Hurricane Movie Review Rating: 2.5/5 (Two and a Half Star)
Star Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Mrunal Thakur, Paresh Rawal, Supriya Pathak, Vijay Raaz, Hussain Dalal, Mohan Agashe and the ensemble cast.
What’s good: Farhan’s dedication towards the game. The stinging innocence of Mrinal Thakur. Jay Oza’s camera is creating a fascinating world.
What’s worse: Even with a runtime of up to 2 hours 40 minutes, the Storm feels overfilled. Farhan as Ajju Bhai failed to become a local goon from Dongri and you can see that through Akhtar. Also, what’s with the pacing?
Loo Break: Stop and have plenty. The runtime is too long, and you’ll need at least one. But not when Farhan is showcasing his boxing skills, at least for someone like me who doesn’t know the sport properly, he lives up to them!
Watch or not ?: Only for Farhan’s Aziz Ali, not for Ajju Bhai. Mrunal Thakur is also a reason enough. If neither appeals to you, Mukkabaaz is a better option.
Language: Hindi (with subtitles)
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
Ajju Bhai, aka Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar), is an extortionist under a local gangster (Vijay Raj) in Dongri, Mumbai. We don’t know in which year the film is set, but from the looks of it over the past decade, it seems. Ajju meets Ananya (Mrunal Thakur), who gives him reason enough to become boxer Aziz Ali. Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal) trains him, and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra himself has to make an appearance to end it all.
Let’s list the final 3 fantasy movies about boxing (not biopics, as that would be a wrong comparison). Mukkabaaz, Sultan and Brothers. Two out of three (a third of a kind) use the template where female love prompts the confused man to take up the boxing and make a spectacular comeback. The storm becomes an addition to that list. But what stands out in the film is the subtlety of it all and, of course, Jai Ojha, but more about that later.
Anjum Rajabali, Toofan’s story and screenplay is about a man who finds a hook in life to live with dignity and redemption after a point. Coming out of the same mill that Gully Boy (makers) came from, you see bits and pieces of inspiration. The film uses the same technique of starting the story in the middle of the lives of its characters, without giving them special introductions. We enter the dongri and meet Ajju Bhai, who is Robinhood. Through her we meet Ananya early.
Even the slightest victory of the storm is what leads to the downfall of the film. We enter a fast pace where the characters don’t take much time to set up the universe. Ajju finds his anchor in no time and starts the journey of Aziz Ali Boxer. Now I was expecting the speed to slow down after this point. Because there’s so much flesh in the character that the catharsis he went through would make for a moving story to tell.
But what is disappointing for me is that the movie never slows down in the runtime of around 3 hours. Like even when there is death, in fact. Conflicts come and go as daily soaps and boxers become a montage overnight. We are never given room to breathe in the victories that Aziz has achieved; Instead, a new conflict awaits, and therefore it is resolved very quickly. For example, Ajju becomes Aziz in one scene, he gets Paresh Rawal as a coach in 2. After 3 scenes, he is the best boxer in the state, and in the next, Paresh breaks up with him, leading to the next act. Of the film tiring right? same feeling.
As I said, even small victories are the cause of defeat. The pace didn’t allow me to get so emotionally invested that I would cry when Aziz cries, or fall in love seeing Ananya’s camera. That said, these characters are written to be likable and lively, but if there’s no breathing room, how do I give them room in my heart?
If we take our eyes off the main story, the parallel narratives look at society in a way. Socio-economic structure, caste division and how a particular religion is viewed when talking about discipline or belief. It’s all related. When Paresh Rawal tells his daughter, “Stay away from Muslims,” you know someone who thinks so. This is a conversation that needs to be addressed but with a better conclusion.
Toofan deserved more depth, more views and a slower narrative that is more intriguing and engaging for the audience.
Toofan Movie Review: Star Performance
Boy, oh boy, it’s like watching two Farhan Akhtars in one movie. He is amazing when he steps into the boxing ring as Aziz Ali, knows how to dance the punches and becomes a boxer in his top form with his 2000 bulging muscles. But when he is Ajju Bhai, a goon, he tries very hard to be. Sure, he is Farhan, and he doesn’t let that show happen as much as a less experienced actor would, but when he says ‘idiot’ with a clear accent, you catch the flaws. Also Vijay Maurya’s additional screenplay acts as a concealer.
Mrunal Thakur, as said, is charmed by her innocence, and her smile touches the heart. She becomes Aziz’s anchor, inspiration and inspiration at the same time. But his existence is around him most of the time, only two or at most three scenes away from him.
Paresh Rawal as Coach Nana Prabhu is worth watching. The actor shows why he is a veteran as he grabs your attention in each and every one of his scenes.
Toofan Movie Review: Direction, Music
It breaks my heart not to fall in love with a film made by one of my favorite filmmakers. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra doesn’t stick to his core storytelling style, and there’s no harm in that either. But then, when they decided to make it so fast that all the hard work and struggle ended, the problem seemed too simple.
A redemption for the audience is Jai Ojha’s cinematography and how the man captures the world of his subjects. The whole focus is on where the actors are standing. Super zoom in is not his favorite sight. He likes it when the middle and around are occupied. It is fun to watch and adds a layer to the film.
I never thought I would ever say that about Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra album. Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music fails to create the magic that ROM songs are known for. Plus, the placement of those tracks is so random that it doesn’t create any effect.
Toofan Movie Review: The Last Word
Maybe I had high expectations from the storm, and if I did, I wasn’t wrong. Two of my favorite people in movies have reunited. But they failed to make the impact of their previous collaboration (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). Imagine that even Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s cameo didn’t do much to save the film!
Toofan will release on Amazon Prime Video on July 16, 2021.