Finally releasing after 19 months, Sooryavanshi is nothing short of a celebration of mainstream Hindi cinema, bringing back whistles and cheers to a theatre after a long time. Sooryavanshi is fuelled by director Rohit Shetty's trademark action and Akshay Kumar brings it in abundance.
Sooryavanshi is not a three-hero film as the posters and trailers might try to make you believe. It's an out-and-out Akshay Kumar action film with special appearances from Ajay Devgn, who plays Singham, and Ranveer Singh, who plays Simmba, in the last 30 minutes.
These 30 minutes are the film's highlight with its high-octane action, cars getting blown up, some stunning hand combat choreography taken to a new level, and the action-hero trio in their best form.
Sooryavanshi begins after the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai. 13 years later, when a terrorist group is back in action and planning another mission, DCP Veer Sooryavanshi, (Akshay Kumar), the head of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad, is assigned the task of finding their whereabouts and stop the attacks.
With hardcore masala films, it's easy to assume that you can leave your brain at home and just enjoy the experience. But with a film like Sooryavanshi, which introduces countless characters on the screen, one after the other, you need to be your alert self and join.
That being said, Sooryavanshi isn't driven by a great script neither does it have any extraordinary suspense that could bring nail-biting moments.
Yet, it keeps you on the edge for the sheer joy of watching that over-the-top action. Shetty picks various elements — the romance between Sooryavanshi and his wife Riya (played by Katrina Kaif), their relationship with their son Aryan, his camaraderie with the members of his ATS force — and weaves them together for a fulfilling climax.
While Devgan's Singham was more intense and Ranveer's Simmba was the quirkier one, Akshay's Sooryavanshi is a mix of both. He is tough in scenes that require him to be that, evokes laughter in lighter scenes, or awe with his smashing entry on the helicopter. Though at some places, Akshay struggled to remain in character and looked perplexed by a busy storyline.
Sooryavanshi is fast-paced its second half is when all the tension builds up and things get more intriguing. Yunus Sajawal's screenplay is engaging and gripping but still a bit patchy. Even the average dialogues by Farhad Samji, Sanchit Bendre, and Vidhi Ghodgadnkar aren't something that leaves a lasting impact.
Performance wise, the film scores full marks. Katrina, with her better than before Hindi, is convincing as a loving wife and a doting mom. Then there's a great lineup of supporting cast including joint commissioner Vikram Bedi (Javed Jaaferi) whose heavy voice adds gravitas to the role he's portraying.
Among the terrorists, the mastermind behind Mumbai blasts, Bilal (Kumud Mishra) and Lashker chief Omar Hafiz (Jackie Shroff) and his sons played by Abhimanyu Singh and Mrunal Jain, live their part well. Gulshan Grover, Nikiten Dheer and Sikander Kher have small yet crucial roles.
Rohit, unwilling to delve into a grey area, makes sure his good men are too good and bad ones don't even try to look good.
Amid all this, recreating Tip Tip Barsa Pani could have been simply avoided. Quite frankly, I couldn't watch it beyond a few seconds. Or maybe we can't imagine anyone other than Raveena Tandon in that yellow saree. Katrina tried a bit too hard but it didn't quite work.
As for Akshay, he clearly looked better with Raveena and perhaps, should have just said no to this remake.
And once again, Rohit Shetty takes the opportunity to announce yet another outing. But as of now, go watch Sooryavanshi.