Out of all the industries Bollywood has been struggling to get a big hit since the revival of theaters. It has been a combination of several factors; you have had films like Chehre with niche content. On the other hand a big film like Radhe couldn’t meet the expectations of masses. Lot of hopes are pinned on Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavansi to revive Bollywood business and the director doesn’t disappoint. Rohit Shetty’s films have never been about great plots, it is always about delivering entertainment to the masses whether that is Golmaal series or films like Singham and Simmba. Story wise Sooryavansi is pretty straight forward but what makes it click is the director’s treatment and the infectious energy of Akshay Kumar. After the underwhelming Lakshmi and Bell Bottom the actor is back in his elements. The cherry on the cake are the extended cameos of Ajay Devgan and Ranveer Singh. The scenes featuring the trio are a delight to watch. The film also gives a message on communal harmony which I will be talking about later.
Sooryavansi begins after 13 years of the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai, when a terrorist group is back in action and is planning another mission. DCP Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar) is the head of the Mumbai Anti- Terrorism squad. He is assigned the task of finding their whereabouts and stopping the attacks. Akshay’s character has got a personal connection to the 1993 blasts as his parents had died in it. Director Rohit Shetty adds another personal layer with the character of Riya (An efficient Katrina Kaif). Both of them are on the verge of divorce. Rohit Shetty packs in Sooryavanshi’s personal life and also his camaraderie with the members of his ATS force. He weaves all these elements in a satisfactory way in the climax. Apart from the above mentioned actors, the film features a huge ensemble which consists of Jackie Shroff, Gulshan Grover, Kumud Mishra etc.
What really works for the film is how the director sketches the character of Akshay Kumar. You have elements of both intensity and also quirkiness, the intense part is taken from Ajay Devgan’s Singham and the quirky part is from Ranveer Singh’s Simmba. Akshay Kumar combines both these elements really well in his performance. He is intense when required but is equally adept at evoking laughter in the lighter scenes. A running gag in the film is about how Sooryavanshi keeps forgetting names. While the gag feels overused after a point it still delivers plenty of laughs. The most laughs comes in the climax where there are many in house jokes between the three cops. Both Ranveer and Ajay have a blast in their extended cameos.
The pace of the film is another asset. The tension is built up well and things get more intriguing in the second half. The editing for most part is fine but the climatic portions do feel stretched.
As I earlier said the film touches upon communal harmony. It also talks about Hindu-Muslim unity. The director’s understanding of religious dynamics hasn’t got the nuance which is required but it has to be said that it still makes an impact. There is a song called Hum Hindustani where some Muslims help Hindus in carrying the Ganesh idol. This happens amidst people running away when there is fear of bomb. The song is beautifully shot and is sure to make you emotional.
Actors like Jackie Shroff and Kumud Mishra have small parts but they make an impact in the screen time that they have got.
Sooryavanshi isn’t for those who are looking for something new. It glorifies cops like Singham and Simmba which is problematic. However, if you are looking for some mainstream entertainment you will in all probability like it.