After Singham Returns and Simmba, it was evident that Rohit Shetty’s cop actioners were in dire need of a bit of policing themselves. The fourth in the series, Sooryavanshi, attempts a course correction.
Akshay Kumar is described as ‘pagal’ right before we see him jump off a helicopter in his introductory scene. You know he’s the man to depend on, the man who will deliver the punches and give you a full paisa vasool experience when he’s described as such.
In Rohit Shetty’s much-awaited – and this isn’t just another adjective in this case – film, Akshay’s Veer Sooryavanshi, an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officer, sets out to save Mumbai, India, and his son, Aryan, and others like him. He bashes goons, chases potential terrorists parkouring across roofs, all to keep his son, Aryan, and others like him safe. Even if, at times, that means being misunderstood for choosing his duty over everything else. Watch to know what we mean.
Veer is married to Riya (Katrina Kaif) and are parents to a son, Aryan. Given Katrina and Akki have been cast together, a few mandatory song-and-dance sequences had to be added. The pair have always sizzled on screen, therefore a recreation of Tip Tip Barsa Pani toh banta hai. It is another story that despite Kat slithering with the utmost earnestness, you will be reminded of Raveena Tandon’s yet-unmatched oomph. Another song, Najaa, was also put in to – what we can imagine – give you the chance to check your phones and answer essential texts, for once the songs are over, and the punches – and cars – begin to fly, you will not be able to take your eyes off the screen.
The conflict in Rohit Shetty’s cop universe this time is terrorism. The 1993 Mumbai blasts have left several scars and about 600 kg of RDX behind, buried in an undisclosed location on Indian soil. To jog your memory, The Family Man Season 1 had a similar conflict, where Manoj Bajpayee chases a similar lead to Kashmir, stops the attack, but fails to nip Plan B in the bud. In Sooryavanshi, Akshay’s Veer has a similar task at hand, except with much more production budget, crescendoing background music to match beats with every gunshot fired and bones breaking. And in that, he has the support of Javed Jaffrey, the ATS Chief, and eventually Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Sangram Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh). Though the two arrive only in the final climax fight scene – and are granted befitting entries with Ajay’s revolving jeep and Ranveer’s Scorpio ramming through walls – they get just enough screentime so as to not take away from cop universe debutant Veer Sooryavanshi.
The result, of course, is a 30-odd minute climax with cars and men somersaulting over more cars and men, bombs going off like Diwali firecrackers in Noida despite the ban, and the music reaching a deafening crescendo. But you do not complain, move in your seat, check your phone, even sip your coffee even as it turns cold in the cup holder, because that’s how tightly Rohit Shetty holds your attention. Of course, he has Akshay Kumar’s able shoulders to rest his magnum opus on. Magnum opus, can I say that? Never mind that, just keep watching.
So if Akki, flanked by Ajay and Ranveer are fighting for the good, secularism, the idea of desh beyond religion, the foil, border ke usspaar, have to be equally menacing, ruthless and unreasonable. Badla is what they seek – no points if you guessed that, and because of that batwara that happened back in 1947. Leading these men from the front is Jackie Shroff, who will remind you of Mission Kashmir’s Hilal Kohistani. This time, as Lashkar Khan, he is equally obsessive but is suaver.
Here, at the risk of spilling out spoilers, we’d say, watch out for that one scene between Ajay’s Singham and Jackie’s Khan and see if you can catch a hint about the next film in Rohit Shetty’s cop universe.
In the acting department, there’s nothing to really flaw because these men – and this woman, Katrina, we mean – are so comfortable with this kind of writing that they come in with a home-ground advantage. The dialogues are cheeky if not witty, and are delivered that way for best impact. For instance, when Ajay disembarks his revolving jeep, Akshay goes, “Ala Dev, Gun gheo (with, in Marathi),” or when the youngest Simmba calls the other two ‘purana chawal’ and add Apna time ayega. Laughs, smirks, and full entertainment guaranteed.
And isn’t that exactly the purpose of a Rohit Shetty film? Those who sit and analyse Sooryavanshi and compare it to anything else other than another Rohit Shetty film, this film is not for you to begin with. Sooryavanshi is full paisa vasool. Rohit Shetty delivers exactly what he promised us one and a half years ago in March 2020. After months of delay and debates over whether Sooryavanshi should have been released on OTT or were the makers right to wait for the theatres to reopen for the audience to experience it in its full glory, is the film worth the wait? The answer is a loud yes – with of course the Sooryavanshi sound effect resounding in the background.
For those from this school of thought, Happy Diwali!
We’re going with 4 stars out of 5.
(Inputs from India Today)