Review

Sooryavanshi review: Akshay Kumar is impressive in this one-time-watch actioner

Release Date: 05 Nov 2021 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 25min


Cinestaan Rating

  • Acting:
  • Direction:
  • Music:
  • Story:

Keyur Seta

After 18 years, filmmaker Rohit Shetty returns to a subject he took up in his debut film — terrorism.

Rohit Shetty is seen as a filmmaker specializing in larger-than-life action and comedy movies. But he had started out by exploring the serious subject of terrorism in Zameen (2003) and returns to the matter after 18 long years with Sooryavanshi (2021). While the film is mounted on a much larger scale, the result is pretty much the same.

Sooryavanshi is basically about the cat-and-mouse game between the bad guys (terrorists) and the 'saviours of innocents' (security forces). The story begins with Omar Hafeez (Jackie Shroff) losing his family in the Bombay riots of 1992. He decides to avenge their murder by taking to the path of terror. He relocates to Pakistan and forms an outfit called Lashkar, which includes his son Riyaaz (Abhimanyu Singh).

Omar orchestrates the 1993 Bombay blasts with the help of Bilal (Kumud Mishra), a senior member of his outfit, and his associate. At that time, terrorists brought in about a tonne of RDX of which they only used 400 kilos. Years later, in 2020, Lashkar plans to use the remaining 600 kilos in another series of blasts in the city which is now Mumbai.

The job to foil Lashkar’s plan and save the country from another terror attack falls to the determined anti-terrorist squad (ATS) officer Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), whose parents were killed in the 1993 blasts. Sooryavanshi is married to Ria (Katrina Kaif) and has a son. But his married life is in a shambles because of his commitment to his duty.

Sooryavanshi is the third film in the cop universe Shetty has set out to create, starting with Singham (2011) and then Simmba (2018). Like the previous two films, this one boasts of an impressive performance by the lead star.

The role is tailormade for someone like Akshay Kumar. The actor hasn’t tried to hide his age at all here. But that certainly doesn’t hamper him when it comes to carrying out some exciting stunts and action. And, as usual, he excels in comic situations.

As one might have guessed from the trailers and the synopsis above, Sooryvanshi doesn’t boast of any novel or deep storyline. The basic plot is similar to plenty of regular action flicks. The difference is in the scale in which Shetty has shot and presented it, which is pleasing to the eye on the big screen, with a good balance of serious and funny sequences for the most part. As is usual with Rohit Shetty films, you don't realize how time has passed.

Action films with such storylines tend to go cold in the second half as it becomes a challenge for the writers to include enough material to keep the audience entertained till the climax, which anyone can guess. Sooryavanshi also runs into this problem. The narrative keeps hovering over some point to delay the climax.

The pre-climax and climax become quite complicated. It won’t be a spoiler to mention that Ajay Devgn’s Singham and Ranveer Singh’s Simmba appear to help Sooryavanshi finish off the baddies as we have seen that part repeatedly in the trailers.

It is interesting to see the three cops fighting together. But the problem is that from here on, the film loses all seriousness and tries hard to become an out-and-out comic film, especially with the overuse of Ranveer Singh’s crazy antics. It feels as if someone just changed the channel on TV. 

This also makes the ending parts appear right out of a video game where the three actors are just finishing off fake characters. What should have been the trump card ends up hurting the narrative.

That’s not the only problem. The terror plan devised by the Lashkar men is elaborate, but it is foiled so easily that it is not thrilling for the viewer.

Coming to the other artistes, Katrina Kaif, never known for her histrionics, delivers an average performance. Abhimanyu Singh, Kumud Mishra and Gulshan Grover shine as villains. Despite being the mastermind, Jackie Shroff doesn’t get much to do. Nikitn Dheer is too restrained.

The best moment of Sooryavanshi is the communal harmony sequence where the classic song ‘Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein’ from Ram Mukherjee's 1960 hit Hum Hindustani plays in the background. This scene along with a few other plus points makes the film worth watching once.