Producers- Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra and Ritresh Sidhwani
Director- Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra
Star Cast- Farhan Akhtar, Mrunal Thakur, Supriya Pathak, Paresh Rawal, Vijay Raaz, Gauri Phulka, Hussain Dalal, Mohan Agashe and Darshan Kumar
OTT Platform- Amazon Prime Video
Old Wine in New Bottle!
If you go in for a novel untried plot, you will be mistaken because Farhan Akhtar has flushed out his story idea based on several rags to riches stories we have seen before or heard. This one is yet another inspiring story about an orphan boy Ajjubhai turned Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar) who is raised in the streets of Dongri in Mumbai by a dreaded gangster Jafarbhai played by Vijay Raaz. Ajju Bhai is not only a street ruffian but also a debt collector and the henchman of the criminal gangster.
It is about his U turn from being a dreaded Don to an A grade boxing champion when his life undergoes a 360 degrees change after he encounters a young, sprightly and compassionate doctor named Ananya (Mrunal Thakur), who guides him towards the right path and makes his realize his true calling- boxing.
Though the film makes you clap for Farhan Akhtar for his enthusiasm and dedication to convert himself into a world class boxing champ like say Muhammad Ali by getting trained under the tutelage of Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal) and pat Mrunal Thakur on her back for her sprightly and endearing portrayal as the municipality doctor who falls for Aziz after a couple of meetings and goads him to take up boxing. DOP Jay Oza’s camera creates a visually appealing world, though the same cannot be said about the editor who fails to do proper justice to his job because the film has a painfully long duration of two hours and 41 minutes.
There is a sense of disgruntlement in the audiences as the film ends since one feels that he has been subjected o a lot of stuff seen earlier in films like Mukaabaaz, Sultan, Mary Kom, Brothers Ghulam etc. In a bid to pack up his film with possible ingredient that one could conceive, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra who had at one time given us a gem like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag compromises hell of a lot this time and comes up with stuff which sets out to give sermon on forbidden love, casual bigotry, communal harmony, making of a boxer and finally redemption of a disgraced athlete as a result of which he often sidetracks various other issues and disappoints the viewer. Vijay Maurya disappoints as additional screenplay writer though his dialogues are incisive, especially with reference to animosity against the Muslims harbored by Naa Prabhu
Farhan Akhtar manages to mould himself into a character that isn’t remotely close to his sensibility but does nothing extraordinary that can make one tap him on his back and like in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, he has enough of his physical transformations to get into the character of Azizbhai and also look the part. Nrunal Thakur is cute and does exactly what is demanded of her as the doctor turned wife of Aziz Bhai.
While Paresh Rawal as the coach is brilliant, Dr Mohan Agashe has been wasted in a role that has not been developed at all. Supriya Pathak as the senior nurse and the landlady of Aziz has been wasted in an inane role. Anjum Rajabali’s screenplay lacks merit especially since he could have created the characters of Dr Agashe and Surpiya Pathak as husband and wife .Similarly Vijay Raaz’s characterization has not at all been developed. While child artist Gauri Phulka is confident and natural, Darshan Kumar as the boxing champ turned Judge leaves an impact in his small role.
To sum up, the film Toofaan is nothing but old wine in a brand new bottle and is at the most , a one time watch!