Sooryavanshi Review: Akshay Kumar’s gait is a stunt in and of itself, looking like a cross between a model on the runway and a superhero poised to take flight. Katrina Kaif does a fantastic Tip tip barsa paani rejig.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh, Jackie Shroff, Javed Jaffrey, Sikandar Kher, Abhimanyu Singh
Director: Rohit Shetty
Following Singham Returns and Simmba, it was clear that Rohit Shetty’s cop actioners were in desperate need of some policing. Sooryavanshi, the fourth season of the series, seeks a course correction. The outcomes are, at best, mediocre. Some sections of the movie are solid, while others are a little too starchy.
Shetty himself ‘created’ the movement once more. As a result, Sooryavanshi has seen its fair share of cars blow up, turn turtle, or ram into cleverly placed barriers. We saw the greatest of such exploits in Singham a decade ago.
Nothing that Sooryavanshi does in terms of action takes us by surprise. Aside from that, the film takes its time laying out the intricate details of the hero’s mission: preventing a repeat of the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings.
Also read: Y: The Last Man web series review
Sooryavanshi is much quieter than Singham. It’s more of a standard cop procedural than a crusading cop battling a corrupt system drama. The hero, a seasoned member of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), has his work cut out for him. A group of terrorists from across the border are still hiding and biding their time in various districts of India.
Worse, intelligence reports suggest that one tonne of RDX was smuggled into Mumbai in the 1990s, but only half of it was used in the March 12, 1993 serial attacks. The rest of the explosives are hidden somewhere, ready to be used in next major terror attack.
Riyaz Hafeez (Abhimanyu Singh, in his second Diwali weekend release after the Rajini-starrer Annaatthe), the son of Lashkar chief Omar Hafeez, commands the sleeper cells (Jackie Shroff). The narrative of Sooryavanshi revolves around a police effort to locate hidden RDX and neutralise sleeper cells.
Sooryavanshi and his troops are up against a slew of other terrorists, some of whom are based in India and others in POK. Bilal Ahmed (Kumud Mishra), one of the individuals who escaped after the 1993 serial blasts despite the best efforts of Mumbai Police Officer Kabir Shroff, is among them (Jaaved Jaffrey).
Also read: After We Fell Web Series Review
The opponent can be found both inside and outside the building. As a result, the action occasionally moves outside of India, most notably to Bangkok, where the hero is involved in a car, helicopter, and ski boat chase that concludes in the hero apprehending a man (Sikandar Kher) suspected of assisting a terrorist.
Despite the grave danger that looms over the country, Akshay Kumar’s committed and intrepid cop adheres to the actor’s recent clean-cut film persona. The cop he plays is unlike the tough-as-nails, enraged-as-a-wasp Bajirao Singham and the jovial, jaunty Sangram Bhalerao in both style and substance (of Simmba). To put it another way, Veer Sooryavanshi is the type of lawyer who prefers to err on the side of caution.
Someone refers to the protagonist of the film as paagal early on (insane). However, this uniformed officer, who has been ordered to locate the 600 kg of RDX that has been missing for 27 years after landing in India, does not quite fit that description. He’s a straight-laced, hardworking cop. He obviously doesn’t have a streak of craziness in him.
Veer Sooryavanshi, unlike Bajirao Singham, isn’t prone to flying off the handle in the aata maajhi satakli fashion, but he is normally quick on the draw and dislikes waiting for orders from his superiors. His estrangement with his doctor-wife Ria is the result of one such episode of haste (Katrina Kaif).
Also read: Comedy Premium League review by seriocus.com
When Sooryavanshi checks into a hospital with a bullet wound, their love tale begins. Ria looks after him. He is smitten with her. They tie the knot. After a few years, the couple divorces because he prioritises duty before family. It’s simple to understand why. He is a true-blue fighter who values his country above all else.
At the drop of a hat, he bursts into indignant lectures. He even harps on the importance of communal harmony. Before drawing the trigger, the Mumbai police do not look at a man’s faith, only his criminal past, he claims to a pickpocket-turned-religious leader played by Gulshan Grover.
Sooryavanshi holds up a former associate Naeem Khan (Rajendra Gupta), who served the police force with distinction for 30 years, as a contrast to a suspect who has been summoned to the ATS headquarters for questioning, in a sanctimonious scene aimed at underlining the difference between a patriotic Muslim and a perfidious one, something that Hindi cinema never tyres of doing while merrily carrying on with its stereotyping of
If that wasn’t enough, another scene shows a maulvi and his men taking a Ganpati idol to safety when word gets out that a bomb has been set near a temple and a mosque. Chhodo kal ki baatein kal ki baat purani/Naye daur mein likhenge milkar nayin kahani hum Hindustani (from the 1961 Hindi film Hum Hindustani) plays on the soundtrack to catch the audience’s attention. You’re desperate to get used to the sentiment. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Also read: SEAL Team Web Series Review
Long into the second act, the film reintroduces the heroes of Singham and Simmba to battle alongside Sooryavanshi against the attackers. As the three men team up for the climax in the ATS building, the in-jokes fly thick and fast.
Bhalerao has a habit of getting on the nerves of the other two and has been brusquely ticked off a few times. “I believe you are both envious of me. Apna time aayega, koi baat nahi, apna time aayega, koi baat nahi, koi ba “He responds. Another issue is that Ranveer Singh frequently steals the spotlight from more experienced actors.
From Bell Bottom to Sooryavanshi, Akshay Kumar’s performance is a hop and a skip from one set to the next. His gait, as it always been, is a true act in and of itself: a combination between a model on the catwalk and a superhero poised to take flight. It’s directed for his followers. Who are we to complain if it works for them?
Katrina Kaif does a Tip tip barsa paani rejig with ease. However, in a film dominated by three larger-than-life cops hawking their wares, a doctor is left with little choice but to deal with the aftermath of a failed marriage.
Just like Simmba hinted at what was to come in the following instalment, Sooryavanshi hints at what the future may hold for the Rohit Shetty cop universe. Prepare for another cops-versus-terrorists showdown, with Jackie Shroff’s character getting more screen time than he did here. That’s something to look forward to.