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Toofan review: Farhan Aktar is phenomenal as a boxer, Mrunal Thakur is the next big thing

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Guwahati: After Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is back again with another latest sports flick Toofan which was released on Amazon Prime. 

The film stars Farhan Akhtar, Mrunal Thakur, Paresh Rawal, Mohan Agashe, Supriya Pathak Kapoor in the lead roles. 

Mehra roped Akhtar for Toofan after the huge success of his last sports-centric movie which was based on legendary athlete Late Milkha Sikh. The movie was a blockbuster and was loved by the critics too. So it was very obvious to sign Akhtar for Toofan. 

Talking about Toofan, in an early scene, master coach Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal) tells Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar) — a man with phenomenal energy and extraordinary speed but abysmally lacking in technique — that he must treat the ring as his home.

Ali (Akhtar) is a gangster from the Mumbai suburb of Dongri who specializes in extortion and loan collection often through violent means, but in a curious case of turnabout feels that boxing may help him to be a mightier thug. He goes to Prabhu, who is initially reluctant to train Ali, also because he is a Muslim from Dongri. But the coach eventually relents.

Prabhu’s animosity towards the community stems from the death of his young wife in a terror attack that leaves his young daughter Ananya unscathed. He doggedly assumes that all Muslims are terrorists, despite his close drinking buddy, Vinay (Mohan Agashe), emphasizing time and again that this can never be true. But Prabhu’s mind has been hardened to such an extent that he even refuses to order Chinese food from a Muslim joint!

Years later, Ananya (Mrunal Thakur), who has grown up to be a doctor serving in a charity hospital meant for the poor and the needy, has a dramatic encounter with Ali when he walks in with a wound on his head. When she learns that he had been in a brawl, she throws him out.

Toofan is often inane and predictable with Ali going on to win boxing match after boxing match, and eventually catching the eye and the heart of Ananya. It does not need a Sherlock Holmes to anticipate where the plot will wind up, although a second totally unexpected tragedy, seems needless and purports to have been written merely to harden Prabhu’s adamancy.

A love story between Ali and Ananya, a father-daughter relationship, innumerable tear-jerkers and  songs made the movie a bit lengthy. 

However, Mehra has managed to assemble a great cast. Akhtar is exceptional first as the Dongri ‘Dada’ and later as a mellowed lover, husband and father. His transformational arc is compelling. Thakur is pleasant as a bubbly girl spreading her infectious smile and joyful radiance, and Rawal and Agashe play their parts with admirable conviction.

Beyond this, Toofan has fire and fury that one would expect from work on boxing.

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