the city, as some sleeper cells from a terrorist organisation from the padosi mulk (Pakistan) have been activated and it is found that a lot of explosives are left over from 1993 serial attacks. Oddly, Kumar has tackled a similar concept in his previous outing, Holiday: A Solider Is Never Off Duty.
Kumar is a part of anti-terrorist unit for 20 years. His rage to fight terrorism is stoked first by the death of his parents in the 1993 bomb blast and secondly due the several terrorist attacks that have happened in the country. In between meting out off-the-books punishment, Sooryavanshi gets time to romance Katrina Kaif (Ria) who is a doctor by profession.
It’s clear what a director like Shetty - with an impeccable box-office track-record - is trying to do with each successive film: up the ante. More action, more explosions, more bang for the buck. The filmmaker makes his intentions clear and the film has all the ingredients for a perfect masala entertainer. The punches, both literal and verbal, are well suited to provide unreal solutions to very real problems. Shetty choreographs some spectacular action sequences, which is one of the biggest attractions of the film.
But where the film falters is the screenplay which is way too predictable, the run time which is really long and some heavy ‘dialoguebaazi’ which could have been avoided. For example, Kumar even mouths a line that reminds you of the Hindu-Muslim bhaichara: “Hum Ajmal Qasab se utna hi nafrat karte hai jitna Abdul Kalam ki izzat karte hai." Like most dramas in the genre, Sooryavanshi too is a fan of repetition. The movie informs us, again and again, that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is undermining our country’s security, that Pakistan is always planning kuch bada dhamaka (bombing a city) and the cops of Mumbai continuously talk about the communal harmony.
The film picks up steam in the second half. There are enough high adrenalin physical encounters including some high drama chases, with cars, bikes and even helicopters! Overall, it is a Akshay Kumar show all the way. The climax is something that fans have been waiting for and Shetty doesn’t disappoint. Devgn, who comes in blaze and glory roars as Singham and does full justice to the last few minutes. His partner in crime is Ranveer Singh as Simmba who is stellar in his cameo. The teaming up of Singham, Simmba and Sooryvanshi has to be watched on the big screen to be believed. Also, do wait for the last sequence, as it gives you a hint about Shetty’s next cop outing.
Shetty is creating his own cop universe and Sooryavanshi is a perfect addition to Singham and Simmba. With this film, he will somehow be successful to keep the die-hard fans of the action genre engaged.
Sooryavanshi may not be a huge Diwali bang, but it still deserves to be watched on the big screens.