Toofaan review: Farhan Akhtar film pops with smart jabs, ends with a satisfying punch

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Toofaan film forged: Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur, Hussain Dalal, Mohan Agashe, Vijay Raaz, Supriya Pathak, Darshan Kumar
Toofaan film director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Toofaan film score: 3.5 stars

‘Toofaan’ is your underprivileged-underdog-to-boxing-champion story whose arc is completely predictable, however what makes this film such an gratifying watch is the best way it has been written and carried out. You know precisely the place it’ll go, however the journey pops with smart feints and jabs, and ends with a satisfying punch.

Given the utter banality of latest Bollywood outings, I’d given up hope of assembly a well-done mainstream film the place every acquainted component is marinated simply so. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra doesn’t pull again from style parts, however clothes them up with sufficient confidence and freshness for us to root for Aziz Ali aka Ajju Bhai, performed with nice brio by Farhan Akhtar.

Our Dongri-ka-small-time-vasooli-bhai goes about doing ‘phoda-phodi’ (in common Hindi, it could be ‘maar-peet’; mainly, it quantities to beating up individuals unable to pay their hire or ‘hafta’, alongside with his loyal pal-cum-roommate (Hussain Dalal, superb, giving an edge to the usual BFF position). Akhtar begins with a little additional swagger and mumble, however quickly settles into it, tight pants-belt-tee to the fore.

From right here on, you’ll be able to see what’s arising a mile off. A meet-cute with fairly native physician Ananya (Mrunal Thakur, perky, likeable) will result in, sure, a flutter of hearts. An encounter with robust, irascible coach Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal) will result in Aziz being put by means of his paces, and reaching the ring, the hallowed place for all aspiring boxers.

This is the place writers Anjum Rajabali and Vijay Maurya (props to the latter for the dialogues, particularly the rat-a-tat ‘tapori’ strains) start inserting twists. Prabhu is a proud Hindu who’s satisfied that there’s no distinction between ‘Dongri and Dubai’. Calling his uber-talented Musalmaan pupil an unstoppable ‘toofan’ is one factor; embracing him as a individual is unthinkable. The show-me-how-hard-you-can-work-and-then-we’ll-talk grouchy coach is such a drained trope, from ‘Rocky’ to ‘Million Dollar Baby’ to our personal ‘Saala Khadoos’, however Paresh Rawal effortlessly freshens it and makes it his personal. Mohan Agashe, as his fixed companion and previous good friend who gently steers him in the direction of one other mind-set, is a good contact. The veteran actor may be a little underlined, however right here he doesn’t put a foot fallacious. A bit of lady reveals up, and she or he is, thank the lord, not cutesy.

There are a few issues that stick in your craw. Here comes Aziz, starting to be taught the ropes, and right here comes a primer: ‘boxing ek nasha hai; boxing mein six punches hotey hain’ and so on and anon. Please, no. And then there are the songs. Too many songs, stuffed too shut within the second half. Also, giving a character an excessive amount of time to spew bigotry earlier than he sees the sunshine is a tough enterprise; really, utilizing the time period ‘love jihad’ for Aziz and Ananya might properly be the one factor true bigots might take away. And whereas it’s nice to have main males enjoying Muslim characters, I’m ready for a courageous Bollywood film that can break free from the poor-but-talented slumboy (Ranveer Singh in ‘Gully Boy’) kind. Still, an Aziz-and-Ananya is a job properly begun.

It is Farhan as ‘Toofan-the-new-Muhammad-Ali’ who is totally convincing, each as a novice who’s a quick learner, and the dejected warhorse who comes up trumps. He’s labored with Mehra earlier than, in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, and whereas he appeared each inch a runner, a few false notes have been certain to creep in if you find yourself making an attempt to dramatize the lifetime of a beloved sports activities icon (I nonetheless haven’t forgotten my dropped jaw at Farhan’s Milkha cavorting with an Australian blonde).

As Toofan, Farhan’s footwork is bang on, whether or not it’s within the stroppy romance with a lady far faraway from his station, the spectacular glistening-muscles-straining-in-training scenes, the skilful jousting, full with the spray of blood, rattled tooth and swollen eye, in the course of the bouts. It is his recreation, and he’s on high.

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