The pipeline between Bollywood and Tollywood has made for quite the wonderful exchange of actors who seamlessly switch back and forth between Hindi and Telugu. On the other side of the camera are directors, producers, and writers who are sometimes so blown away at what they have read or seen down South that they have to bring the story to its fan base. This weekend, yet another Telugu film has found a way into Bollywood cinemas, complete with Bollywood actors and Hindi dialog. That film is Prabhu Deva’s Rowdy Rathore, which stars Akshay “Akkie” Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha and is a remake of the 2006 blockbuster Telugu box-office hitVikramarkudu.
Already reincarnated in Tamil, Bengali, and Kannada,Rowdy Rathore arrived in Bollywood on June 1 with high expectations. Just like Tollywood’s Vikramarkudu, Rowdy Rathore is expected to dominate the box office both this weekend and next. In typical Akshay Kumar fashion, there is no shortage of masala in Rowdy Rathore. As expected from Mr. Deva, Rowdy Rathore stays true to its Southern roots but still has its own charm and character that distinguishes it from all the other iterations of the modern classic. Rowdy Rathore is everything you want in a masala hit arriving in theaters and multiplexes on the heels of summer. In many ways, Rowdy Rathore lives, eats, and breathes all things Bollywood. It is a masala film worthy of carrying “Rowdy” in its title.
So what is so entertaining about Rowdy Rathore? For starters, there are the dance routines. Remember a time when Bollywood’s producers and directors cared about silly little love songs played out on screen by a Prince Charming innocently pursuing his demure yet vivacious leading lady, Western audiences be damned? Rowdy Rathore erases any need to be nostalgic. Add in a smorgasbord of colors, a simple plot, and the proverbial romantic scenery, what you have is an old school Bollywood film that is plenty fun to watch.
Never one to shy away from masala films, Akkie is his usually dhamaka self in a double role. Quite convincing as the dashing cop and the hardcore petty thief, Mr. Kumar actually delivers a memorable performance after a growing string of forgettable films. He seems to have also developed quite the chemistry with Ms. Sinha, who connects rather easily with the audience. The supporting cast is sure to draw quite a bit of laughter, perfectly complementing the star-studded duo.
The screenplay is solid, the cinematography excellent, and the narrative moves at a brisk pace. Come the second half,Rowdy Rathore really picks up. (It’s about time a Bollywood film does not let down after intermission!)
Quite the masala film, Rowdy Rathore is one of the most entertaining films of the year and features a little dose of everything. The action will keep you on the edge of your seat. The comedy will make you laugh. The drama will make you think. All in all, we recommend Rowdy Rathore.