First of all, "Laxmii". Don't want this page to be boycotted because of the wrong spelling of the movie :p
Anyway, finally a major release has come upon us. Nearly 10 months since Tanhaji released, the last A lister film, and 8 months since Baaghi 3, the last big ticket film. It's also one of the longest gaps between 2 Akki films (I think he had a 11 month gap in the 90s). But 10.5 months since Good Newwz is far too long a time. Idk how other fanbases can wait years for their favourite stars to release their films. I found it very difficult ever since Sooryavanshi got posptoned.
This film has been through a lot in the last 1.5 years. The director leaving the film mid way to the clash with Radhe, then would it release online or not, the BOYCOTT gang coming to the forefront, hiding the likes and dislikes and now finally it has released online, the 1st major release in a long long time. The film didn't deserve such an end, but it is what it is.
Coming to the film, it's a scene by scene remake of Kanchana. Except for Akshay not being afraid of ghosts and the unnecessary Hindu-Muslim angle. I'll try to be as unbiased as I possibly can. But the film isn't meant for OTT. I watched half the film on my phone while coming back home from work and the other half on my laptop. My review of the film would have been completely different had I seen it in the theatres. Such over the top, loud films are made for theatrical experience so I found it very difficult to laugh at some scenes.
The acting was extremely hammy. Akshay had to go out of his comfort zone and over act in this one. It's a welcome change to see him back in the masala genre, but when he has done loud performances in films like Singh is Kinng, De Dana Dan and his comic performances in films like Hera Pheri, PHP, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhag etc, this felt way out of place. The last time I felt uncomfortable watching him was in Singh is Bling. His performance gets better and better once the transgender comes in, and does a great job in the 2nd half, but the 1st half was really bad. Kiara looks gorgeous as always, and thats about it. Ashwini Kalsekar HAMS! Worse than what she did in the Rohit Shetty films.
The songs literally come out of nowhere. Burj Khalifa in the film comes exactly like how Aankh Maarey came in Simmba. Random AF! While such a strategy would have struck gold had it released theatrically as the single screen audience would have gone gaga listening to the song while the movie was on instead of watching it during the end credits, on an OTT platform, it seemed very weird.
It's the 2nd half which saves the film. Once the transgender sets in, then the acting gets better. Sharad Kelkar is very good in his role and probably one of the highlights of the film. BamBholle is also well shot and choreographed. There exists a message in the film which involves the sentiments of transgenders, but the overall execution was lacking.
I have seen Kanchana, so I knew exactly what was coming next. This film is a big budget Kanchana with better VFx. Plus points over Kanchana also include Burj Khalifa. This is the USP of the film and would have single handedly ensured a box office success had everything else fallen apart. The plot is highly outdated and would have worked 5-6 years ago. But I still stand by my statement in my earlier post that the film would have been a huge grosser at the box office and whether it was a Eid clash with Radhe or a regular Friday release, it was sure to be a 225cr minimum. If HF4 crossed 200cr despite negative reviews and pre Diwali, this being a much better film than HF4 would have easily crossed that film.
The Hindu-Muslim angle was absolutely unnecessary. Just giving the boycott gang a reason to hate on the film. They have copied 90% of Kanchana, might as well kept the remaining 10% and made it a Hindu-Hindu love story. The "my daughter has found a perfect husband who turns out to be a Muslim" was not needed and didn't make any difference to the story. While it obviously doesn't promote "Love Jihad", it wasn't needed at all. Maybe this wasn't Raghava's decision and that's why he left the film citing "creative differences". Never know.
Overall, I was expecting this from the film when the trailer released. Kept my expectations to a bare minimum and expected some hammy acting and that's what it is. I had same feelings while watching HF4. But as a fan, I am glad that Akki is stepping out of the social drama and nationalist roles and taking up these masala films. These are the films that work at the box office and it's high time he gets his 250 and 300cr grossers. The film is watchable for Akki alone (him in the 2nd half. 1st half was not at all great). The film is not scary with minimal jump scares and definitely not funny.
While I wouldn't want a sequel to the film, strictly talking about the box office potential, I wouldn't mind another one. Sadly such films strike gold at the box office and the producers wouldn't be wrong in trying another film to mint some more monies.
Overall a 2.5/5 for me. I might be a little biased and given the extra half for Akki alone. But that's my opinion! :)
Over to Sooryavanshi now. This one better be worth the wait!