- Movie Name:Toofaan
- Critics Rating: 4 / 5
- Release Date: July 16, 2021
- Director: Rakyesh Ompraksh Mehra
- Genre: Sports drama
Toofaan is everything it is hyped to be. Those slo-mo shots of knockout punches, the dreamy sequence of rustic Mumbai lanes and dramatic cinematography, framed to precision. It has an amiable underdog, a charming heroine, a villain with a stone eye and a storming chain of scandalous events with some impromptu songs in between, everything that you can expect from a Bollywood drama.
You ask what sets Toofaan apart? Farhan Akhtar is your answer. Those skilful dimensions of a boxer, charm of boldly grim lover and delirious wrecks of fate bogged down by the wicked depravity of reality is what Farhan serves as he steps into the shoes of Aziz Ali.
To be honest , it is hard to adore Toofaan like Chak De India or Dangal. It has its flaws, yet you cannot help but be impressed with what the actors have put in to shape this film. Their efforts are right at the front for you to see. If a checklist is made, Toofan will probably tick box every genre trope, narrating the story of a Dongri mobster who channels the irregularities in his childhood to find a decent livelihood through boxing.
Farhan is definitely at the top of his game and he gets his anchorage from the impeccable Mrunal Thakur and Paresh Rawal. Mrunal lights up the screen quite literally in every scene. She might have little part to play but she makes a lasting impression as the strong and indomitable Ananya Prabhu. Paresh, on the other hand, exuberates experience. He's resilient and stern as Aziz's coach and instantly switches to being a conformist when sharing a drink with his friend.
Toofaan is testimony to the fact that clever actor-director duos can do wonders. It's a long two hours 40 minutes film, but there's hardly a part where you'd like to skip a part. The fast pace makes up for the length of the film.
Also, Mehra knows his actors' limitations but in no way he will let it overcome his narrative. Every time he sees his characters struggling on the screen he masks it with a powerful memory for the viewers. Sometimes he tries to remind his audience of the Bandra Fort other times he takes you to Marine Drive and India Gate. He also uses impromptu song sequence to distract the audience. These tracks may not really make it to your regular playlists but you'd enjoy watching them in the film.
The film also tries to give his audience a perspective by touching on topics of Love Jihad, religious bigotry, Islamophobia and Mumbai bombings. But it never gives a verdict. It calls out hypocrisy, put across its points and then leave it for the audience to decide what's best for them. Something similar to what Mehra did with his master film Rang De Basanti.
When you first hear that a project brings together Farhan Akhtar and Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra which is billed as a sports film your mind instantly recalls the magic they created with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Toofaan for sure doesn't match up to the brilliance the duo presented with the biopic. However, it's a feel good theatrical that you would have enjoyed watching in closed dark spaces of cinema halls munching on popcorns. You can still enjoy the film if you admire Bollywood, not sure if it can satiate your love for boxing though. You might go in for your love for Bollywood movies but you'll leave with an impressing note for Farhan and Mrunal.