The feeling when you go with a lot of excitement to a first day first show, and what you see turns out to be a colossal disappointment, is the same that I experienced today, on seeing Rustom! First of, the trailer was completely off the mark, leaving one to think as to how and why the jury system came to be abolished in India. Fact: it’s nowhere close! The movie has been adapted from the Nanavati case, with dialogues picked out from actual evidence presented; but has been given a totally different and weird, if I may say, direction.

         The first half drags on and tells the viewer only two things: Rustom Pavri on account of returning home before expected discovers his wife’s extra marital affair, shoots her lover and confesses to his guilt! Yes, in such a long span of time, this is the only thing revealed. The viewer sticks on, anticipating ugly truths, ‘aah!’ and ‘ohhh!’ moments but ends up with a headache!

         The movie is full of contradictions and loop holes. The protagonist, shown to be a decorated officer, is also shown to be making some moolah for himself! How he brings the bad men to book or how he even intends to going about it (which over here included his superior officers and the Defense Secretary no less), is conveniently not shown.

         Whether the makers have assumed the viewers to be of subliminal intelligence or they actually believed in some of the things they portrayed in the court scenes is suspect. The makers also can’t seem to make up their mind about the prosecution counsel… a sly, intelligent advocate or a comical buffoon! Another lawyer arranged by the Parsi community to defend the accused and tells him in clear terms… Don’t plead guilty else leave alone God, even I won’t be able to save you!

The sister of the victim is totally hopeless! She was nowhere close to what she was trying to be. The only sane person in fact was the Sessions judge. Which brings me to another facet: Can’t the movie makers for once, carry put a proper research into the court proceedings and avoid the obvious mistakes?! The judge is being addressed to as ‘My Lord’, the lawyers are wearing gowns, applications in the form of letters are being presented and accepted in court and the list goes on!

Akshay Kumar stays in his uniform throughout the movie… ever since he returns from the ship, shoots a guy, stays in police custody and completes his trial! We have a detergent advertisement in the making. A’s comment, ‘Chalo, costume de paise bach gaye!’

All in all, a pretty pathetic attempt! I wonder if the makers had in fact stuck to the original case, it might have turned out to be better. I was reminded of many movies from the 70’s and even earlier which had more riveting court scenes. The movie is a total missed opportunity and makes me look forward to, ugh! Mohenjodaro!!

Should you go watch it? An affirmative No!

© 2016. Anu Pal. All Rights Reserved.