DESPITE SALMAN’S PRESENCE, ‘ANTIM’ IS AN AAYUSH SHARMA FILM; THANKFULLY

Rating: 3/5
Good point- Delivers on promise. Not so good point- Hardly anything new

Salman should have started to try alternative subjects long back, but now it’s really high time. He looks the same. Speaks the same way. May be to alter that, he decided to don a turban this time. Refreshingly, this doesn’t remain a Salman Khan film essentially and he has been asked to remain within the boundaries of his character. How did he accept that? That only he can tell. In this battle between alpha males, Salman-Aayush (Aayush emerges better than Salman) deliver power packed performances in what seems to be a revised version of Vaastav or Deewaar. Antim is primarily for Salman fans, action genre fans, and fans of films with good vs bad or wrong vs less wrong. But don’t be mistaken. Your hero is rightly Aayush Sharma.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Rahul (Aayush Sharma) takes to the world of crime when he and his family of farmers is exploited as a result of capitalism. One thing leads to another and you witness the bigshots of crime. To put an end to all, enters Rajveer Singh (Salman Khan), the inspector with brains.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

The film is based on 2018 Marathi film Mulshi Pattern. The story is penned by Pravin Tarde. It’s a decent good enough story, but seen many times in the context of capitalism or exploitation of poor from the hands of rich and powerful.  Also for the fact that the protagonist takes to crime because he has no option left but to survive and eventually starts enjoying the power and luxury being a bad man, is something that has been the subject of many films right from 70s till very recently. Also, because the colour tone of the film has been made to resemble retro age, it is more so seeming to have appeared from an age gone by. Now what matters is how the screenplay is written and how direction takes it forward.

Thankfully, both screenplay and direction here do justice to the story and keep you invested in the drama. Had it not been for Mahesh Manjrekar and his sense in the direction, it would have been very easy for this film to scatter all over the place. One thing why this film also score for you is the characterisation of policeman and goon. There is a scene where the inspector talks to the goon explaining giving his own example how he always had two choices and he chose the negative one. Also, how the inspector uses the power and brains of police to curb crime around is something to note, because that’s now something that we are used to seeing prominently in films.

antim, film, review, hindi, 2021
A still from the film (image source: youtube.com)

There are some inherent flaws of the film. Salman Khan and his Salmanism. It’s generous of him to accept the role of a second lead (may be because the lead is a ghar ka banda), but why couldn’t he work more on the authenticity of his character is a question. There are very few times when he speaks some lines in Punjabi, that too the typical cliches involving the usage of ‘da‘, but even those don’t sound convincing. Also, most of the times his dialogues are same as those in Dabangg or Jai Ho or Ready or Kick or Raadhe. This takes away the charm to quite an extent and you get distant from the film. Infact, if you ignore this, the major portion involving Aayush Sharma is interesting with layers and much drama, and it is Aayush who makes you believe in the film.

You get action, chiseled bodies, heavy dramatic dialogues, a contemporary context of farmer exploitation, crime and array of criminals, fights within, rise for politics – all together and that’s a good way to understand this film. But the weak point remains that the tropes shown are all seen umpteen times, and after you come out of the theatres, you don’t feel satisfied with the elements projected.

PERFORMANCES

Aayush Sharma performs ably suiting the role phenomenally. He acted well in Loveyatri as well. It’s good time now that other houses and makers also consider him and start seeing him as a good actor. His family association, if is a burden, that will be a big disadvantage for his career.

Salman Khan does nicely what he is best at and what is most expected of him. Showing off, mouthing cheesy one liners, sporting his muscular body. It’s so good that his role is that of a second lead or else the film would have been troublesome.

antim, review, hindi, film, 2021
Aayush Sharma and Mahima Makwana in a still from the film (image source: youtube.com)

Mahima Makwana makes a promising debut arriving as a confident individual. No wonder if she lands good roles in future.

Sachin Khedekar has delivered a nuanced performance and he is responsible for rendering emotional depth to the film. His is a very good supporting role. Rohit Haldikar has performed ably as Ganya and he supports the lead beautifully.

Jisshu Sengupta and Nikitin Dheer- both have been reduced in miniature roles and they do okay. Upendra Limaye is fine in a role that initially seems strong but doesn’t find an arc eventually. Sayaji Shinde is good to watch in a character role.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

The songs by Ravi Basrur and Hitesh Modak are fairly good and are woven nicely into the film. They aren’t memorable or very melodious though. The background score by Basrur is decent and travels as per the mood but is quite loud most of the times.

Cinematography by Karan Rawat is interesting and the visual appeal of the film keeps you interested as it is a different tone from the conventional. Production design by Prashant Rane also goes well with how camera captures the scenes. The sets look real and authentic and you do get that raw feel and gruesome notions of world of crime.

Editing by Bunty Nagi is sharp to a satisfactory level. You don’t get dull points as such. The first half however is more interesting than the second one by way of how the story is approached.

Overall it’s a good watch. Had there been more authenticity in Salman’s portrayal, you would have gotten more connect. Fair entertainment.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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