After Mohenjo Daro, it’s Rustom’s turn to be under scrutiny

An India Today journalist has called out the naval uniform ‘mish-mash’ that Akshay Kumar wears in the film.

Photo Courtesy: Sandeep Unnithan

Sonal Pandya

The Independence Day weekend saw two big releases with Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Mohenjo Daro and Tinu Suresh Desai’s Rustom. The former has been heavily scrutinised for its ‘supposed’ historical inaccuracies in portraying the Harappan civilization. Gowariker defended his film against critics by saying there are several disagreements amongst historians about the Indus Valley city and its denizens.

Its competition has Akshay Kumar playing naval officer Rustom Pavri. The period film depicts the changing Bombay of the late 1950s, before it became the capital of the unilingual state of Maharashtra. Rustom has remained relatively unscathed until its release. After the successful opening weekend, the reviews have been mixed and questions are now beginning to be put forward.

One of them has come from a deputy editor of India Today, Sandeep Unnithan, who recently tweeted about the historical inaccuracies in Pavri’s naval uniform.

Unnithan laments that Hindi filmmakers "can never get the uniform right". As the photo above demonstrates, from the bar curls on the shoulder straps to the medals and chest badge, all do not belong to the uniform of a 1950s naval officer. Even Akshay Kumar’s moustache in the film is inaccurate as the navy didn’t allow a moustache without a beard until 1971.

Unnithan said the medals were named by Rana Chhina, his friend and a phaleristic historian, who called the uniform a ‘made-up mish-mash’. Further, the infamous pistol used in the film was a Beretta M9 which came into existence in the 1980s.

So before we turn to Hindi cinema for a history lesson, maybe it’s time we cracked open our history books to gain a bit of knowledge ourselves.