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Movie review of 'Rustom': A mix of reel and real-life drama that is gripping
One of the most awaited films of the year 'Rustom' has released today. Starring Akshay Kumar, Ileana D'Cruz in pivotal roles, the film is based on the true events of the famous KM Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra case of 1959, that had shook the entire nation along with the country's judicial system. Nanavati had shot his wife's lover and the case had became sensational (primarily due to the angle of extra-marital affair linked to it). But, there is more to the story than just what meets the eye.

The trial of the murderer invited unprecedented media coverage. And the film 'Rustom' indeed will take you on a trip down memory lane with some basic facts sprinkled with staple Bollywood masala. The craze among the people to know every minute detail of the case was to such an extent that a 25P magazine sold for Rs 2 or more during the pendency of the trial. But, will the film manage to recreate the same magic or fail to impress the audience? Let's find out!

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Ileana D'Cruz, Esha Gupta, Arjan Bajwa

Director: Tinu Suresh Desai

Genre: Crime / Romance

Duration: 2 hours 31 minutes

Rating: 8/10

Tinu Suresh Desai's directorial starts with Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar), a decorated naval officer returning back home from his duties to reunite with his wife Cynthia (Ileana D'Cruz). He finds Cynthia missing from home and soon realises that she is having an affair with their common friend, Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa).

Rustom waits for his wife to return and as soon as she comes, confronts her with the letters written by Vikram to Cynthia, that he had found in their bedroom. He then borrows a gun from Navy armoury, goes to Vikram's house and all we hear is the sound of shooting and see Vikram lying dead on the floor. Rustom then surrenders himself to the police and admits his crime. Vikram's sister Preeti Makhija (Esha Gupta) swears to see him hanged.

This could easily have been an open and shut case if it would not have been about Rustom Pavri, who has a habit of winning. The whole scenario changes when Rustom pleads not guilty in the court even though he admits to his crime.

The film has a fast pace and doesn't take much time in establishing characters. The director tries his best to maintain suspense in the film and there seem to be different angles to the case. But, how Rustom walks out free even after committing the crime forms the crux of the story.

The film hardly has any melodrama that we usually witness in Bollywood flicks. The main focus of the film are not the actors but the storyline and that makes it worth a watch. However, the film fails miserably when it comes to depicting the 50s-60s era perfectly. Although naval ships and vintage cars have been used to bring in some amount of authenticity, but still it could have been done in an even better way.

While the first half of the film is tight script-wise, the second half has many twists and turns to keep you engaged. What brings most entertainment is the courtroom drama, but that looks highly made up and at times artificial.

The performances of the actors are decent, but Akshay is flawless in every frame. His expressions are matchless. Although he has not been given much screen time in the first half due to the main focus being on the story, he shines through the second half, especially as he decides to fight his case himself without engaging a lawyer.

Supporting actor Pawan Malhotra is spot on and convincing in the role of the investigating officer. Actor Mukud Mishra as a tabloid head also deserves a mention. He is apt in his character.

Rustom, which is a blend of real and fictional elements is a decent watch. It has many flaws but still will keep you glued to your seats. Akshay's fabulous performance, a gripping plot, decent paced storyline and some fun quotient in the second half is the substance of the film. So, give it watch.

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